John Bennett AM, the co-founder of Ashgrove Farms and Ashgrove Cheese, dedicated his life to farming, his family, the local Deloraine community and transforming the Tasmanian, and broader Australian Dairy Industry.
In 2017, John was awarded the Kondinin ABC Rural Australian Farming Legend of the Year recognising his visionary leadership, courage and life-time contribution to the Australian Dairy Industry.
Born on Eddington Farm in the 1939, John grew up farming the fertile plains of Northern Tasmania, as his family had done for generations before him.
In 1961, John, a budding young Farmer, received a P&O Young Farmer Scholarship to study agriculture in the United Kingdom.
The study tour included 16 farm stays, visiting some 180 farms and attending Agriculture Research Institutions to learn about the latest farming practices in the United Kingdom. This opportunity made an indelible mark on John’s life.
The experience ignited his drive to innovate and lead change both at home on the farm and in the Australian Dairy Industry during the extremely challenging times for Tasmanian dairy farmers in the 1970s.
This passion for improving and innovating continued throughout his life. John was strongly committed to dairy research and helping dairy farmers and manufacturers to better compete, grow and stay relevant in the ever-changing market.