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Dairy Australia chair Jeff Odgers, Gardiner Foundation chair Bruce Kefford and Dairy Australia managing director David Nation visited Gippsland this week for a series of meetings with dairy farmers.

Dairy Australia and Gardiner Foundation leaders meet with Gippsland farmers

Dairy Australia chair Jeff Odgers, Gardiner Foundation chair Bruce Kefford and Dairy Australia managing director David Nation visited Gippsland this week for a series of meetings with dairy farmers.

Discussions at the events at Neerim South, Boisdale and Won Wron, focused on seasonal conditions, ongoing issues faced by dairy farmers, effective promotion of the dairy industry with consumers and views about the future direction of the industry which will contribute to the Australian Dairy Plan.

“We were in the region to listen to farmers and hear first-hand about the most pressing issues for Gippsland dairy farms,” David Nation said.

“It is important that we get a clear picture of what farmers, processors and the broader dairy community see as top priorities to create a better future for dairy – one that is more profitable, confident and united.

“Dates and venues for the Australian Dairy Plan workshops in Gippsland will be announced soon and we encourage everyone involved in the industry to make sure their views are heard.”

The drought in East Gippsland and dry conditions which have spread into the Yarram areas and elsewhere in Gippsland, leave many farmers hoping for a timely and substantial autumn break.

“Gippsland has fared better overall than other dairy regions and Dairy Australia continues to provide support when and where it is needed to maintain the region’s strength as a dairy producer.

“Milk production in most parts of Gippsland held up well until Christmas in comparison to some other regions, although there has been a steeper reduction since then as a result of the dry conditions and rising input costs for water and feed,” he said.

“Farmers were keen to know more about what we are doing to spread the positive story behind dairy with consumers. We discussed our new Dairy Matters marketing approach, which proactively promotes the dairy industry’s commitment to health and nutrition, animal care and environment. It demonstrates our willingness as an industry to be transparent and discuss the areas that matter most to consumers. Dairy Matters will be promoted through adverts on TV, cinema, websites and social media and is underpinned by a new website which enables the public to ask questions and find out more about dairy.”

GippsDairy chair Grant Williams hosted Jeff, Bruce and David and local farmers at a dinner at Neerim South on Tuesday evening. United Dairy Farmers of Victoria president Paul Mumford also hosted a similar event on Wednesday at Won Wron.

Grant Williams said GippsDairy had been working hard to provide support for those hardest hit by the drought conditions.

“With the support of Dairy Australia, local shires, UDV/VFF, milk processors, AgVic and farm consultants, GippsDairy has been able to run a series of events that are aimed at providing practical information to help farmers through these dry conditions,” Grant said.

“GippsDairy has also organised one-to-one farm visits where we have been able to drill down into feed budgeting and financial data to help farmers make the best decisions to minimise the damage to their farm business.”

More information on the Australian Dairy Plan: https://www.dairyplan.com.au/

Media enquiries:

Danny Buttler — Communications and Engagement Officer, GippsDairy

03 5624 3900 I 0409 561 326 I danny.buttler@dairyaustralia.com.au

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