|Established 2001Story Since 1973The McCaul FamilySpecialty CheesemakerAlexandrina TeamCareers|
Alexandrina Cheese Company Established 2001
Faced with dairy deregulation in the late 1990s, the McCaul Family were forced to list their options for staying on their farm in the future. Other dairy farms in the southern areas were planning for expansion – buying more adjacent land, expanding their milk harvesting systems for larger rotary dairy models, and increasing the number of cows to support the bulk milk market. This wasn’t an option for the Alexandrina family farm – already land locked with beautiful vineyards.
The other option was to cease to operate the farm as a dairy altogether, and find an alternative source of income than milk. Many wonderful farms in the Fleurieu Peninsula have suffered this fate. The Mt Compass Jersey Cattle Club used to support near to thirty Jersey dairy farms and now lists around than fifteen members.
The family farm, and its dairying traditions of nearly thirty years were too important to just simply stop with a sudden closure. The land has been producing Jersey milk since 1973, and Krystyna’s family were not going to be easily convinced to change industries or to find work off farm. Keeping rural roots was an important factor, not only to the great lifestyle offered by living on the farm.
The amazing fate of Dan McCaul marrying a dairy farmer’s daughter is that he brings the knowledge of three generations of cheese making to the equation. This tempered the third option as clearly as any other option to the list.
“I’d really like to make some cheese” Dan says to Krystyna his wife. “Ok – but what kind of cheese?” she poses.
“Hard style cheese – like my Jerry, my grandfather used to make – like Kevin, my father used to make” Dan pushes.
So, it was settled between the two of them at the family kitchen table. The market research began with family holidays to Victoria, Tasmania and finally to Queensland to attend a Department of Primary Industries Cheese Making course.
Plans went ahead with our local council Alexandrina, then planners, architects, builders, concreters, and teams of workers for the project to commence.
Building took it’s time…but it was worth the wait with an export quality cheese factory built on the family farm in Mt Jagged, South Australia.
The old ‘oats’ paddock.
Jul-Krys Dairy Farm – Tangala proposed processing plant and site.
Mt Jagged farm paddocks where George Manowski grew oats in 1975 -1976.
Putting on the roof of the new cheese factory.
Phil and Mark Redden and sons (Redden Bros Pty Ltd), of Jamestown undertaking the construction.
Craning up the iron – Anthony ‘IFS’, Wayne, Simon, Brenton ‘Dawsie’ and David at crane.
3 July 2000.
Preparing the ground to lay the concrete.
George, Annie, Don, Jimmy and Dan McCaul - on his birthday!
Exquisite rural vista in background of Mt Jagged.
28 August 2000.
Laying mesh over membrane - preparing for laying slab.
Dan McCaul, owner and builder of Alexandrina Cheese Company.
2 August 2000.
All pitching into spread the concrete – hard work!
23 trucks of cement worth over three weeks!
3 August 2000.
Smoothing out the lines on the processing floor.
Our dear friend, Don Milliard, doing the finishing touches at the end of a long and busy day.
3 August 2000.
The slab is dry, lets move in!
The last bit of cement was poured in the Tanker Bay, and Verandah.
The slab was laid – 139.6 metres cubed in 6 days!
10 August 2000.
Krystyna and Dan standing outside in the shed.
Looking at the new pasteurizer imported from New Zealand.
The walls go up on the factory - bondor panel stacked and ready!
5 September 2000.
Look at the old oats paddock, now!
“Waalaa!” All look on with exclamations, “Finished? Doesn’t it look nice?”
End of September 2000.
Flowers boxes planned for summer tourism trade.
A year later, Don Millard, building resumes, putting the finishing touches to the blue planter boxes.
15 August 2001.
Flowers boxes planted for summer visitors to admire!
A few months later, friend and neighbour Verona Walcohope, and resident Gardener has changed the aesthetics with the sprawling native garden.
31 December 2001.
Blessed are the cheese-makers! Life goes on at Mt Jagged.
Dan McCaul is dairy farming, while Krystyna’s takes care of cheesemaking!
17 September 2001.
|back to the top|
|Where to Find Our Products ...|
|Open Weekdays 12-5pm, Weekends 10-4.30pm© 2007 Alexandrina Cheese CoSneyd Road, Mt Jagged SAPhone (08) 8554 9666|
|Home|About Us|Products| |Visit Us|How to Buy|Contact Us|