After much deliberation, I would like to take this opportunity to inform you of my decision to stand down as President of the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV) in December. This decision comes with mixed emotions and was not made lightly. It is important that the organisation and its members come first and I feel this change will ensure the UDV has a fresh approach and energetic leadership required to tackle issues and represent members heading into 2019.
Having been in this role for nearly four years, I have had the tremendous opportunity to travel this great state of ours. We have such diverse dairy regions across Victoria and I am truly amazed by the skill, strength and the tenacity Victorian dairy farmers have shown through some very interesting and challenging times dealing with both seasonality and market volatility.
I am proud of what the UDV has achieved during my time as President including securing $970 million for regional Victoria through the sale of the lease of the Port of Melbourne, securing $30 million for the On- Farm Energy Grants, sensible intensive/extensive planning reforms for dairy, progressing the simplifying milk price structure work and coordinating the response and fodder drive for the St Patrick’s Day Fires.
Following the events of 2016, the UDV was key to securing more than $590 million in government assistance, initiating the three regional Dairy Industry Leadership Groups to provide direct feedback into government and lots of behind the scenes work that resulted in outcomes such as the creation of the Dairy Industry Liaison Officer role and the inclusion of NDP (National Dairy Product) suppliers in the Federal Government’s concessional loan scheme.
These past four years have presented unprecedented challenges for the entire dairy industry. I am humbled to have had the opportunity to represent Victorian dairy farmers and I was lucky enough to lead a very dedicated team of elected volunteers who take time away from their families and farms to represent the Victorian dairy industry. I thank the UDV Policy Council, members and dedicated staff for their tremendous support and all the stakeholders across the industry I have had the opportunity to work with.
The UDV Policy Council will fill the role of President as a casual vacancy at its meeting on 5 December. It is expected the UDV Policy Council will call for an election for the President in May 2019.
Adan Jenkins, UDV President, 0437 008 806
Heather Smillie, Stakeholder Policy & Advocacy Officer, 0400 874 589