Seven generations of the Finch family have risen before dawn to milk hundreds of cows twice a day on their Illawarra farms.
But now the family are packing up their livelihood and saying goodbye to their milk production business in Albion Park.
Michael Finch sold his 260 Holstein Friesian cows to a large dairy producer in Cowra.
It was hard for him and his sister Kelly Owen to watch the cows be loaded into a trucks and driven away on Tuesday morning.
Mr Finch said milk production was no longer viable in Shellharbour because of encroaching residential development and changes in the dairy industry.
Now only three dairy producers remain in Albion Park where once there were hundreds.
"It is just time to leave," Mr Finch said. "My family have been farming since my great grandmother came to Australia.
"Both sides of our family were early pioneers."
Over the years, the family has produced milk on farms in Albion Park, Mount Marshall, Jamberoo and Lake Heights.
Mr Finch said he had one day hoped to pass the farm onto his sons.
"That's the way I would have liked it go," he said.
"The farm has been a big part of my life for 33 years.
"I started milking cows when I was seven-years-old.
"I didn't want to be be the one to make the decision to break the farming line in my family."
Mr Finch is leaving the farm, which has been in his family for 40 years, to go live and work on his parent's small property in Wagga Wagga.
As his parents are getting older, Mr Finch will grow lucerne hay and run cattle.
"I am looking forward to the change," he said. "The mixed farming will be a new challenge.
"We were originally going to relocate the farm but the industry is no longer viable and it would take too much capitol to start again.
"I no longer want to work 100 hours per week.
"I want to spend more time with my young family. We will be able to get away and I can take the kids camping."
Mrs Owen, who worked on the farm part time, will stay in the area.
"The family business has to stop somewhere," she said.
"Our dad can see how hard it is to work in the industry.
"As sad as it is, he is happy to see us get out."
Mr Finch said the encroaching development made dairy farming more intensive and no longer viable.
He said he could no longer lease the land neighbouring his property as it had been sold or earmarked for development.
"The drought has also been tough," Mr Finch said.
"It has given us a shove to leave.
"The creek has only run three times in the past three years..
"We have had to pump water from the dam which is two kilometres away. That is nearly dry."
He said the price of feed, lack of rain, stagnated price in milk and advances in technology had made him decide to leave the industry.