Tour feeds passion for Muckatah dairy

By Rodney Woods

A Muckatah dairy farmer will travel across the ditch next month as part of the 2019 New Zealand Study Tour.

The eight-day tour provides successful applicants, including Muckatah’s Amabel Grinter, with development opportunities to engage and learn from representatives of the Federated Farmers of New Zealand.

Organised by the UDV and funded by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, the tour includes visits to farms, processing companies, research and extension facilities and networking with farmer groups.

Ms Grinter said after finishing university her passion was to better understand the dairy industry in Australia and across the globe.

‘‘Last December (2017) I graduated from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences,’’ she said.

‘‘This course gave me a great broad understanding of Australian agriculture and related sciences.

‘‘In these past 12 months I have been focusing on strengthening my understanding of the dairy industry, both nationally and globally.

‘‘My hope is that this trip is going to further my passion for dairy both on-farm and in a leadership role within the industry in the future.’’

Ms Grinter said she was hoping to find out if any issues facing farmers here were reciprocated in New Zealand.

‘‘I am really interested in animal welfare and public image,’’ she said.

‘‘I am looking forward to seeing how the dairy industry in New Zealand is working towards managing the ever increasing customer pressures in regards to animal production, environmental changes, and overall social sustainability.

‘‘With water security a prominent topic of concern within northern Victoria and NSW, particularly, I am also interested in seeing how much of a concern water is for New Zealand agriculture going forward.

‘‘Alongside this, I am curious to discuss the future direction of feeding cows in a grazing system.’’

Ms Grinter is looking forward to the opportunity in February.

‘‘I was extremely grateful to the selection panel and entire dairy industry for supporting me and giving me opportunities that will in the future help me to support the industry,’’ she said.

‘‘I still feel very humbled to know that people see me as someone who could be a strong voice in the Victorian dairy industry going forward.

‘‘I am particularly looking forward to meeting the other recipients and expanding my professional network.’’

Other successful applicants who will join the tour are:

■Danielle Walker, Panmure.

■Leica Manners, Denison.

■Majella Ryan, Grassmere.

■Rachael McGrath, Orford.

■Thomas Ryan, Birregurra.

■Thomas Stuart, Dixie.