Young farmers uncertain

UNCERTAINTY still surrounds the future of dairy, with many farmers saying they need more government support.

It comes after dairy farmers, industry leaders, processors and politicians all came together for the 2017 WA Farmers Dairy conference held at Abbey Beach Resort on Thursday, July 27.

Growing or shrinking for prosperity was the theme of the day, with an insightful and sometimes heated debate taking place.

Local dairy farmers Ross Woodhouse and Phil Depiazzi and representatives from Dairy Australia discussed whether growing or shrinking industry supply would provide better results and security in the long run.

A key issue for both sides was the Asian market, with the grow side stating the industry should be taking advantage of this huge market while the shrink side debated whether it was a reasonable option financially and practically.

Despite all the support felt at the meeting, young dairy farmers still say they face an uncertain future.

Tahlia McSwain, a young dairy farmer in the Busselton area, said she loved farming but was worried about the future.

“At the end of the day I can say I have worked hard to help feed the nation, which is pretty amazing.

It has been a difficult few years for the industry, there is still a lot of uncertainty around our future.

It would be great to have some more backing from the government, especially around milk prices.” Tammy Negus from Tutunup said the convention offered great networking.

“The networking is the best thing, it’s a great way to connect yourself to other farmers. Connection is really important, especially as things are difficult. We are a resilient industry though, so I think there is hope for the future.” President of the WAFarmers Dairy Council Michael Partridge acknowledged that it had been a difficult year for all in the dairy industry.

Member for Forrest Nola Marino also attended the event, where she gave an emotional thanks to all.

“It has been a difficult few year for all dairy farmers,” she said.

“I would like to thank everyone here for their continued support and strength, you are what is driving dairy forward.”

Source: Busselton Dunsborough Mail.