Sam kicks dairy goals

Shepparton News - Country News - - FRONT PAGE - By Rod­ney Woods

For­mer AFL foot­baller and cur­rent ‘Lam­bas­sador’ Sam Kekovich was in Shep­par­ton last week to cre­ate aware­ness of the dairy in­dus­try’s cur­rent sit­u­a­tion.

Mr Kekovich is the face of a Farmer Power cam­paign that has trav­elled to Bairns­dale, War­rnam­bool, Gee­long, Bendigo, Al­bury and Shep­par­ton.

The farm lobby group’s ex­ec­u­tive chair Garry Kerr said Mr Kekovich had been ‘‘in­cred­i­ble’’.

‘‘He’s cer­tainly lifted the pro­file of what we are try­ing to achieve,’’ he said.

Mr Kerr ex­plained what the road­show was all about.

‘‘We’ve started this pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign to raise the aware­ness of the plight of our dairy farm­ers,’’ he said.

‘‘We want to treat the cause not the symp­toms.

‘‘Money has been thrown at all the char­i­ties to help dairy farm­ers.

‘‘We’d be bet­ter putting that money into stop­ping the prob­lem in the first place.’’

Mr Kerr is in favour of a manda­tory code for the in­dus­try, as re­ported in last week’s Coun­try News.

‘‘If we can get this manda­tory code of con­duct in, a manda­tory code brings about trans­parency and fair­ness in the deal­ings be­tween the pro­ces­sors and the dairy farm­ers.’’

When asked about com­ments from Fon­terra man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Rene´ De­doncker about the costs of a manda­tory code, Mr Kerr did not hold back.

‘‘You want to know why it’s costly? It’s costly on the pro­ces­sors not the dairy farm­ers, that’s why.

‘‘Once we get this eq­uity into the in­dus­try, the price of milk should, I won’t say will, in­crease and con­tracts will be fair be­tween dairy farm­ers and pro­ces­sors.’’

Mr Kekovich, a for­mer North Mel­bourne pre­mier­ship player, said his work as Lam­bas­sador went hand-in-hand with the work he was do­ing on this tour.

‘‘This is all re­lated,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re a unique com­mu­nity, we’re coun­try folk and the lamb com­mu­nity, dairy com­mu­nity — we’re all one and the same.’’

When asked about his favourite dairy prod­uct, Mr Kekovich said he en­joyed them all.

‘‘They’re all my favourites. We’re Aus­tralian mate, we all eat cheeses, we drink milk, we have cups of tea, we have ce­real in the morn­ing right across the board.

‘‘But un­less we do some­thing now we’ll be eat­ing all those im­ported foods that we don’t know where they’ve come from, what they do and that’s why it’s an im­per­a­tive that we buy Aus­tralian and we do some­thing to res­cue the dairy in­dus­try.’’

APCO ser­vice sta­tions spon­sored the event.

Drink­ing up the at­ten­tion . . . Sam Kekovich sup­ports the dairy in­dus­try by down­ing a car­ton of milk.

Join­ing in . . . APCO Shep­par­ton em­ploy­ees Holly Maddock of Kyabram and Ben Ma­her of Shep­par­ton get into the spirit of the dairy pro­mo­tion by dress­ing up.

Lob­by­ing for a fair go . . . Farmer Power ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Garry Kerr wants a bet­ter deal for dairy farm­ers.

Tasty sup­port . . . (Above) Shep­par­ton Men’s Shed mem­bers Gary Grey and Kevin Wat­son took time out to cook the bar­be­cue. Pitch­ing in . . . (Left) Sen­a­tor Der­ryn Hinch made a sur­prise ap­pear­ance at the Shep­par­ton event.

Kick­ing goals . . . Strath­mer­ton dairy farm­ers Greg and Jodi Brooks at­tended the event.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.