Enjoying the GippsDairy AGM were Fish Creek Focus Farmers Graeme, Jenny, Sharna and Shaun Cope.

Enjoying the GippsDairy AGM were Fish Creek Focus Farmers Graeme, Jenny, Sharna and Shaun Cope.

JINDIVICK farm business management consultant Dan Armstrong and Maffra veterinarian Richard Shephard were appointed to the GippsDairy board at last Thursday’s annual general meeting.
The meeting at Kardella South also saw Fish Creek dairy farmer Graeme Nicoll and Hallora dairy farmer Grant Williams reappointed as chair and Deputy Chair respectively, with Korumburra dairy farmer Sinead De Gooyer appointed as secretary.
Mr Nicoll said both of the new directors are well respected throughout Gippsland having spent decades building outstanding reputations in the dairy industry.
“Adding Dan to the board will provide opportunities to further develop farm systems management which is particularly crucial in the current economic climate.
“He will also be able to provide the expertise to develop programs aimed at building wealth within the industry,” he said.
“Richard has combined a veterinary career with his involvement with research and extension programs as well as farm consulting.
“This combination will bring a unique insight to GippsDairy and will help broaden the knowledge base available to the board.”
Mr Armstrong, who runs his own consulting business specialising in farm business management, said providing analytics for individual farmers and at an industry level would help him contribute to the development of GippsDairy programs.
“I have fairly broad experience in the research development and extension area, so I will be able to contribute in terms of project development, delivery and evaluation,” he said.
“I’ve worked in the dairy industry for about 20 years and it’s been a great industry to work in, so I thought this might be an opportunity to give something back.”
For Richard Shephard, working as a clinical vet, farm management consultant and, most recently, an industry level consultant, made the GippsDairy board the right fit at the right time.
“I’ve got some skills and abilities that I thought would be able to help farmers on the board make decisions if they were looking for other ways of looking at issues and problems,” he said.
“I’ve got a breadth of experience and I think I’m pretty good at understanding how farmers combine all their resources to make money.”
Mr Nicoll thanked the two departing directors, Iain Stewart from Stratford and Inverloch’s Edwin Vandenberg, for the time and effort they dedicated to GippsDairy.
“During his two board terms, Iain brought with him the farmer knowledge and business expertise that has made him such a valuable contributor to the local community around Maffra and Sale as well as being a respected voice in the irrigation sector,” he said.
“Edwin Vandenberg brought his skills from business to the Gippsland dairy industry. His work in helping farmers through the water shortages of 2015/16 showed both the energy and intelligence that he brought to the board over the past two years.”
The full board for the next two years consists of Chair Graeme Nicoll
(dairy farmer, Fish Creek), Deputy Chair Grant Williams (dairy farmer, Hallora), Secretary Sinead De Gooyer (dairy farmer, Korumburra), Joanne Bills (food market analyst, Fitzroy), Lauren Finger, (dairy farmer, Yannathan), Ross Anderson (dairy farmer, Denison), Brad Missen (dairy farmer, Denison), Brian Gannon (agribusiness manager, Leongatha), Richard Shephard (veterinarian, Maffra), Dan Armstrong (farm business management consultant, Jindivick), Allan Cameron (Executive Officer/Regional Manager).