It’s not often the small towns get one over the cities, but Bob Holschier has a long memory.July 1, 2014 3:02am
It’s not often the small towns get one over the cities, but Bob Holschier has a long memory.
Last week Fonterra started production of ricotta cheese at its Stanhope factory after a $10
Established in 1923, the factory is right in the middle of the town of less than 500 people.
Historically a dairy-based community, it’s barely a stop-over on the Midland Hwy that runs from Shepparton to Bendigo.
A predecessor company, Ibis, once owned factories in Shepparton and Stanhope.
Mr Holschier recalls the small town was once rife with speculation that the Shepparton plant, half an hour’s drive from Stanhope, would expand and Stanhope would close.
Mr Holschier, a former dairy farmer and supplier to Ibis and the previous Stanhope co-operative, stood in the brand new factory extension last week and marvelled at the millions of dollars that have been spent.
Closures such as the Heinz factory at nearby Girgarre send a chill through one-industry towns such as Stanhope.
‘‘From the time I came here 50 years ago, the increase in production and development of the site has been fantastic,’’ Mr Holschier said.
‘‘But there was a stage where we thought we might lose everything to Shepparton. When Ibis was formed, between Shepparton Butter Factory and the Stanhope Co-operative we thought a lot of it would have gone to Shepparton.
‘‘But it was actually reversed. Because it was situated in Shepparton, it was not a viable proposition to develop it in the city.
‘‘So most of it came to Stanhope and the administration came back here too.’’
It then became Bonlac.
‘‘Since Fonterra has taken over it has gone ahead in leaps and bounds,’’ he said.
‘‘It gives us locals a great deal of confidence in the future of this factory, at the same time we are concerned with other problems associated with the dairy industry around here.’’
Mr Holschier has noticed the numbers of farms in the district has reduced.
‘‘We used to say there were about 1000 cows per square mile being milked by about seven families,’’ he said.
‘‘That was the case in the mile where I was.
‘‘At the moment there has not been one cow milked in that square mile.’’
He blames access to water as being one of the issues.
After spending two games in the WAFL Michael Barlow has been recalled to play for Fremantle against St Kilda this weekend.
Three Yarrawonga footballers have excelled at interleague level, representing the Ovens and Murray against Hampden in Warrnambool on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
The Moama-Echuca Border Raiders took a big stride into the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League for 2016 with a solid, four-grade performance at Eaglehawk’s Truscott Reserve on Sunday.
THE town’s schools celebrated Education Week last week.
Kyabram Football Club will host a family day next weekend.
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
HEATHCOTE Pre-school staff members were overwhelmed by the response to their annual Garden Express Spring Bulb fundraiser.
Youth services in Cobram have received a helping hand thanks to a new appointment made possible through a community store.
Plans for the release of a carp herpes virus has captured the attention of international press.
Farmers from northern Victoria will join a protest rally over milk prices in Melbourne tomorrow, Wednesday.
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