The Cooper Mill, a family owned farm in western Victoria, has long been associated with the countrys longest-running dairy farm.
Now, it is celebrating its 100th birthday.
The family’s original owners and dairy farmer, Henry Cooper, passed away in 2009.
The farm was founded by the Coopers in 1867 and was the first dairy operation in Victoria.
“I have a big heart for the Cooper Mill,” Henry Cooper said.
“It is a family business and they are very, very proud of it.”
The farm’s history spans generations, but the Cooper family has always been linked to dairy.
Henry Cooper was a dairy farmer and his brother, William, who was the eldest son of William Cooper, was also a dairyman.
The brothers opened the farm as a dairy in the 1870s, and by the 1890s it was producing more than 500,000 litres of milk a day.
“We had a family that was extremely involved in dairy and they were very, like, good farmers,” Henry said.
Henry said his family had a very close relationship with their farmer, and their passion for dairy was shared.
“They loved it and they would go and visit him in his house and they’d say, ‘Henry, how do you do this?'”
The Cooper family also owned a number of dairy farms around Victoria, but in the late 1800s they started to diversify.
“The Cooper Mill was an original dairy and we are still dairy farmers today,” Henry continued.
“In the late 1890s there was an influx of farmers and it was a great time to be a farmer in the region.”
Henry said the family had to make a number, including the opening of their own dairy in 1893.
“When we opened the Cooper mill in 1893, we had four cows and we were doing around 100,000 of those litres a day,” he said.
The Cooper mill was a very successful dairy farm, with more than 2,000 cows producing 2.4 million litres of dairy milk.
The dairy’s legacy continues to be felt today, with the Cooper’s now making some of the world’s finest dairy products.
“That’s what our dairy industry is all about, producing high quality products for our customers and our farmers,” he explained.
“Our customers are very passionate about their products and that’s what we try to do.”
Henry Cooper says the Cooper Museum of Agriculture and Fisheries is a place where the history of the Cooper farm can be seen and appreciated.
“As we grow, the Cooper museum has grown and grown,” he continued.
“Our heritage is very strong and we have a lot of great memories here in Victoria.”
The Cooper Museum is located at 855 Adelaide Road, Bendigo.
It is open daily from 7.30am until 3pm.
For more information, call 0411 454 468 or email [email protected]