Support SA Buy Local – F&B recipient of the week – Eric Oxenham from Buff Love

Support SA Buy Local – F&B recipient of the week – Eric Oxenham from Buff Love

In 2017, we started the adventure of milking buffalo and making buffalo dairy products. We particularly wanted to make a beautiful traditional buffalo milk mozzarella. Four months later, the original herd of Italian Dairy Buffalo arrived in Myponga; 6 pregnant cows and a bull.

The four years since then has been a journey to build the diary parlour and cheese making facility, upgrade the farm infrastructure, learn how to look after and milk buffalo, and learn how to make cheese. The best bit has been getting to know our buffalo.

With that came the aspect of owning a business. So I applied to the F&B dev fund to support me to do the Business SA Encore Program for new business mentoring, and was successful. It was a good way to get a handle on what was coming our way on the business aspects, and gave us a good idea of what to expect.

The course helped me to identify the types of things we need to consider in running a new business.

Since the course, we have been making buffalo dairy products, the herd has increased in size and we are trading at the farmers market. A mozzarella is our future goal and not too far away.

Coming from a non-ag background and not having much to do with animals, the buffalo have been my first animal management experience. I had to learn about their needs, and our needs, and in return you get trust. They are smart and hierarchical so you need to treat them with respect. They might not look like it but they are the most placid animals and are very affectionate.