Local dairy farmers, Daniel Parkinson and Brad Collins joined the WestVic Dairy Board at its recent Annual General Meeting.
Two positions became available following the retirement of Directors, Mark Billing and Jess Howe. Associate member, Jo Fife was elected to one of the Director positions with Daniel filling the second, Brad joins the Board as an Associate member.
The AGM also saw Simone Renyard, Jacqui Suares and Rhonda Henry reappointed to the positions of chair, vice chair and treasurer, respectively.
Mr Parkinson returned to his family's large-scale farm at Kirkstall five years ago after working as a civil engineer in Melbourne. The business covers 2,400 hectares and milks 2,550 cows. A desire to make a positive contribution to the dairy industry is Daniel's motivation for joining the WestVic Dairy Board.
"There are many opportunities available to young people in our industry, with multiple pathways available. The industry needs capable, skilled people and WestVic Dairy has a role to play in that - with the workshops and courses that it runs, as well as the information and resources that it provides," Mr Parkinson said.
For Mr Collins joining the Board is an opportunity to help promote the industry and challenge the often-negative narrative.
"We are in one of the best, if not the best dairying region in the country and we produce some of the best food available - we should be proud of that and promoting ourselves and our industry," Mr Collins said.
"We also need to be mindful of the increasing disconnect between us and our city consumers and ensure they know how much we care for our cows, environment and people."
After two decades of share farming and leasing, Brad took over his family farm at Dixie in February this year and is currently milking 250 cows on the 155 hectare property.
For WestVic Dairy chair, Simone Renyard, new members joining the Board provides a great opportunity to hear new ideas and brings different perspectives to the group.
"I would like to welcome Daniel and Brad to the Board. I'm sure the range of skills they bring will be a valuable asset to the WestVic Dairy team.
"As a Board we each have our own areas of expertise and experience, this diversity enables us to come together and provide the best service possible to the farmers in our region."