Shaping our industry’s future

By Dairy News

WINTER HAS certainly arrived and I’m getting closer to the end of calving for another season. I love seeing green grass everywhere and hope that means money in the bank for all of us!

The autumn has seen plenty happening that will help to shape our industry going forward.

Some of you managed to get along to the Australian Dairy Plan meetings, if you couldn’t be there in person, I hope you had your say online. It is almost too easy to be negative about these things, but I get a real feel that the feedback will be listened to and that our industry is at a crossroads of serious change.

The board at WestVic has been working hard on the Annual Plan to make sure we can deliver what is needed and asked for by you — the farmer or service provider. We spend a lot of time listening and trying to match our programs and extension to the needs of the south west.

We also recognise the need for some social events as well as our bread and butter extension activities. Early this month saw our first Dairy NiteMoooves evening which was a great, relaxed, fun night. We hope that everyone who came along really enjoyed themselves.

The next social event on our calendar is the much-loved ladies’ luncheon which takes place on August 14.

The ladies’ luncheon is a great opportunity for all of the women involved in our great industry to get together and have a fantastic day of entertainment, shopping and lovely food. As you would expect we have a terrific line-up of guest speakers, with Gorgi Coghlan our keynote speaker this year.

As always WestVic continues to offer a range of extension activities covering a variety of topics — as well as being available to assist you with any queries you may have, and we are very happy to welcome Debbie Twiss to our close-knit team.

Debbie has been a qualified vet for many years and has just started in her new role as our animal health and performance extension officer.

It is a fantastic win for us and the region’s farmers to again have a qualified vet working in this position; the depth of technical knowledge that Debbie brings to the position is extremely valuable and we wish her all the best in her new role.

We are currently on the lookout for new farm businesses to take part in the flagship Focus Farm project. This is due to the conclusion of two of the previous programs late last year.

I would personally like to thank Ben and Anna Kenna, and Brett and Bronwyn Davis for their participation. Their commitment to the industry and willingness to share their experiences with their peers has been a great learning opportunity for us all.

If you would like to know more about what is involved in taking part please contact the office, alternatively if you know of someone that you believe would make an interesting Focus Farmer please encourage them to apply.

I need to get back out on-farm, I just grabbed a few minutes to let you know what’s currently happening at WestVic. Though is it wrong to dream of sitting by the fire when it’s raining sideways outside?

· Simone Renyard

WestVic Dairy chair