ADF delays president vote

ADF president Rick Gladigau.

Australia Dairy Farmers has deferred its presidential election by a week to Friday, December 1.

ADF president Rick Gladigau said the decision was made to postpone the vote for president in order to allow the VFF and UDV more time to decide whether to appoint new representatives to ADF’s National Council.

“VFF has written to ADF removing previous state representative members on ADF National Council, and we await the nomination of VFF/UDV's new representatives,” Mr Gladigau said.

“We understand VFF/UDV is going through a time of change having only just appointed a new UDV council themselves, and the ADF Board and National Council thought it appropriate to allow a few extra days to enable these UDV nominations to occur.”

He said it was a decision for the state members of ADF, in this case VFF/UDV, to nominate who represents them on ADF’s National Council.

Mr Gladigau said the nation’s peak dairy representative body continues with the business of advocating for dairy farmers as they move through the process of electing a president.

“Whether VFF/UDV as a member decide to exercise their right to appoint representatives to the National Council to vote is up to VFF/UDV,” he said.

“ADF, including its Victorian dairy farmer members that sit on board and policy advisory groups, will continue to work in the interests of Australia’s dairy farmers.”

At the ADF AGM on November 23, members voted to appoint Queensland dairy farmer Matthew Trace to the board as a business director.

Mr Trace replaced the retiring director, fellow Queensland dairy farmer Brian Tessman.

Independent director Andreas Clark was not returned, creating a casual vacancy the board will fill at a future meeting.

Mr Gladigau thanked the outgoing directors for their service to the organisation.

“We thank Andreas for his contribution to ADF over the past two years. Andreas’ independent views, business acumen and legal insights have been valuable,” he said.

“Brian Tessman leaves the organisation having made a tireless contribution, advocating on behalf of Australian dairy farmers, for several years. ADF is stronger because of Brian’s time on the board.”

Mr Trace and his wife Michelle, together with their six sons, own and operate a dairy farm at Moy Pocket, Queensland, milking 150 cows with the help of a sharefarmer.

He is also a director of Norco Foods and president of eastAUSmilk.

Mr Gladigau welcomed Mr Trace to the board and noted his long experience in dairying.

“We look forward to benefiting from Mr Trace’s knowledge and insights as we continue to represent Aussie dairy farmers.”

The ADF board now comprises: Rick Gladigau, South Australia; Ben Bennett, Victoria; Matthew Trace, Queensland; and Heath Cook, NSW. There is one vacancy.

This year’s AGM included five resolutions covering director elections, the adoption of statements and reports, and the alignment of ADF’s member regions with Regional Development Program (RDP) regions.

A resolution asking members whether ADF should consider the realignment of ADF’s dairying regions with the RDP’s production regions, received mixed support but was unsuccessful at this point in time.

Mr Gladigau said the vote on this resolution proved a useful barometer for what members were thinking at a time when ADF was undertaking an organisation review and reform process that was also intended to deliver on Commitment 1 of the Australian Dairy Plan.