It was great to see two new dairy farmer directors being elected to the Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) board in recent weeks.
Heath Cook from NSW and Ben Bennett from Victoria both have the drive and passion to represent the needs of grass roots dairy farmers.
They understand the problems with the industry and the need for ADF to lead change that will improve the day-to-day business of dairy farmers.
Ben and Heath will bring a diversity of real-life experience and skills from outside of the dairy industry to the table.
These new views and style of representation may cause a few to raise their eyebrows, but farmers expecting to see a change at ADF won't be disappointed.
Through my experience, the most important trait for a board member is not to have all the answers, or know every statistic on the spot, or to be liked by everyone all the time.
But rather the guts to stand up for those you represent.
When you know it's in the interests of your farmer members but it's going to be a tough sell and the criticism will come straight at you, push on and do it anyway.
Ben and Heath have the strength to do just that.
I expect with a largely new board and the intense interest of farmers there will be big changes at ADF.
One of the key issues ADF must focus on is leading transformational change in industry structures.
This was the clear priority of the Dairy Plan that appears to have been put in the too hard basket by so called industry leaders.
The only change in structures that has occurred since the plan is QDO and Dairy Connect uniting to form eastAUSmilk.
EastAUSmilk looks forward to assisting ADF to lead the industry forward. We expect the transformational change in structures demanded by dairy farmers across the country can finally be delivered.
I would like to extend a thank you to all of our members who were involved in the ADF AGM either through attendance or by submitting a proxy.
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