The Hico Story

THE history and fascinating development of the Victorian dairy herd improvement industry, and the people behind it, have been recognised in a comprehensive book The Hico Story.

The Hico Story; dairy herd improvement in Gippsland and Colac, traces the story of 24 small associations, through to their amalgamations to the large co-operative that Hico is today.

The first herd testing associations began in the 1920s when farmers formed associations and employed a herd tester to take equipment from farm to farm.

The introduction of artificial breeding in the 1950s had a major impact on herd improvement and was closely associated with herd testing.

The aim of the book was to record the history of the various organisations that evolved to become Hico Australia, which formed in 2008 from the merger of Gippsland and Colac Herd Improvement Co-operatives.


Hico Chair Stewart McRae said “most important were the people whose passion and commitment was a vital part of herd improvement”.

“Names such as Otto Marx, Karl Kruspe and Mike Larcombe in Maffra, Alwyn Michie in South Gippsland and Grace Baulch at Colac, all had great stories and these needed to be recorded,” Stewart said.

“They are just a few of the many people who have been recognised for their part in the development of herd improvement.”

Author Ann Andrew dedicated hours of research and interviewed farmers and herd testers through to Board members to gain a comprehensive picture of the industry.

“When I was offered the opportunity to record the history of Hico, I was not sure what it would involve. As I researched, the story became more interesting and the need to tell it, more compelling.”

“There have been books written on the dairy industry from a milk processing point of view, but little has been recorded of the primary production side of the industry.”

Produced by Hico Australia, The Hico Story is available in hardcover for $38.50 (inc GST).

The book will be launched in Korumburra on the Wednesday 15th February,
Colac on Thursday 16th  February and Maffra on Saturday 18th of February.

Books are also available to purchase your local
Hico office or phoning (03) 5147 1633
or emailing info.maffra@hico.com.au

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