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Farming icons retire

TWO Ellinbank farming researchers who made an impact on agriculture in Gippsland retired recently.
They were senior Ellinbank dairy extension officer Greg O’Brien and Frank Mickan, both worked with Agriculture Victoria.
Mr O’Brien spent 38 years with Agriculture Victoria, working predominately in dairy extension, and pasture and grazing animal research, whilst in his own time running a beef enterprise.
His extension career started when he led the development and delivery of the Grazing Management Program to farmers, around the Target 10 program.
He was also involved in developing and delivering the Feeding Dairy Cows and delivering Soils and Fertiliser extension programs.
Most recently, Mr O’Brien has been working to help farmers better understand the impact of climate on dairy farming and to help dairy farmers manage key risks to their business.
He also had leadership roles in major research, development and extension projects, including Extended Lactation and Project 3030.
Agriculture Victoria Gippsland regional manager, Dr Jessie Horton said, “Greg is well known for his enthusiasm for extension and ability to support and mentor others in the team. He is also highly regarded in the Gippsland dairy industry and among his peers.”
Mr Mickan, also fondly known as Mr Silage, retired after being with the Victorian Government at Ellinbank since 1971.
He was involved in many research projects concerning dairy beef, dairy heifers, calves and bull beef.
While managing the farm at Ellinbank, he became heavily involved in silage research, moving into the role of statewide fodder conservation specialist.
Becoming a leading pasture specialist, Mr Mickan was involved in the development and delivery of many statewide programs including: the Soils and Fertiliser Program, TopFodder Silage, Project 3030, Adaptive Forage Planning and Feeding Pastures for Profit.
Dr Horton said, “Frank was awarded a Public Service Medal in the 2015 Australia Day honours for outstanding public service to the primary industry sector in Victoria, through the introduction of strategies to improve dairy farming practices.
“Frank’s work had a significant impact on the dairy industry, not just in Gippsland, but across the nation.
“Frank is highly respected by farmers and service providers, industry bodies and within his professional networks, such as the Australian Fodder Industry Association.”
Dr Horton said Frank gained a significant media presence, becoming widely known for the depth of his technical knowledge.
Agriculture Victoria colleagues acknowledged the men’s service at an event last week.

Well know: Frank Mickan became a fodder conservation specialist during his extensive career at the Ellinbank research farm.

New phase: senior Ellinbank dairy extension officer Greg O’Brien has retired.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=24524

Posted by on Mar 20 2018. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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