Dairy young guns to tour NZ
TWO dairying young guns from South Gippsland will head to New Zealand early next year as part of the United Dairy Farmers of Victoria Study Tour 2013.
William Colbert from Inverloch and Sally Pate from Leongatha were two of five lucky candidates chosen to take the trip across the Tasman to learn all about our neighbour’s own dairy industry.
Leaving Melbourne in February 2013 for eight days, the tour will be conducted on the North Island of New Zealand and will include visits to dairy farms, research and processing facilities and agricultural sites to meet the framework of learning identified by the participants.
Particular areas of interest include pasture management techniques, genetics and reproduction, milk pricing, farming in a wet climate and ownership pathways.
Both William and Sally grew up on family dairy farms and took an interest in the industry from a young age.
Originally from Yarram, William said he left school to milk cows until the milk price dropped, when he decided to take up a trade.
He began a butchering apprenticeship first in Melbourne, and then in Inverloch, but decided in January this year to return to dairying.
“I prefer the lifestyle and want to one day eventually own my own farm,” he said.
“At the moment I’m a dairy worker not too far from management level and I’m always pursuing to go forward.”
Growing up in Lang Lang, Sally said she liked cows from a young age and knew when she finished her schooling she would work in the dairy industry.
“I studied a double degree in agricultural science and commerce and relief milked my whole way through university,” she said.
“That experience only cemented that I wanted to be in the industry and towards the end, I began working for Browns Fertilisers as an agronomist. I still do that today, as well as milk seven nights a week.”
Both Will and Sally said they are excited to travel to New Zealand and learn about the dairying operations of a different country where dairy farming is a major industry.
“I’m really interested in seeing whether there is a rural-city divide and whether the consumers are aware of where their products come from, and whether it’s an issue there,” Sally said.
United Dairyfarmers of Victoria president Kerry Callow said they chose five of Victoria’s best from a big field to tour New Zealand.
“The Kiwis are world leaders in dairy. They’ve got more cows than people, pumping out 17.3 billion litres of milk last year,” she said.
“It’s a great opportunity for Australia’s best to see what a powerhouse New Zealand has become and bring back some of that knowledge, drive and passion to Australia’s shores.”
Ms Callow said the chosen applicants demonstrated strong knowledge, determination to learn and share their learning with others, along with commitment to a long-term career within the dairy industry.
“They come from diverse backgrounds – on farm, industry and government, yet they all have the same goal – to learn,” she said.
“The UDV congratulates these young agricultural representatives and hopes they enjoy their opportunity to develop personal, professional and leadership capabilities.”
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