Hannam Vale, New South Wales, Australia 2443


Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity.
Jonathan Safran Foer

DiscoverGrass-fed Milk

From Benmar Farm
Benmar Farm is an artisan dairy producing sustainable, quality milk from humanely-raised cows, predominantly the Fleckvieh breed. Contact us to reserve a tour of our farm near Port Macquarie on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia.

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ArtisanQuality

 

SustainableProduction

Begins with the Soil
Everything comes from the soil. Everything returns to it. Sustainable production begins here, in the ground under our feet. At Benmar Farm, we demonstrate respect for the physical, chemical and biological balance of living systems. This is where the character of our milk is born. Viticulturalists call it terroir. We call it a passion.

HumaneApproach

It's About Reciprocity
Our approach is anchored in the fact that food is reciprocal. The care we offer our cows comes back to us in the bounty they produce. It’s not about ticking items off a list; it’s about making sure our cows are stress-free and warm, that they have dry places to lie down, that they have food, clean water and shade. We give them the five freedoms they deserve. And when they give back, we receive it with gratitude.

Farm-to-tableBounty

 

Characteristics

Our family includes heritage dairy breeds such as Brown Swiss, Ayrshire, Jersey and Fleckvieh, specialty breeds such as Illawarra from Australia, and standard dairy breeds such as Holstein.
In addition to producing milk, we take custom meat orders. Our beef stock are a cross between the German heritage breeds Fleckvieh and Pustertaler. Contact us to place a grass-fed meat order.
Fleckvieh milk is sweet, abundant and high-quality. Protein and fat content are above average at 3.7 and 4.2 percent respectively, and the milk is rich in micronutrients and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Fleckvieh is a multi-purpose dairy breed developed in the highlands of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The cows are hardy, able to traverse difficult terrain, with good strength and body development.

OurStory

Karyn Cassar and Carissa Wolfe

Karyn comes from Maltese farmers, and though in Australia they were tradesmen, every one of her extended family grew their own food in some way. She “stumbled” into the dairy industry on the South Coast, after finding love with beef cattle as a young girl.  Karyn is the first in two generations to return to making her living solely from the land.

Carissa grew up in the mountains of Montana, but spent several weeks a year at her grandfather’s beef ranch in California. As a little girl, she would sit with him while he milked and talked, doing everything so carefully. That milk was liquid gold, and his cow his goddess.

Later Carissa discovered a passion for financial analysis, but the corporate world was unfulfilling to her. In 2003, struggling with illness, she traveled to Australia with Karyn. The dairy where they stayed was healing ground and it was also where Carissa realized that cows are in her blood. “It’s a generational thing,” she said. “When it surfaces, that’s that.” For Karyn, there was never any question: she becomes her best self when she’s with cows; she connects intuitively. She can’t not be around them.

Together, Karyn and Carissa spent the next ten years building the skills they wanted to inform their dairy business. Carissa did professional bookkeeping to observe the financial responses to decision making in the dairy, retail and non-profit sectors, while Karyn worked in dairies observing everything from parlor technology to staff management. This was during the global financial crisis: educational years.


At Benmar Farm, we’re driven by three ideals. We build relationships between people and food, connecting them to the joy and abundance there. We care for our animals as unique individuals, treating their milk as a reciprocal gift. And we pay our knowledge forward: demonstrating that it’s possible to run a humane dairy on a commercial scale, while doing all we can to pass on what we’ve learned and are learning.

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    Benmar Farm