Agriculture in the IIlawarra region is dominated by dairying. The undulating topography, relatively fertile soils, adequate rainfall for good pastures, and, proximity to large urban populations of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, Moss Vale, Bowral municipalities, and Sydney metropolitan region, make the lIIawarra almost ideal tor dairy farming. There are hardly. any viable alternatives to dairying, which is an old established industry, In the region. The first dairy farms were established around 1828. By 1880 dairying was well established, with butter and condensed milk factories at several locations, and a substantial surplus of milk and butter for the Sydney market. The first successful shipment of whole milk to Sydney was made in 1886 by boat, in cans packed in ice The Jamberoo Central Dairy was established in 1888 to which milk was supplied from several isolated farms on the surrounding hills by packhorse and wagon. The lIIawarra has always been a region of small family operated farms and today more than 80 percent of the farms are owner-operated family farms. Indeed about 60 percent of the farms in the region have been operated by the same families for more than 50 years. At present the average size of holding is 127 hectares, with an average herd size of 62.