As a scholarly teenager, farming was the last thing on Cassandra Kath’s mind.
Twenty five years later, however, she’s revelling in success as a Legendairy farmer and stud breeder after winning a major title at International Dairy Week.
Cassandra and her husband Andrew, from Forbes NSW, won their first Dairy Week title when their heifer was named Juvenile Champion of the Brown Swiss show.
Dairy farming in Forbes is a long way from growing up in Ourimbah on the NSW central coast where Cassandra’s parents had a small hobby farm but worked in the timber industry.
“Until my mid-teens, my parents would have thought of me as the least likely to be in agriculture,” she said.
That changed at Gosford High School when she became involved with the agriculture program’s small Jersey stud.
“In Year 9 a friend and I decided to give the cattle club a go and we joined the show team. It was a real lightning bolt moment; I’d found my thing,” Cassandra said.
Some local Brown Swiss cattle breeders took her under their wings and expanded her interest in showing. She grew to love and own Brown Swiss cows and took any opportunity during school and university to work on dairy farms.
“It was the showing part that got me hooked,” Cassandra said. “I really enjoyed the process and the industry and the friendships.”
Showing cattle also proved to be a matchmaker when Cassandra met Toowoomba dairy farmer Andrew at the Ekka Royal Show in Brisbane.
They married and bought his family farm before moving to a larger property at Forbes, starting three years ago with 15 cows and building a 400-strong mixed herd.
Cassandra and Andrew had to put showing on the backburner as they raised three children and built up their farm.
“Our proudest achievement is moving to this farm,” she said. “The great thing about dairy is how quickly you can grow when you’re committed and passionate and we’ve met a great network of supportive people.”
“You have to develop so many skills. It’s not just harvesting milk; if you’ve worked on a dairy farm you can go and do anything.”