Frank Mickan and Greg O’Brien, who have more than 80 years combined experience, retired last week.
Frank Mickan, also fondly known as Mr Silage, is retiring, after being with Victorian Government at Ellinbank since 1971.
During his career, Frank has been involved in many research projects concerning dairy beef, dairy heifers, calves and bull beef.
While managing the farm at Ellinbank, he became heavily involved in silage research, moving into the role of statewide fodder conservation specialist.
Frank was involved in the development and delivery of many statewide programs including: the Soils and Fertiliser Program, TopFodder Silage, Project 3030, Adaptive Forage Planning and Feeding Pastures for Profit.
Agriculture Victoria Gippsland Regional Manager Dr Jessie Horton said during Frank’s many years with the department, he has played an integral role.
He was also awarded a Public Service Medal in the 2015 Australia Day honours.
“Frank’s work had a significant impact on the dairy industry, not just in Gippsland, but across the nation,” Dr Horton said.
Greg O’Brien has been in the dairy industry for most of his working life and this week he will retire from Agriculture Victoria, after 38 years.
During this time he has worked predominately in dairy extension and pasture and grazing animal research, whilst in his own time running a beef enterprise.
Greg’s extension career started when he led the development and delivery of the Grazing Management Program to farmers, around the Target 10 program.
Most recently, Greg has been working to help farmers better understand the impact of climate on dairy farming and to help dairy farmers manage key risks to their business.
Additionally he has had leadership roles in major Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) projects including; Extended Lactation and Project 3030.
Agriculture Victoria Gippsland Regional Manager, Dr Jessie Horton said Greg has a particular interest in spanning the R,D&E continuum from the germination of a research idea to its successful use on commercial dairy farms.
“He has had a significant role in research, development and extension leading to practice change on-farm,” she said.