Smart farmers, who are good at what they’re doing, is the only way the dairy industry will survive in the Murray region.
That’s what Tom Acocks thinks.
The Rochester farmer was recently appointed as a farmer representative to the board of Murray Dairy, the local branch of national services body Dairy Australia.
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After nine years farming in his family business at Riverdale, Mr Acocks was keen to step onto a board that addressed issues within the region specifically.
He said regional representation was important to make sure programs the board rolled out were the best fit for farmers in the Murray Dairy region.
Looking to the future, Mr Acocks said he sees water supply as one of the most critical issue farmers will face.
“We really need to look at making all the dairy farmers in the region more resilient to fluctuations within the temporary water market and changing climates,” he said.
Education and upskilling were also critical to the future of the dairy industry in northern Victoria, Mr Acocks said.
He said he would like to see dairy businesses grow, and for this each business needed solid foundation.
“Overall I’d like to see the dairy industry within our region grow, but that’s not going to happen unless we have really good fundamentals behind each business,” he said.
“There is challenging times ahead for the dairy industry within the region. We’re facing another year of improved prices, but our cost base is going up.
“I think it’s important that we do everything we can to upskill farmers to remain viable within the region.”