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.
The facilitator of a new program to help empower women with a disability to become leaders in the community says it is time to stand up.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
Race two of Kyabram’s Harness Racing meet, held at Echuca on Sunday evening, was declared a no-race when the Michael Bellman-driven Never Look Back fell with about 800m remaining.
Hundreds rose early for Dawn Services across the district on Saturday to commemorate 100 years since the Gallipoli landings.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
Heathcote police are appealing for information after a woman was injured in a hit-and-run incident on Anzac Day.
Cobram Barooga locals are being asked to host an Australia's Biggest Morning Tea to raise money for the Australian Cancer Council.
The Deniliquin Domestic Violence Liaison Committee hosted a community lunch at the ‘Rocket Park’ on Thursday to celebrate the launch of its new banner.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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