Temporary job finishes after 37 years

Warren “Snow” Gorton has sold his cows and finished milking after 37 years in the dairy.After starting milking 27 years ago as a temporary job, Glen Martin’s Warren “Snow” Gorton has finally called it a day.
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He milked the last of his cows on Thursday morning before they were sold and he cleaned out the vat for the last time.

“I was 16 years old and just started as a station assistant on the railway when my mother Joyce got sick and Dad asked me to come home and help on the farm,” Snow said.

“It was only going to be for a short time but I ended up working with dad up till 1997 when I took it over myself.”

The 180 acre dairy farm was started by his grandfather Jim in the 1920s and his father took over in the 1940s.

“Jim built the first dairy, a two cow walk-through which was used until 1938.

“A four stand was then built and then in the 50s it was converted to six bales.

“Seventeen years ago we installed a herringbone. At our peak we had 120 cows but have been down to 80 for the last few years.”

It was through his work as a janitor at Clarence Town Public School between milkings that Snow met his future wife Donna Robinson who was a relief teacher from the Central Coast.

“I worked at the school for 13 years and eventually bought another 300 acres up the road.

“I was selling bushrock off the property, cleaning the school and mowing lawns – it was the only way to get ahead.

“I still believe there is a dollar to made in dairying if you don’t want to get outside the gate.

“The last seven years have been good because I have had some good part-time workers which has enabled me to continue with golf.

“I’ve been really lucky because I’ve got back down to a scratch handicap which I didn’t think I would ever see again.

“There are 100 top courses in Australia and I’ve played 21 already – and I want to play more.”

Snow has been gearing up [for finishing dairying] with some beef cattle.

“I’ve got 60 breeders and 40 heifers which I hope to increase to between 140 and 150,” he said.

But for now Snow and his wife Donna are enjoying a well-deserved holiday in Port Douglas.

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