THE United Dairyfarmers of Victoria will debate social licence and the dairy farm as well the hot issues of genetically modified (GM) crops and on-shore gas at this year’s UDV conference starting tomorrow.
Brian Ahmed, president of the Victorian Farmers Federation’s Egg Group will kick off the proceedings at the Dairy Farmers’ Breakfast sharing his traumatic experience of animal activist invasion and how the industry is responding.
Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford will officially open the conference before a session on accessing new technologies in dairy.
“Accessing new technologies in dairy is sure to prompt some questions with the focus firmly set on GM ryegrass and on-shore gas,” UDV president Adam Jenkins said.
Grain Producers Australia president Andrew Weidemann will provide a first-hand account of the regulations necessary to grow GM and the impacts of GM on his Victorian business and Peter Thompson, a farmer from Queensland, will share his experience of allowing onshore gas mining on his farm. Peter Stahle, of ADPF, will provide the milk processors’ view.
“This year the UDV are not shying away from the big issues. We want everything laid out on the table to provide the framework for discussion so industry can come together and decide on these important issues. We want to hear directly from our members,” Mr Jenkins said.
Resolutions also look set to generate debate. The Wannon Branch of the UDV have put forward: “That the UDV adopt as policy that non-therapeutic induction of calves should be proactively phased out over three years.”
And the West Goulburn branch are proposing: “That the UDV lobby to amend the dairy licence conditions to allow the sale of unpasteurised, natural fresh milk to be available for purchase by the general public for human consumption under regulated conditions.”
The UDV is pleased to have three leading experts to present their opinions on social licence.
Katherine Teh-White, founder and managing director of Futureye, is a leading expert on sustainable development, strategic public affairs, project approvals and organisational transformation.
Alison Penfold is the chief executive of The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC), the peak industry body representing the livestock export sector. She will present –‘The Road Forward’.
Charlie McElhone, Dairy Australia, will be able to offer unique insights into the dairy industry’s actions in this area.
Michael Pascoe, a Fairfax Financial Journalist will be presenting ‘Where the bloody-hell are we?’ with his economic perspective on the state of AG.
You can follow the conference on Twitter with the hashtag #UDV2015