Inspired by people in the dairy

By Dairy News

A PRIME driver behind the Young Dairy Network in the Murry Dairy region has moved to Dairy Australia headquarters.

Sarah Thompson has moved to Melbourne to take up a new role as program development co-ordinator in the Workforce Development area.

Ms Thompson is a familiar face from Cohuna to Cobram to Corryong. She has connected with hundreds of farmers and industry professionals across the region through her work with Murray Dairy, running field days, workshops and courses to support farmers to improve on-farm safety, staff management, business governance, career progression, transition and succession planning.

She said it was the people in the dairy industry that had made the biggest impact on her.

“I have loved the past three-and-a-half years with Murray Dairy and it really is the incredible people in this region that have made it such a great experience,” Ms Thompson said.

“I am really looking forward to taking on this new role with Dairy Australia which will allow me to further my work in the ‘people’ space through the development of national programs and then working with all the dairying regions across Australia to deliver them.”

Ms Thompson has been committed to supporting young people in the industry to develop their skills on and off the farm through her work with the Young Dairy Network and dairy discussion groups, and on the Young Farmer Ministerial Advisery Council, working with Victorian Agriculture and Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford.

Young Dairy Network chair Mark Palmer said Ms Thompson had been an exceptionally passionate co-ordinator behind the Murray Dairy Young Dairy Network.

“Many of us on the steering committee have had the pleasure of working with Sarah over the past few years,” Mr Palmer, an agronomist at Stephens Pasture Seeds, said.

“Her passion for the industry, supporting and creating opportunities for young people, and ability to see the positives in broadly challenging situations is nothing short of inspirational.”

Ms Thompson will hand on the baton to her colleagues at Murray Dairy.

Melva Tyson, who has been a part of the Murray Dairy team for almost three years, will be taking on the extension officer role in Workforce Development.

Having grown up on a farm and worked in agriculture and industry training previously, Ms Tyson said she was “looking forward to being out on-farm and working directly with farmers because it feels like coming home”.

Lisa Menhennet, currently an extension officer, will deliver the Farm Safety program, bringing experience from working in similar programs at Tatura Milk.

Harriet Bawden will become the new Young Dairy Network co-ordinator, after finishing up her work on the Accelerating Change project.

“It’s a good opportunity to connect with younger farmers in the region and make sure that Murray Dairy is addressing the needs of this particular group, which can be different from the broader industry,” Ms Bawden said.

For more information about the staff and programs at Murray Dairy, or for contact details, visit: