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.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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