The effort to identify and train the next generation of leaders for the Australian dairy industry has received a major boost with a $335,000 grant under the Australian Government’s $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said sound, visionary leadership was critical to the sustainable growth of all agricultural industries including dairy.
“This is especially the case with Australia’s dairy industry,” Minister Ruston said. “This is an industry which has been impacted by many substantial changes over the years, some of them quite drastic or wrenching, and keenly felt by both producers and consumers.
“Strong effective leadership can make all the difference in managing change and ensuring sustainable industry growth. By identifying and investing in the leaders of the future we are ensuring Australia’s dairy farmers will have the advocacy skills and know-how to champion their industry's priorities.
“This is an important investment the Turnbull Government is only too happy to make for the future of the industry and the rural communities which rely on dairy.
“Given the Australian dairy industry’s long history of championing and leading policy debates, such as pursuing fairer international trade, we anticipate the impact of our investment will reach beyond dairy and benefit Australian agriculture as a whole.”
Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie said those benefits would be especially realised in her home state, Australia’s largest in terms of dairy farms and production.
“Dairy is the largest agricultural industry in Victoria, where the majority of Australia’s dairy farms are located,” Senator McKenzie said.
“It’s essential to invest in the next generation of leaders if Victoria is going to continue to lead the nation in dairy, and if the industry is to continue to contribute to jobs and the economy in our State, particularly our rural and regional communities.
“Victoria’s dairy industry is defined in many respects by dynamic and constant change. Victoria needs effective dairy industry leaders and the Australian Government recognises the importance of developing and improving local leadership skills.”
Australian Dairy Farmers Ltd will receive $335,860 to identify and train future leaders for national roles.
Dairy is Australia’s third largest rural industry, with $4.3 billion in farmgate production processed into $13.7 billion worth of factory output in 2015–16.
The industry exported $3 billion worth of dairy products in 2016–17.
The Victorian dairy industry is the largest agricultural industry in Victoria, with dairy farms spread across three regions – north, south-west and Gippsland. In 2015–16, it produced $2.6 billion of raw milk.
The Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund was announced as part of the Coalition Government's 2016 election policy for a Stronger Agricultural Sector.