Sallie Jones’ earliest memories of growing up in Gippsland were of the landscape of the region and helping on the family farm. A third-generation dairy farmer, Sallie’s childhood, which she describes as ‘free-range’, was spent on a dairy farm in East Gippsland. Her father branched out by using their milk and cream to manufacture ice cream, which he sold across the state.
After finishing high school, Sallie studied public relations and later put her experience back into the family business by extending the reach of products into farmers markets and, in response to consumer demand, exploring the opportunity to sell unpasteurised products.
In 2014, after a battle with mental illness, Sallie’s father tragically ended his life. This family heartbreak strengthened her resolve to continue in the dairy industry and advocate for better mental health support for farming communities.
After the 2015 dairy industry crisis, which saw milk processors cut the price of remuneration to farmers, Sallie and her business partner established the independent Gippsland Jersey milk brand. By bypassing the large milk processors they are able to pay a better price to farmers and also return a portion of profits to the local Gippsland community.
A strong communicator, Sallie has focused her industry work on promoting sustainable practices and connecting with the dairy farming community. She regularly advocates for women in farming and facilitates connections within the Gippsland dairying community.