State government backs young dairy farmers
VICTORIA’S next generation of dairy farmers have been celebrated with the state government continuing its support for the industry at the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria ( UDV) Young Farmers Breakfast last month.
Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford officially opened the UDV Annual Conference with an address to Victoria’s young dairy leaders.
The state government is backing dairy farmers and rural communities following its comprehensive $ 18 million dairy support package with industry.
The dairy support package continues in 2017, with mental health support extended, a Rural Skills Connect program, financial counselling services and targeted dairy technical support and back- to- work schemes.
Ms Pulford also visited the Rochester and Kiewa plants to meet with workers and their union, suppliers and local councils.
The Young Farmers Ministerial Advisory Council recently met in March with a firm focus on practical actions and opportunities to support young farmers, building farm business management capacity and financial literacy skills for the next generation of farmers.
Practical support includes Young Farmer Scholarships, which will open for applications in mid- 2017 and be awarded to 10- 15 young farmers. Since 2015, 25 young farmers have been awarded scholarships of up to $ 10,000.
“Our young farmers are the future of agriculture, and we are getting on with giving them the support they need to increase productivity, efficiency and be the leaders of tomorrow,” said Ms Pulford.
“Victorian dairy farmers continue to shine above and beyond the rest of Australia and we know it’s thanks to the ingenuity and innovation of our young leaders in the industry and as a government, we stand right with you.
“We’ll continue to work with industry partners and dairy farmers directly to ensure timely, targeted and well- coordinated support is delivered when it’s needed.”