The Telegraph: Elliott family sets up their own dairy plant

AS THE state's dairy farmers battle to compete against the $1-a-litre milk wars, one family is leading the charge to buck the downward trend.

Emma Elliott and her entire family are fighting to protect their industry by taking on the supermarkets and selling direct to consumers.

They have set up their own processing and bottling plant The Little Big Dairy at Dubbo in the state's central west in hopes of easing their family's exposure to price discounting wars.

Mrs Elliott, a seventh generation dairy farmer at Dubbo, said many farmers had left the industry due to deregulation in 2000 but the recent catalyst was the cheap milk prices.

She said those that were left in the dairy were working harder by increasing herd sizes and milking three times a day instead of two because they wanted a sustainable future on the land.

"The milk wars between the supermarkets have hit us hard, which has been a driver for us starting the plant," Mrs Elliott, 24, said.

"It's value adding to the farm and keeping us being dairy farmers. "Dairy runs thick in my blood and that of my families and not just a job it's a lifestyle."

The entire family are involved in the process with Mrs Elliott's father Steve Chesworth and brother Duncan, 22, running the farm, milking the cows and growing feed.

Her mother Erika works in the factory, rears calves and does the administration while her youngest brother Campbell, 19, delivers the milk.

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