Have You Responded to the Regional Wellbeing Survey Yet?

Dec 09, 2015

Open until the 31 December, the 2015 Regional Wellbeing Survey forms an important piece of social research that farming organisations and government agencies draw on to understand farmers’ views and social impacts on a range of regional issues.

This year’s survey covers issues such as drought, water reform, green tape, CSG and mining, sustainable farming practices, markets, farm finance, and innovation. With more than 9000 respondents in 2014, the survey results to provide a sound statistical policy resource. 

For more information and to complete the online survey visit: http://www.regionalwellbeing.org.au


World Soil Day: Farmers, soil stewards

Dec 05, 2015

Saturday 5 December, is World Soil Day. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations kicked off World Soil Day of recognition in 2002, and we’re using the occasion to celebrate the role healthy soils play in building productive and profitable farms.

By getting the trace elements in the soil right, farmers on Australian dairy farms often find they have the potential to drive increased milk production higher.  

Regular soil testing is necessary to make informed decisions on fertiliser use and soil management and the interpretation of soil test results is key to making the most cost-effective fertiliser choice. Dairying for Tomorrow’s Fert$mart program includes a range of tools to help advisers and farmers get soil “right” and make informed, cost-effective fertiliser management decisions.

Australian Dairy Farmer’s (ADF) Natural Resources Policy Advisory Group Chair, Daryl Hoey said insufficient fertiliser negatively impacts on pasture growth. This means less pasture and means farmers have to increase supplementary feeding or reduce stocking rates. Too much fertiliser, or fertilising at the wrong time means wasted resources.

“The key is to have the balance in soil just right so that nutrients are available for optimal pasture growth and are not lost in run-off into waterways and dams,” Mr Hoey said.

Soil health can also be improved by the implementation of a well-managed effluent system. Effluent is a valuable resource for reducing fertiliser costs, increasing soil fertility, adding organic matter to soil and providing valuable nutrients and moisture to crops and pastures.

“We now have a better understanding of effluent management than ever before,” Mr Hoey said. “The industry has moved away from a waste product mentality to taking a resource utilisation approach and, as a result, not only do we have improved productivity on farm, we are leaving our soils in better condition now and for future generations.”

Australia's dairy farmers have always had a strong commitment to environmental sustainability with industry bodies such as ADF and Dairy Australia coordinating a range of industry programs to help farmers manage fertiliser use, improve soil health and minimise the impact of effluent.

The dairy industry’s sustainability framework Mr Hoey explained, underpins the whole of value chain effort to minimise the environmental footprint of dairy.

“The framework has been used to identify priority areas, goals and objectives for sustainability,” said Mr Hoey. “It sets the scene for industry programs like Fer$mart and farmer investment and practices to deliver better results for both farmers and the environment.”

“Dairy farmers have a real commitment to managing land and water responsibly, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting natural resources for future generations,” said Mr Hoey. 

“And as a bonus, many farmers are finding that, with proper soil and fertiliser management, they can produce more feed at no extra cost.”

To find out more about the role healthy soils play on Australian dairy farms take a look here.


ADF appoints incoming CEO, Benjamin Stapley

Aug 18, 2015

On 5 August 2015, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) announced the appointment of Mr Benjamin (Ben) Stapley as its incoming Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

With a strong background in member advocacy, stakeholder engagement, policy development and media management, Mr Stapley comes into the role after two years as Director of Policy and Regulation at the Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA).

Mr Stapley’s expertise in developing and executing strategic advocacy and communications activities will ensure that ADF continues to be a strong advocate for Australia’s dairy farmers. Prior engagements have included leading policy, regulatory and advocacy programs for Australia’s chemical manufacturers and importers, and for Australia’s agricultural chemical suppliers. Mr Stapley brings particular experience in government relations with extensive networks within the Government and bureaucracy central to ADF’s interests.

Previous roles with the Commonwealth Government saw Mr Stapley work closely with industry stakeholders to reform and streamline Australia’s management systems for environmentally hazardous chemicals.

