The small town of Stanhope, home to around 490 people and the Fonterra milk factory, celebrated winning Australia’s Legendairy Capital at the town’s recreational reserve on Thursday, November 12.
Dairy Australia hosted the celebratory event, attended by over 150 people, and established the inaugural ‘Legendairy’ campaign this year.
The community of Stanhope was awarded $10000 for winning the ‘Legendairy’ title.
The competition searched for the nation’s most vibrant and resilient dairy community and aimed to bring the community and dairy farmers closer together to realise opportunities in the dairy industry.
Dairy Australia managing director Ian Halliday said local communities and dairy farmers operated ‘‘synergistically’’ and they wanted to recognise a town which embraced that concept.
‘‘Communities rely on the dairy industry and the industry relies on a vibrant community,’’ Mr Halliday said.
Dairy Australia group manager for marketing and communications Isabel Macneill said the response to the competition had been overwhelming with over 100 applications.
‘‘It’s not about how big the town is but how big the community spirit is – and that’s what has been captured here today,’’ Ms Macneill said.
Volunteers from virtually every community group in Stanhope, including the local CFA and men’s shed, volunteered their time for the afternoon.
Campaspe Mayor Cr Leigh Wilson said the strength of community at Stanhope reflected in the afternoon’s attendance was the reason Stanhope won the title.
‘‘It’s sad that it’s common for people to get together like this in small towns but you don’t see it in a big town,’’ Cr Wilson said.
Dairy farmer Andrew Hipwell, who put in the submission for the award, was the master of ceremony for the event and was very proud of the town’s community spirit.
‘‘I never thought we’d win the Murray region let alone the national one,’’ Mr Hipwell said.
He said the people of Stanhope were always willing to help each other out and locals had turned up at 8am that day asking if they could assist with the set up for the celebrations.
‘‘We are a little town ... there’s nothing pretty about us but the community is amazing.’’
Mr Hipwell is heavily involved in community life and ran a football clinic last year for the local schools.