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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
Simone Renyard
Chair Farmer Director

Email: click here to reveal


Simone joined the industry with her husband Nick, after meeting at university 21 years ago, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology).

Simone participates in a number of industry bodies, including Dairy Australia and Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF). Across her career, both on and off-farm, Simone has focused on people performance.

On-farm, Simone has a series of roles, from business structure decision making to young herd management, people and performance.

    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
      Jacqueline Suares
      Vice 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 Rae
        Farmer Director

        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
          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
            Jo Fife
            Farmer Director

            Email: click here to reveal


            Jo wants to be an advocate for women in dairy and to encourage more young people into the industry.

            Jo farms at Purnim West after moving from New Zealand 10 years ago. She also determined to promote a positive path for young people entering the industry.

            Jo was previously in the New Zealand navy and worked in other professions, including disability support.


              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
                Associate 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
                  Will McDonald
                  Associate 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.

                    
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