Celebrating and connecting with our dairying community

By Dairy News Australia

As I write this, it seems impossible to know what the outlook will be when you read it, as we currently face an increase of COVID-19 cases in Victoria.

After we had allowed ourselves to become cautiously optimistic that we had navigated the worst of this global pandemic, its resurgence is a reminder that we can’t be complacent — with our businesses as well as personally.

I wonder if we will all be wearing masks when out in public by the time this gets to you!

At WestVic Dairy we continue to work in this changed landscape.

Further resources and training programs are moving to online platforms and many of us are now well practised in videoconferencing — more than we’d like in most cases!

We know that most of the region’s farmers prefer face-to-face events, along with the social connection and time off the farm that comes with it.

The WestVic Dairy team feels the same and cannot wait to get back out on-farm with our extension activities.

In the meantime, if allowed, we will try smaller groups (four to five farmers) or individual phone/face-to-face farmer chats to meet our stakeholders’ needs.

We had delayed our Gala Dairy Awards Night in the hope of being able to run it by now, however, we’ve decided to host the Great South West Dairy Awards online this month.

With little chance of rescheduling, we have decided to hold three short winner presentations over successive weeks, with the first winner announcement on Wednesday, August 19.

One benefit of this change is the ability for a much larger audience to get involved, see the on-farm interviews with the finalists and then watch as the winners are announced.

The finalist videos will be shown on the Monday and Tuesday prior to the winners being revealed on the Wednesday; they give a great insight into the knowledge and dedication of these talented people.

The whole awards program will be available for everyone to watch on the WestVic Dairy Facebook page.

Join us for the first finalist night on Monday, August 17 followed by the rest over the next few weeks. Each night will be kept short and sharp — we appreciate people’s lives are busy and want to make this event as viewer-friendly as possible.

If you haven’t already, please like and follow WestVic Dairy on Facebook to make sure you don’t miss any of the action.

While we are unable to be out and about as much as usual, it is just so important to look out for each other, and keep in regular contact with our family, friends and neighbours.

With spring around the corner let's hope for some brighter times ahead.

Take care and be kind to yourselves in this somewhat crazy time we’re living through.

Simone Renyard

WestVic Dairy chair