A DISLIKE of milk has not deterred Laura Piggott from following her dream of being a dairy farmer.
“I just don’t like the taste,” she admits, when asked what she doesn’t like about milk.
“I have cheese on everything and I drink Milo or hot chocolate but never milk on its own.”
Even if she’s not a fan of the final product, Laura loves everything else about being on a dairy.
The early starts, the seven days a week roster, not to mention time on the shovel – also known as the misery stick – aren’t enough to deter her from wanting to return to the family’s 180-head dairy farm when she finishes school.
“I love everything about it, being with the animals, the breeding, machinery, fencing, the technology, all of it,” she said.
“I don’t know what else I would do if I wasn’t here.”
It has been a long-held dream for Laura to take on the farm with her parents Jamie and Vanessa Piggott and grandparents Stephen and Robyn.
The family’s dairy is situated north of Harvey with a mix of Holstein Friesian and Montbeliarde cross milking cows.
According to mum Vanessa, at just one-month-old Laura was already at home in the dairy at Harvey.
“Laura could probably run that dairy by herself now,” Vanessa said.
“I used to take her there when I was milking with Jamie and she would know more than me on how it runs.
“She is such a toughie, she’s not scared to get in there, she manages all the calves and the computer feeding system and she helps Jamie on the weekends when she is home from school.
“She is a great kid and very clever.”
To help her follow her dairy farming dream, Laura attends and boards at the WA College of Agriculture, Harvey, during the week.
Her first year is giving her a taste of a wide range of potential agricultural careers, including beef, sheep, viticulture, equine, poultry and aquaculture.
“I love it. I do three days in class, one day on the farm and one day in the trade centre and we’re doing a bit of everything,” she said.
“Next year we choose what we want to specialise in and I’m planning on doing beef, dairy and maybe equine.”
While the dairy is her number one passion, beef and horses are close behind.
Laura recently purchased her dream horse – Kai – by saving up from the earnings of 300 milkings.
She would also like to add more beef cattle as part of the farm’s enterprises when she partners up with dad Jamie.
“Eventually I think we would probably look at increasing the herd, make the dairy bigger and buy some more land,” she said.
“I’d also like to run more beef cows if we could and maybe some more horses too.
While Laura’s long-term goal is to return to the farm, she is planning on spending some time in the north of the State after finishing school.
“I would like to go up and work on a station and go mustering before I come back to the farm,” Laura said.
“We want Laura to get out there and get everything off her chest in what she wants to do, like work up north mustering, horse riding, to go and do it now but also that she doesn’t have to do the dairy if she doesn’t want to,” Vanessa added.
Vanessa said she and Jamie were “very proud and chuffed” that Laura wanted to return to the farm.
“We don’t ever want her to feel like she had to because if she wanted to do something else that is fine and we could plan our future but this is something she really wants to do and her and Jamie get on well together,” she said.
“We feel very lucky.”