New Dairy Australia chair appointed

By Jamie Salter

Board director James Mann has been appointed as the new chair of Dairy Australia, following Jeff Odgers’ decision to step down early from the role.

Mr Mann was elected to the position at a board meeting on July 30 and takes on the role immediately.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be chair at a very important time for the industry and excited to drive forward the strategy we’ve developed that is focused on the profit and sustainability of dairy farmers and the dairy industry,” Mr Mann said.

He has served as acting chair since the end of March, when Mr Odgers took a temporary leave of absence following the death of his son.

Mr Mann has been involved in the Australian dairy industry for more than 30 years and was appointed to the Dairy Australia board in November 2015.

He is a dairy farmer in South Australia and previously served as DairySA Regional Development Program chair from 2002 to 2015.

Mr Odgers will remain a Dairy Australia board director and will continue to represent it alongside Mr Mann in the Organisational Reform Steering Committee — established as part of the Australian Dairy Plan to develop a new structure for dairy industry representation.

Mr Odgers was first appointed to the Dairy Australia board in 2013, elected chair in 2017 and re-elected to the three-year position last year.

Mr Mann said Mr Odgers had made a significant contribution as the Dairy Australia chair and thanked him for his commitment.

“He led the appointment process for a new managing director early in his term as chair and has been a passionate advocate of research, culminating in the development of the DairyFeedbase initiative,” Mr Mann said.

“He has also taken an important role leading the development of the Australian Dairy Plan as well as the new strategy at Dairy Australia.”

Mr Odgers thanked the dairy community for their support during his time as Dairy Australia's chair.

“I would particularly like to acknowledge the many people from across the whole industry who have reached out to the family in recent months, it is greatly appreciated,” he said.