UDV president says change likely

By Country News

Dairy farmers who intend on staying in the industry are going to see many changes into the future, according to UDV president Paul Mumford.

Speaking at the drought summit in Mooroopna on March 19, Mr Mumford said despite the number of dairy farms decreasing due to high input costs, there was a future for the industry.

‘‘I think the industry does have a future, whether it’s horticulture or dairy, there is still a future but it won’t be what we are seeing it as now,’’ he said.

‘‘What I think we will possibly see is a change in how businesses do business and perhaps the scale (of them).

‘‘We might see bigger farms in some form. I’m not saying it will be a corporate style but I think my personal hope is that we are seeing bigger family-operated businesses and perhaps there’s an opportunity there to actually do a collective agreement — a collective co-op between four neighbours.

‘‘There’s so many opportunities, we’ve just got to find those and find the right catalysts in the system to actually achieve the best outcomes.’’

Mr Mumford was pleased to see Federal Agriculture and Water Minister David Littleproud and drought envoy Barnaby Joyce in the region.

‘‘You’ve got to say they knew this was going to happen but they still rocked up and got their balls kicked in, essentially,’’ he said.

‘‘You’ve got to at least acknowledge that they addressed the problem and they listened to what people were really saying.

‘‘What we are seeing is emotion and it’s a clear sign of stress and it’s a clear sign that something is broken.’’