A Gippsland dairy farmer has been appointed United Dairyfarmers of Victoria president.
The UDV Mr Mumford as president, and John Keely vice president, at its policy council meeting. o
“Victorian farmers need to have a strong voice through improved and more sustainable representation. I look forward to working with the UDV Council, staff team and members to deliver a more unified and collaborative approach that achieves outcomes for farmers,” Mr Mumford said.
“We must build our communication with dairy farmers to understand their concerns; provide professional policy, support and advocacy; and engage on their behalf with decision-makers and the broader agriculture sector.
“I am ready for a new challenge and I take this role very seriously. I will be open and honest and follow due process, and at the end of the day, my core role is to fight for farmers.”
The council appointed Mr Mumford until its annual meeting, in May.
“The UDV Policy Council has appointed me until the Annual Meeting in May, at which time the members will have the opportunity to cast their vote.
Mr Muford takes over from Adam Jenkins, who stepped down, late last month.
Mr Mumford said he was looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s an interesting industry, and hopefully I can get outcomes for all dairy farmers,” Mr Mumford said.
“I want change and action; I’m not a person who sits back and allows others to speak on my behalf.
“You need to sit at the table and have your voice heard and, if I want something to be achieved, I have to put my hand up.”
The former UDV vice-president, Mr Mumford said he had no aspirations of doing anything “but delivering for dairy farmers.
“I have no political ambitions, I’m a farmer, first and foremost and I love the industry we are in.
“I want to protect it, make it grow and advance it for our children.”
Mr Mumford, and wife Lisa, have a 333hectare dryland farm, near Yarram, milking up to 450 cows.
The family had cut back its milking herd numbers back to 360, in spring, due to dry conditions.
“We have a dairy platform of 193ha; the rest is bush conservation area and outblock,” Mr Mumford said.
He said one of his main aims was to unify dairy farmers, to work for the common good.
“The big ticket item is the mandatory code and what that might look like,” he said.
“The UDV has taken a strong stance on that.
“We need to negotiate the best outcomes on anything that’s going to affect our farmers and members; we have to navigate through that.”
Mr Mumford also nominated the plight of northern Victorian farmers, hit by high feed and water prices.
“That’s starting to unravel, with a very dramatic drop in milk production in that area.”
He said he was also keen to increase UDV membership, particularly among younger producers.