“ADF is pleased to welcome Ben and I, along with my fellow Directors, National Council and staff look forward to working with him to continually improve the sustainability and profitability of farmers across all dairying regions,” ADF President, Noel Campbell said.

Mr Stapley has also attained qualifications in both Law and Architecture.

“Australia’s dairy farmers have a very bright future and I am proud to be given this opportunity to work with the ADF Board, staff and farmers to help deliver a vibrant, profitable and sustainable dairy farming sector in Australia,” said Mr Stapley.

ADF Interim CEO Dr Clive Noble, who took on the role as a short term break from his consulting business, will continue in the position until 26 August, and Mr Stapley will commence on 1 September 2015.

Mr Campbell thanked Dr Noble for his contribution and service to ADF during his time as Interim CEO and wished him every success in his future endeavours. 

Legendairy event showcase #gendairy leaders

Jul 21, 2015

Dairy’s most important asset is its people, and the 2015 Developing Dairy Leaders Program (DDLP) Alumni Masterclass is a strong testament to this. Run by Dairy Australia in partnership with Australian Dairy Farmers, the 2015 DDLP Alumni Masterclass provided nine participants the opportunity to further hone their leadership abilities.

The Masterclass focused on understanding leadership as a set of behaviours rather than a fixed position and was facilitated by life coach, Margie Warrell who has previously facilitated programs for organisations such as NASA and the United Nations.

The Masterclass attended a dinner where they were able to meet with industry representatives, and were later given the chance to listen to former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, who delivered an inspiring speech about leadership.

On the final day, Masterclass participants attended the Canberra Legendairy Breakfast with parliamentarians – the perfect networking opportunity for future leaders of dairy.

Alumni took up the challenge eagerly, engaging politicians such as the Minister for Environment, the Hon. Greg Hunt and Senator Bridget McKenzie in discussion about a range of issues - from mental health to minimising the industry’s environmental footprint - putting to use the skills acquired throughout the DDLP program.

DDLP Alumni, Victorian farmer and ADF Natural Resource PAG Member, Dianne Bowles described the experience “refreshing”.

“It was wonderful to have the opportunity to engage with policy makers such as the Federal Member for Bendigo, the Hon. Lisa Chester who are truly interested in key issues affecting the sustainable growth of Australian dairy,” Ms Bowles said.

“The whole DDLP experience has provided me with a renewed understanding of the way Government and therefore industry advocacy works. It has encouraged me more than ever to stand up and take charge – I’d encourage all in the dairy industry to do just that too.”

Addressing the Legendairy crowd ADF Director, Simone Jolliffe spoke about the importance of leadership beyond the traditional view of the buck stopping with the person at the top.

“We often think of leaders and leadership as if they are the same thing. But who the leaders are and how they lead are two different things,” Ms Jolliffe said. 

“It is vital for our industry to have leaders, who can set direction and help themselves and others do the right thing to move forward. Leadership is not about knowing all the answers. It is about creating the right environment to ask the challenging questions.”

“What follows is being able to listen. There’s no point in asking a question if you put the ear muffs on when others start to answer you.”

The Legendairy Breakfast also featured Dairy Australia Chair, Geoff Akers and Minister for Environment, the Hon. Greg Hunt as key speakers. Around 35 members of parliament and their staff attended making the most of the opportunity to meet alumni and industry leaders while enjoying a dairy infused breakfast.

ADF works in collaboration with Dairy Australia to drive the DDLP which is managed by the NCDE. The DDLP aims to develop the capability and capacity of people in the industry who are interested in becoming more actively involved in representative and leadership roles within dairy and their community. 

To find out more about ADF’s work in the People and Human Capacity Policy Area click here

 

ADF Director, Simone Jolliffe with Senator Bridget McKenzie and Federal Minister for Environment, Greg Hunt. 


Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chester MP with DDLP Alumni, Dianne Bowles at the Legendairy Breakfast. 

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