John Bennett AM
John Bennett AM was a founding partner of Ashgrove Farms and the Chairman of the Ashgrove Cheese Pty Ltd until his retirement in October 2012.
In 2017, John Bennett Am was awarded the ABC Rural and Kondinin Group’s Australian Farming Legend of the year 2017 in recognition of his work.
John worked on the family farm for 60 years and served both the local community and the Australian dairy industry. As a young farmer he was awarded the P&O Young Farmer Scholarship in 1961 to study agriculture in the UK. In 1991, John was awarded the Order of Australia Member for his services to the Australian dairy industry, which has included:
- The ABC Rural and Kondinin Group’s Australian Farming Legend of the year 2017
- President of the Australian Dairy Farmers Federation 1976 – 1985
- Deputy Chairman of the Australian Dairy Corporation 1981 – 1986
- Member of the Australian Dairy Corporation Board 1975 – 1980
- Inaugural Chairman of the Australian Dairy Industry Conference (which brought together farmers and manufacturers for the first time) 1976 – 1985
- Inaugural Chairman of the National Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme 1982-1985
- Director of Asia Dairy Industries (HK) Ltd 1977 – 1987
- Director of Thai Dairy Industry Co. Ltd 1980 – 1987
- Vice President International Federation of Agriculture Producers Dairy Division 1982
John’s extensive experience within the Australian dairy industry led to the decision to develop the dairying operations by establishing a value added processing business on the family farm to produce premium quality cheese and milk. As the Owner-Builder, he was the Project Manager for the initial cheese factory construction as well as all subsequent developments.
John has served his local community in various ways including as a local councillor to the Deloraine Municipal Council from 1970 to 1979. He has been a member of the Deloraine Rotary Club for 20 years and was President in 1997/1998, and named a Paul Harris Fellow in 2002. John was also the Director of the Tasmanian Craft Fair in 2000, 2001 and 2004.
John is married to Connie who was a founding partner in Ashgrove Farms and a founding director of Ashgrove Cheese Pty Ltd until 2011.