HARRISVILLE, Qld, dairy farmer Paul Roderick says strong regional input is vital to the future success of the dairy industry.
Mr Roderick is standing for the board of Dairy Australia, saying it was critical that northern Australia was properly represented given the major differences in production systems compared to the south.
Mr Roderick operates Roderick Dairy on the Harrisville property Tredegar south of Ipswich with his wife Linda and parents David and Gwen.
The farm, which supplies Parmalat, is notable for its investment in a range of new technologies to further improve the efficiency of the 350 cow operation.
Mr Roderick, who is also the chair of Subtropical Dairy, said he had seen the relationship between the research development corporations and Dairy Australia improve over the years.
«Part of my interest in becoming a director of Dairy Australia is to continue to ensure there is a mechanism for the regions’ priorities and differences to be recognised,» Mr Roderick said.
«It’s also about making sure Dairy Australia continues to provide services to all the regions that meet their individual needs.
«I now ask for the support of farmers before or at the Dairy Australia AGM on November 27.»
Queensland has not had a director on Dairy Australia since Pat Rowley chaired the inaugural board from 2000.
Mr Roderick said the Australian Dairy Plan and the new Dairy Australia Strategic Plan have provided priorities for future investment, but each region will have priorities among these that will need more focus and investment. «Whatever the industry structure ends up looking like, the regional input has never been more important,» he said.
«There are many challenges for our businesses to grow, invest and be profitable.
«Dairy Australia, through our levy investment is a key partner in all our businesses and like our businesses, it needs to continually review, innovate and be world class if our industry is to be competitive, domestically or internationally.»
Mr Roderick, said while it was Dairy Australia’s charter to push the boundaries of science, it was now more important than ever that the innovation and knowledge tailored to Australia’s many diverse farming systems was integrated onto farms.
«As a younger farmer, I will focus on the pathways for new entrants and investors, and models to build a dairy career,» Mr Roderick said.
«While the Australian Dairy Plan will provide a strong strategic platform for many initiatives going forward, new collaboration is a great opportunity.
As a younger farmer, I will focus on the pathways for new entrants and investors, and models to build a dairy career.
– Paul Roderick
«We need to drive improved market access and conditions, and further partnering with other research development corporations.»
Greater trust and transparency of Dairy Australia was essential, as was improved value to the Australian dairy farm sector, that reflected the contribution it made, he said.
Mr Roderick is no stranger to off-farm representative roles. He is chair of Subtropical Dairy; a Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation district councillor; chaired the Young Dairy Network Queensland; and on the Australian Dairy Conference Board.
«We need to look to ourselves as the whole Australian dairy industry to solve our problems, not to government,» he said.
«We need to take solutions to government with one voice, not problems with many voices.
«This will happen with a strong national body with effective regions to bring the local priorities through.
«I believe I can add a balanced perspective as a director of Dairy Australia from outside the major dairying states.»