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WestVic Dairy Board



WestVic Dairy is run by a Board of Directors, made up of six farmers and two industry service providers who meet eight times per year.

The role of the Board is to ensure that levies collected from the region's dairy farmers are directed to regionally relevant research, development and extension. It then makes the results of this research easily accessible to local dairy farmers with the intent to increase profitability and sustainability of the western Victorian dairy industry.

WestVic Dairy
Jacqueline Suares
Chair Farmer Director

Email: click here to reveal


Jacqui farms at Larpent with her husband Ross, where they milk 170 registered Holstein cows year-round on 130 hectares.  Jacqui and Ross also support the extended family’s beef operation at Hordern Vale on the Great Ocean Road. Jacqui is actively involved in all aspects of the day-to-day management of the farm but has particular interest in all herd improvement aspects and young stock management.

 

Jacqui’s professional background as the CEO of a for-purpose organisation providing services to people with a disability engendered a focus on continuous quality improvement and a commitment to lifelong learning and evidence-based practice. She passionately believes all dairy farmers, regardless of stage and size of their businesses, should have ready access to beneficial research outcomes; practical, timely information; and the very best in farm extension services.

    WestVic Dairy
    Brendan Rea
    Vice Chair

    Email: click here to reveal


    Brendan has been farming on a multi-generational family farm in the Allansford area for the past 40 years. He is confident about the future of the industry but says it is not without challenges.

    Brendan believes communication at a local level is vital to the industry’s success.

    He wants to ensure a good delivery of the knowledge and advice that Dairy Australia generates through their research funded by levies.

      WestVic Dairy
      Daniel Parkinson
      Farmer Director

      Email: click here to reveal


      After years working as a civil engineer on high rise building sites in Melbourne, Daniel returned to the family dairy business five years ago. The Parkinson family farm is located at Kirkstall and covers 2,400 hectares with 2,550 cows being milked through three dairies.

      Daniel believes there are many opportunities available to young people in the industry, with multiple pathways available. He believes 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.

        WestVic Dairy
        Brad Collins
        Farmer Director

        Email: click here to reveal


        Brad and wife Tammy run their family farm on 155ha at Dixie, south of Terang.

        For Brad, joining the Board is an opportunity to help promote the industry and challenge the often negative narrative.

        He says dairy farmers produce some of the best food available, which the industry should be proud of and promote itself for.

          WestVic Dairy
          Bryan Dickson
          Farmer Director

          Email: click here to reveal


          Born to a dairy farming family in Bacchus Marsh, Bryan moved to Terang in 1989 after his parents purchased a 215ha property there. 

          He and his family now own 485ha and lease 220ha on their dairy area, composed of 900 registered Holstein cows. The Terang farm is made up of 100% perennial pasture and around 60 ha of irrigated summer crop. They conduct genomic testing on all calves. 

          In 2007, Bryan was on the Board of Genetics Australia for 3 years. He also held a position on the Board of DemoDAIRY for 7 years, including 3 years as Chair. He worked closely with WestVic Dairy and Dairy Australia in these positions.
            WestVic Dairy
            Mike Huth
            Non-Farmer Director

            Email: click here to reveal


            Mike grew up on a dairy farm in Queensland and now works at Reid Stockfeeds as South West Manager - Ruminants. He has worked in the AI industry for 22 years after studying agribusiness at the University of Queensland.

            Mike believes the dairy industry is at a turning point and he is keen to be part of its reinvigoration.

            He wants to collaboratively support farmers and those in the broader industry to improve their productivity and profitability.

             
              WestVic Dairy
              Rhonda Henry
              Non-Farmer Director

              Email: click here to reveal


              Rhonda is an agribusiness banker, who has worked in banking for 48 years, the last 15 of which have focused on dairying. She has a wealth of experience in the banking and agricultural sector.  45 years of her career was with CBA and the last 3 have been with Westpac. Rhonda also has strong Board experience as Deputy Chair of Leadership Great South Coast and recently joined Food and Fibre Great South Coast as the treasurer there also.

              Based in Warrnambool for all her working life, Rhonda is passionate about the region and its farmers.  Agriculture is critically important to the advancement of our region’s prosperity.

              One of the main reasons Rhonda joined the WestVic Dairy Board was to give back to the industry and help in creating a sustainable and profitable dairy industry for western Victoria. With a clear set of relevant and strategic priorities she looks forward to contributing to this work as part of her role with WestVic Dairy.

                WestVic Dairy
                Will McDonald
                Director

                Will is a Bessiebelle dairy farmer milking approximately 500 cows on 454ha in partnership with his wife and parents-in-law.

                Will was drawn to a position on the WestVic Dairy Board because he has a keen interest in helping to guide and promote extension activities in the region. He experienced first-hand the positive results of the ongoing access to resources, training and industry events he participated in, which helped with the successful development of his own farming career, having come from a grazing sector background.

                He believes attracting and supporting good people into the industry is vitally important and is looking forward to contributing to this in his position on the board.

                  WestVic Dairy
                  Lucy Collins
                  Associate Director

                  Email: click here to reveal


                  Originally from South Gippsland, Lucy worked for a neighbouring dairy farm for most of her teenage years. She is currently involved on-farm in a partnership with her fiancé Matt Glennen and his family in Dixie. 

                  In addition, she currently maintains off-farm employment as a dairy vet and consultant in western Victoria while supporting their farm business at both an operational and strategic level.  

                  She holds qualifications in both agricultural and veterinary sciences, and she is completing a master's degree with the University of Melbourne, investigating welfare opportunities in the Australian dairy industry. She is also a 2021 Nuffield Scholar supported by The Gardiner Foundation.

                    
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