A new face for the WestVic Dairy Board

Local Colac farmer Brooke Lane joined the WestVic Dairy Board at its recent Annual General Meeting.

Three farmer positions became available following the end of Director terms held by Dan Parkinson, Bryan Dickson and Jacqui Suares - as well as the end of the Associate Director term of Lucy Collins. This year, Jacqui Suares and Lucy Collins were returned as Directors. In addition, Brooke joins the Board as a farmer Director.

Brooke and her family lease a 400-cow farm in Alvie, where they started off 50/50 share-farming in 2014. A desire to continue to develop her representation skills as well as contribute towards the dairy industry in a positive manner is Brooke’s motivation for joining the WestVic Dairy Board.

‘I hope to be able to bring a critical and analytical way of thinking to the role to achieve good decision-making processes and outcomes, as well as bring a fresh farmer perspective into the organisation. I am also very passionate about getting young people from schools or other areas into our industry for the long term so I’m hoping to contribute in this space where possible,’ says Brooke.

The AGM was attended by a number of farmers and industry stakeholders, as well as a small online audience who watched the Facebook livestream. It included a presentation of reports by the Chair, Treasurer and Executive Officer. In addition, attendees had the opportunity to hear from Camperdown local, Dr John Penry, Dairy Australia’s Manager - Technical and Innovation, who gave an excellent presentation on the topic of ‘Innovation and its importance to dairying – examples from Victoria and the Victorian era’. John gave examples of innovators from Terang and Geelong whose work has helped significantly advance the dairy industry world-wide.

‘At the WestVic AGM, the Board were pleased to be able to welcome people to the meeting, both in person and virtually,’ WestVic Dairy Board Chair Jacqui Suares says.  ‘Despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic and key staff shortages, a successful operational year was reported. We bid farewell to retiring Directors Dan Parkinson and Bryan Dixon and thank them for their contributions; and welcomed Lucy Collins (Dixie) and Brooke Lane (Alvie) as a full Board members.’

A Board meeting was held immediately after the AGM to elect Board office-bearers, which saw Jacqui (a farmer from Colac), re-elected as Chair, with Brendan Rea (a farmer from Allansford) returning in the position of Vice Chair and Rhonda Henry returning as Treasurer.

Jacqui says, ‘The Board looks forward to the implementation and delivery of new Dairy Australia initiatives in our region, together with our cornerstone programs, as we work to support dairy farmers in Western Victoria successfully achieve their aspirations.’

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