An exciting leadership development opportunity awaits…

Mar 10, 2016

Looking for a way to build your leadership capabilities in preparation for further involvement with the industry, and your community? The Emerging Dairy Leaders Program (EDLP) could be the perfect opportunity for you.

The recently announced EDLP provides an outstanding opportunity for potential and current leaders across the sector to build their leadership skills and capacity to contribute to development of the Australian dairy community.

Australian Dairy Farmers and Dairy Australia have established the program to invest in the development of the industry’s people by further expanding on existing leadership programs available. 

The program will run over the course of a year, commencing April 26 and concluding April 2017 in Adelaide. The aim of the EDLP is to help emerging leaders to better understand themselves and others and therefore how to improve their communication skills and teamwork.

The program will feature a variety of learning and networking opportunities—including exposure to leaders and experts as well as challenging assignments. This provides a rich development experience with long-lasting practical outcomes for participants and the community.

Participants in the program will earn a Diploma of Agribusiness Management from the National Centre for Dairy Education/TAFESA using a variety of learning tools such as online self-paced study, webinars, peer discussion, workplace and mentor discussions. The EDLP participants will also be eligible to take part in the Developing Dairy Leaders Program afterward if interested.

All costs associated with education enrollment, travel, accommodation and meals while away from home will be covered by the program.

To apply or for further information head to the People in Dairy website or contract Program Coordinator, Karen Conrad via 0488 099 891. Applications open on Thursday 10 March 2016 and close on Monday 28 March 2016. 

 

 

New target for routine calving induction in 2016

Jan 25, 2016

Key Points 

  • National policy to phase out calving induction 
  • Improved breeding programs to lift fertility and support farmers through the policy change
  • Learning from NZ approach
  • Targeted assistance and advice to be provided to farmers impacted

Caring for cows is always a key priority for Australian dairy farmers and our industry. The industry is dedicated to providing a high standard of care for our animals, and to changing practices when in the best interests of our livestock. 

In April 2015, following a series of meetings and consultation with farmers, vets and processors the dairy industry agreed to phase-out routine calving induction nationally.

Revised Policy

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF), Dairy Australia, vets and processors have since been working on implementing the revised policy which is:

“ADF does not support routine calving induction and will work to phase it out through improved herd improvement practices, tools and technologies.”

Calving induction is already reducing in Australia and the dairy industry’s breeding programs such as InCalf and the improvement of fertility by genetic selection are making a difference.

A Steering Group, including dairy farmers, representatives from the Australian Cattle Veterinarians, Dairy Australia and the Australian Dairy Products Federation (ADPF), was established to progress the phase-out.

A data survey of veterinary practices performing inductions was undertaken in 2015. The results confirm estimates from previous farmer surveys that the number of cows induced is declining. It is estimated that in 2015 less than 1.5% of the national herd were induced (approximately 24,000 cows) however there is considerable variation between farms and regions.

The industry is now working to reduce even further the number of cows induced.

Target for 2016

After reviewing the 2015 induction data, ADFwill introduce a target for 2016 that routine calving induction will be limited to a maximum of 15% of cows within a herd unless a dispensation has been granted.

The 15% limit will apply unless a fertility management plan has been implemented or dispensation is granted for exceptional circumstances beyond a farmers control such as herd health issues, severe weather events (floods, fire), AB failure as well as other issues.

An 'Oversight and Engagement' Panel including representatives from ADF, the Australian Cattle Vets and ADPF has been formed. The panel, with support from Dairy Australia, will establish guidelines and consider requests for exemptions exceeding the 15% target set for 2016. Whilst there is no legal requirement on dairy farmers to achieve the 15% target the dairy industry is seeking to achieve industry-wide practice that is over and above the legal requirements and is confident farmers will adopt the recommended voluntary industry targets as the phase-out progresses.

Farmers will apply to the Oversight and Engagement Panel via their vet for special dispensation to carry out inductions in excess of the 15% limit for routine calving inductions.

The Steering Group will work with the Oversight and Engagement Panel to monitor progress and review the target each year in order to establish updated annual targets.

Industry Programs

Improving herd fertility is a fundamental requirement to reduce the need for routine calving induction and it also delivers many benefits for farm profitability and resilience. The industry is working closely with veterinarians and reproduction advisors to ensure advice and services are available to assist farmers with fertility management.

Industry programs such as InCalf, the Repro Right network and InCharge Workshops will be enhanced and the industry will provide targeted reproduction advice to those farmers most in need.

New Zealand

The New Zealand dairy industry has phased out routine calving induction over a period of time and has banned the practice as of 1 June 2015. The industry is liaising with counterparts in New Zealand to understand and learn from their approach; in particular the setting of annual limits with a dispensation process.

Late Calving Induction

A particular concern recognised by industry has been the use of late calving induction. ADF is aware that several veterinary practices no longer perform late calving inductions, as they provide no reproductive benefit. Late inductions (performed within 4-6 weeks of the due calving date) provide no overall reproductive benefit for the herd and should not be performed except for the welfare of the cow or her calf.

Early pregnancy testing is required by these practices to make sure late inductions are not occurring.

ADF will continue to consult with farmers, veterinarians, state organisations and other stakeholders to ensure that the timing, process and outcomes are right for animals and farmers.

*Routine calving induction is all non-therapeutic inductions

 

Tribute to Howard Lee

Dec 21, 2015

The industry bid farewell to dedicated dairy advocate, Howard Lee who sadly passed away on his way home from a meeting of NSW Farmers on the Mid North Coast in late November.

Mr Lee, who was born in Kempsey on 10 October 1939, was an inspirational man who was admired by many. A keen industry representative, Mr Lee was part of the NSW Farmers Dairy Committee for many years and held several other roles with the industry body, including on the NSW Farmers Executive Committee.

Mr Lee was a passionate community leader for Kempsey. For over five years he was a member of the Mooneba-Turners Flat Rural Bush Fire Brigade, which began with a tractor and trailer. He was also President of the Kempsey Show Committee and former director of the Kempsey Heights Bowling Club.

Colleagues at New South Wales Farmers recall Mr Lee as a gentle, smiling man and a well respected community leader. Fellow North Coast NSW Dairy Committee member and long-time friend of Mr Lee, Julie Moore described him as a real “go-getter”.

“Howard was always looking for a way to improve things for dairy farmers and to promote the good practices of dairy. He was particularly keen to see farmers get a better milk price,” Ms Moore said. “He was a passionate advocate. He will be greatly missed.”

On behalf of the dairy industry, ADF extends its deepest sympathies to Mr Lee’s wife Shirley as well as his friends and family.

NSW Dairy Committee member, Howard Lee is remembered as a "go-getter" with a gentle spirit. 

 

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


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