Alice spots us from across the sodden paddock. Her back is to us, but she's somehow sensed she's being talked about and sneaks a peek, before turning away again, faintly aloof. Alice has got a good personality but she can be a bit sassy now and then and she's moving away from us pretty quickly now, not keen for a chat today. But still, she's definitely Simone Jolliffe's favourite cow. Alice will come in and out of the milking shed quickly, efficiently, with no hassle, and will normally stop for a scratch and yarn afterwards. And when you've known a cow for 11 years, like Simone knows Alice, you can't help but form a bond. READ MORE: Plans for growth at Wagga Wagga operation Simone's husband Neil, on the other hand, doesn't play favourites. He has a few cows he likes best, or a few cows with long family histories on the farm - much like himself - but they both know most of their cows by name. That's around 580 cattle, 290 which are milking cows. The Jolliffes' close affinity with their cattle is in the blood. It's said that Neil's father could differentiate every cow on the farm by its udders and could even tell which were related. The Jolliffes say that you can't make good milk without that "care factor". "We have to look after them, so we do get to understand their personalities and their good traits and their bad traits, just like humans," said Mrs Jolliffe. The Jolliffes are one of 20 Riverina farmers - six of whom are left around Wagga - who help Riverina Fresh pump out tens of millions of litres of milk each year. The local dairy company is making big waves nationally in its centenary year, winning a slew of industry awards. Gold medals at the 2022 Dairy Industry Association (DIAA) NSW awards were followed by gold medals at the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW 2022 Sydney Royal Awards, and Best-rated fresh milk brand for the second year running at the Finder awards. READ MORE: Dairy Australia appoints new board directors at 2021 AGM on November 23 And for the Jolliffes, the awards are the result of the care that goes into the milk and the fruits of having a truly local product that's integral to the region. "When they win the awards, for the company they're very proud, but from a farmer point of view, it's like going 'yeah I am doing a good job and I'm appreciated'," Mr Jolliffe said. The Jolliffes have had a relationship with Riverina Fresh since the 70s, and Neil and Simone see that as a responsibility, as well as a business decision. "If we don't supply [Riverina Fresh] and they can't get the milk and they can't stay in business here there's a huge flow effect," Mr Jolliffe said. "There are four or five tanker drivers, there's 80-odd people working in the factory, your milk vendors, your truck drivers, there's a lot of people employed in that business." "You've got to think we're part of a community." The accolades justify that decision and Mrs Jolliffe believes the increasing popularity of Riverina milk is part of a generational shift. Especially in the ever burgeoning coffee industry, where Riverina Fresh is now the Barista's milk of choice. "There's a generation of people now who actually care where their food comes from, that's not just milk," Mrs Jolliffe said. "I think there's a real return to ... this connection back to food and back to knowing where it comes from and buying local and buying brands like Riverina Fresh, it's this generation's way of starting to connect back like previous generations." In the end, that always comes back to Alice, their "poster girl" and the 579 other cows on their farm. "They're family," said Mr Jolliffe. "We've seen them all the way from calves, to milking them, they spend a lifetime with you. "There are cows that see their days out well and truly here, they don't owe me anything, we can find a paddock to see their days out." "There are a lot of milks out there, we definitely punch above our weight." Want to read more stories like this? Sign up below to receive our e-newsletter delivered fresh to your email in-box twice a week.