Jason and Lisa Rozynski and their two children, live and work just outside of Imbil on their Dairy Farm. After getting comfy on some hay bales, this farming family were keen to debunk the myths around farming and farmers. This is their story.
Jason, whose Grandmother was a dairy farmer in Maleny, is as rooted in farming as it gets: “I’m 3rd generation born and bred, my Grandfather started dairying here in 1946”. Lisa, on the other hand, married into the lifestyle and was under the impression that Jason was a mechanic. Lisa’s role, like most women, is multi-faceted. As well as looking after the children, managing admin for their business and helping Jason out when needed, Lisa also works at the local school which her children attend.
Jason and Lisa are all too aware of the disparity between the reality of farming life and what the public perception is. “You talk to people and their perception is that we go out and milk our cows in the morning and spend the rest of the day reading the newspaper and then go out milking again in the afternoon. The reality is, there is so much more to it.”
Jason is aware of the growing respect for farmers and farming, but believes there is some way to go in bridging the gap between reality and perception. “There is a disconnect between farming and the general public. A lot of people have got on board with the ‘buy local stuff’ and that has helped highlight some of what’s going on. But people still ask, what did you do this weekend and they forget you worked all weekend.”
It is clear that to endure and be successful as a farmer, a genuine passion has to be present. Lisa reckons that without the passion that Jason has, it would be hard to get up at 3.30 in the morning and work all day. For Jason, this is a life you have to be born into in a lot of ways: “It’s not as though we’re bound by tradition and don’t want to do anything different, it’s that we love it. We’ve seen our fathers and grandfathers do it, you think, well, we are going to do the same and build the business.”
Jason has definitely succeeded; his grandfather started with around 90 cows and Jason, along with his father, have built their business to 500 cows and cattle.
Although Lisa admits there are times when it would be easier if Jason were not a farmer, the couple were also keen to highlight the benefits of the life including Jason’s involvement with the kids. “Because Jason worked at the farm and we lived here, he could see them grow, even if it was just 5 minutes at breakfast or lunch, which a lot of people would miss out on.” Jason is also proud that his kids are growing up in a farming background, which he reckons generally makes them better kids as they are older.
It’s obvious that farming is a lifestyle not a job but, according to Jason, it’s not for everyone: “It’s a lifestyle but it’s a lifestyle not a lot of people want. They want to see the nice green paddocks and have some cows but they don’t want the floods, the droughts, the early mornings, the Christmas days, the weekends.”
When asked about a farmer’s relationship with their livestock, Jason was keen to set the public straight. “This is the thing that really bugs me with all these people online, saying how farmers are so cruel to their animals. We are the complete reverse, we get so sad if we lose one of our prize cows, it’s our livelihood and its money down the drain and it’s not what we want to see happen, we want them all to live long and happy lives.”
With 500 animals, the Rozynskis have resorted to only naming the stud calves. Each family member is given a letter the name has to start with and then a family debate ensues. 7 year old Payton, who wants to be a scientist, named the last stud calf ‘Belle’ after the princess from Beauty and the Beast.
When asked about the future of the farm and whether the children will be the fourth generation of Dairy Farmer’s, Angus, 5, was excited to let everyone know he definitely would be. According to Lisa, Angus is already following Jason around the farm. “He’d be out at 4:30am in the morning on a school day, we have to convince him to go to school. He’s mad keen.”
The Rozynski’s Imbil farm was created with the purpose of supplying Maleny Dairies and has endured, Jason reckons, through the support of customers who are willing to get behind a local brand.
“The support from the customers that have got behind the Maleny brand, it’s been terrific, there is no way we could’ve done what we’ve done without their support and that’s the thing that’s bought it all together for us.”
© Maleny Dairies 2020