Agricultural R&D Levies System – Have your say!

Oct 13, 2014

The Federal Government is undertaking an inquiry into the systems and structures for the agricultural research and development (R&D) levies. This includes the dairy services levy that contributes to Dairy Australia and the equivalent levies paid by farmers for other research and development corporations.

The Senate Committee is very keen to hear farmers' views about levies, including views on: turning R,D&E into results on-farm; the value of having a dairy research and development corporation; opportunities levy payers have to influence how it is spent; and in general, views on having a levy poll which many other commodities do not have.

ADF encourages all dairy farmers to make a submission to the inquiry and has developed a template letter and example writing points for farmers. Your submission letter can be as short or long as you like, and cover all points of the inquiry or just one. Although the official submission date has passed, the Senate Committee is open to receiving submissions until the end of November; however you may contact them if you require additional time.

Contact details for the Inquiry secretariat are 02 6277 3511 or Submissions can be sent to this email address. For more information, please contact the ADF office (03) 8621 4291.

For more information about the Inquiry and its terms of reference, click here.

Dairy Futures CRC 2014 Industry Mentoring Dinner

Oct 10, 2014

industry dinner Attending Dairy Futures CRC Industry Mentoring Dinner (L-R): CRC Education Officer ‘Get into Genes’, Sian Fitzpatrick, CRC Deputy Chief Scientist, Prof. Ben Cocks, ADF CEO, Natalie Collard, mentor and Portland dairy farmer, Naomi Pye. Celebrating an important milestone with 30 Dairy Futures CRC PhD students benefitting from a dairy industry mentor, this year’s Dairy Futures CRC Industry Mentoring Dinner went off with a bang.

Following an intensive two-day workshop, some of Australia’s brightest PhD bioscience candidates joined industry leaders in a celebratory dinner to thank the industry and its mentors for their ongoing support, and to congratulate the alumni on the program.

The mentoring program, which began in 2012, forms part of Dairy Futures CRC’s commitment to providing high-quality bioscience researchers to support a productive dairy industry.

Dairy Futures CRC Manager for Education and Industry Engagement, Belinda Griffiths said the mentoring program helps connect students with people in the dairy industry who can provide first-hand support for their careers.

"The impact of the mentoring program can be profound in terms of technical gains and personal development. Strong industry connections also build a strong sense of belonging that encourages students to continue to work within the dairy industry after they complete their PhD," Ms Griffiths said.

For more information on the program, contact Belinda Griffiths: or (03) 9032 7187

Queensland puts focus on ‘New Horizons’

Sep 17, 2014

China was also under discussion at the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) Conference on 16 September.

The conference theme was ‘New Horizons’ with discussion of potential opportunities and challenges for dairy. Norco Deputy Chair, Tony Wilson’s presentation, ‘Alternative Markets/Building Demand’ sparked great interest given the Norco deal to export fresh milk to China.

ADF CEO, Natalie Collard updated participants on ADF activities and reinstated ADF’s mission to improve the profitability and sustainability of dairy farmers in Australia.

Ms Collard outlined industry priorities identified at the ADF National Dairy Farmers’ Summit in March – in particular to encourage innovation investment and growth; to encourage investment and confidence in the industry; and to encourage Government to continue with trade reform that benefits dairy.

Ms Collard and ADF Senior Policy Manager, David Losberg said they enjoyed the panel discussion with Paul Roderick from Harrisville and David Kucks from Quinalow, which explored challenges and opportunities in dairy.

QDO President QDO President, Brian Tessmann addressing the conference.

Herd Improvement Strategy Finalised

Sep 03, 2014

herd-improvement The Herd Improvement Industry Strategy has been developed throughout 2014. ADF is represented on the Steering Group. In addition, the Farming Systems and Herd Improvement Policy Advisory Group (PAG) has had a significant role in reviewing and developing ADF feedback on drafts of the Strategy. ADF also requested input from state dairy farmer organisations and hosted a farmer workshop on the draft Strategy in July.

The final version of the Strategy was confirmed by the Steering Group on 29 August. It is now considered to have a clearer vision and stronger recommendations in key areas of interest to ADF. It provides an important reference document for implementing projects that will drive change.

The herd improvement industry vision is: "Dairy farmers maximise their profit through a vibrant herd improvement industry offering effective and highly valued services."

At a meeting on 11 August, the Steering Group discussed the implementation of the Strategy and a draft implementation plan was agreed in principle, with further detail to be developed. The Steering Group will next meet in late October.

The full Strategy is available from ADF or Dairy Australia.

Select Tags