From the Experts

Time for dairy leaders to stand up

By Dairy News

Dairy is a dynamic industry; there is always plenty going on and 2017 will be no different.

There are two major events occurring now that will impact our industry. The first is further industry rationalisation and the second is the Murray-Darling Basin Authority water policy actions.

I won’t elaborate specifically on these, but if there was ever a time for our dairy leaders to stand up, then now is the time.

Leadership roles vary greatly within our industry and within our organisation. We have leaders within our Regional Network Groups (RNG) and Regional Extension and Education Committee (REEC), at board level and within our staff, at a regional level, at state level or nationally. The Murray Dairy region has developed its fair share of national leaders, and they all started their trade within our Regional Development Programs (RDP).

Acknowledging this, Murray Dairy will hold an information day later in the year to highlight the roles, responsibilities and pathways to becoming the next leaders for our industry. Murray Dairy has been glad to assist the Gardiner Foundation in selecting individuals, via an interview process, who have successfully gained a scholarship to attend a selection of management programs. Our Code of Conduct will also be highlighted on the day; this outlines the behavioural and leadership expectations of the board, staff, farmers or service providers who are part of or engage in activities associated with Murray Dairy.

Murray Dairy is currently working with the UDV, Victorian Government and other stakeholders to develop a regional strategy, which will be developed over the coming six months. This strategy will help to set a vision for our industry going forward and comes at an important point in time, on the back of a significantly challenging period within our industry.

The annual Murray Dairy Business Forum will be held this year on Thursday, October 19, in Shepparton. This event ties many aspects of our industry together, with the aim of something for every person involved at every level across our industry. Why not come along, see just where we are at, catch a glimpse of the future and perhaps decide on a path to try for yourself or your business.

Guest speakers include Australian Farm Institute executive director Mick Keogh; author, facilitator and businesswoman Mandy Johnson; and senior consultant Mike Stephens. Peter Davidson, a rescue paramedic with the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, will be the evening’s storyteller and will round off the forum, no doubt, with us feeling grateful that we are all somewhat landlocked.

I hope to see you there.

• Rick Cross, Murray Dairy chairman