Changing roles

By Country News

Murray Dairy has farewelled workforce development extension officer and Young Dairy Network co-ordinator Sarah Thompson as she moves to a new role at Dairy Australia.

After almost four years at Murray Dairy, Ms Thompson is headed to Melbourne where she will take up a new role as program development co-ordinator in the workforce development area of Dairy Australia’s head office.

Ms Thompson is a familiar face from Cohuna to Cobram to Corryong.

She has connected with hundreds of farmers and industry professionals across the region through her work with Murray Dairy — running field days, workshops and courses to support farmers to improve on-farm safety, staff management, business governance, and career progression, transition and succession planning.

Ms Thompson said it was the people in the dairy industry that had made an impact on her.

‘‘I have loved the past three-and-a-half years with Murray Dairy and it really is the incredible people in this region that have made it such a great experience,’’ she said.

‘‘I am really looking forward to taking on this new role with Dairy Australia which will allow me to further my work in the ‘people’ space through the development of national programs and then working with all the dairying regions across Australia to deliver them.’’

Ms Thompson has been committed to supporting young people in the industry to develop their skills on and off the farm through her work with the Young Dairy Network, dairy discussion groups and on the Young Farmer Ministerial Advisory Council, working with Victorian Agriculture and Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford.

Melva Tyson, who has been a part of the Murray Dairy team for almost three years, will be taking on the workforce development extension role.

Having grown up on a farm and worked in agriculture and industry training previously, Ms Tyson said she was looking forward to being out on-farm and working directly with farmers because it felt like coming home.

Lisa Menhennet, currently an extension officer, will deliver the Farm Safety program, bringing experience from working in similar programs at Tatura Milk.

Harriet Bawden will become the new Young Dairy Network co-ordinator, after finishing up her work on the Accelerating Change project.