Associate - Business

Gippsland Farmgate

Sean Dignum, Dairy farmer

Gippsland Farmgate

I trained in cheese-making with NCDEA and am working towards creating a cheese making facility on my dairy farm at Neerim South in West Gippsland. For the past five years I have been establishing a herd of Jersey cows based on top Australian and Danish genetics. The result has been top quality milk production with high levels of fat, protein and casein. The farm has won Dairy Australia awards in 2013, 2014 and 2015 for being in the top 5% of quality milk producers in Australia.

How did you get started in the industry?

I was assisting Lactos cheese company in Tasmania with their marketing and was integral in the process of changing the brand to Tasmanian Heritage Cheese before it was sold to National Foods. My involvement and observations of the cheese making process engaged my interest and I subsequently undertook cheese making courses.

What is your favourite Australian cheese?

Nick Haddow's C2, Old Telegraph Road Jackson's Track, Tarago Gippsland Blue, Holy Goat La Luna and Pyengana Cheddar

What opportunities do you see for the future of the Australian specialty/artisan cheese industry?

Extensive opportunity for those willing to go through the struggle of getting finance, licences, building permits, etc. We have a reputation for the pure source and quality of our raw product...adding value through application of artisan skills is the way forward for food production.

What does being part of ASCA mean to you? 

It provides the opportunity to hear the stories of fellow travellers in quality dairy production, and provides incentive to keep moving towards establishing my own cheese making enterprise.