The National Famers Federation and all sides of politics have embraced the Alpine Valleys Dairy Pathway Project as a success story that had broad benefits across other agriculture sectors.
Representatives from the AVDPP were in Canberra on Wednesday talking about the program, which has been running since 2010 in the North East.
Their message highlighted many of the same issues the new Regional Taskforce, spearheaded by Nationals Senator for NSW Fiona Nash, was established to tackle.
“Certainly the Regional Taskforce is looking into similar things,” said Dederang, Vic, dairyfarmer and delegate Scott McKillop.
“When we read the aim of the Regional Taskforce, it sounds as if it has been pulled directly from the Alpine Valleys Dairy Pathways Project – trying to engage with, and strengthening rural communities.”
The delegation was hosted by Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan.
Issues discussed included farm succession and transitions, improving agricultural education outcomes, efficient and productive use of water, access to reliable and affordable power and connectivity, and sustainable employment and investment growth.
“As a result the National Farmers Federation will now work with the AVDPP on educational programs, the Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Australia Joel Fitzgibbon has been invited to visit, and the AVDPP was able to explore funding opportunities for industry expansion,” Ms McGowan said.
The AVDPP will also meet with the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews in May to discuss agriculture education pathways.
“We need profitable farms, we need sustainable farms, that’s critical but we also need a community that understands what those businesses can deliver and how they add the vibrancy and the vitality of the rural economy,” Mr McKillop said.
“We certainly got a good reception from everybody. It was a good day and certainly worth the effort.
“We’ve created a few relationships and a few options to pursue from there.”
Ms McGowan said the delegation was a perfect example of how effective people could be in their own communities.
“I am so proud of the AVDPP and the communities who have stood behind them while they have sought a way forward for the dairy industry,” Ms McGowan said.