Converting a farm from beef to dairy is a tough task, but few could handle it better than Meander farmers Fiona and Tim Salter.
They were named the 2019 Tasmanian Dairy Business of the Year for their work on Clear Springs Dairy, where they have increased the amount of dry pasture harvested on the farm by almost two tonnes per hectare in the last three years.
DairyTas executive officer Jonathan Price said the Salters' continuous push for excellence in their dairy business was a model for the industry.
"The Salters honed their pasture management skills at the Meander Discussion Group's measuring and monitoring boot camp," he said.
"They also hold monthly safety meetings for all Clear Springs Dairy staff."
The Salters were not the only Northern Tasmanian farmers to win awards at the Tasmanian Dairy Awards. Rushy Lagoon farmers Damien and Brooke Cocker took out the Share Dairy Farmers of the Year category.
Since beginning share farming five years ago, the Cockers have increased production on both farms by 40 per cent, and in 2017/18 the farms yielded close to eight million litres of milk.
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture senior dairy extension officer Symon Jones said the award recognised strong growth in equity as well as skill in financial, pasture and cow management.
"This is a very good result for a large dairy business. Improved herd, feed and irrigation, along with excellent staff management, have played a major part in their success," he said.
"Damien and Brooke encourage their staff to upskill, and subsequently, one employee has progressed through his farming apprenticeship to become a share farmer himself."