Young Dairy Network (YDN) profile Owen Daley from Milla Milla

Owen and Brie with their baby boy Hugo

Owen and Brie with their baby boy Hugo

Owen grew up on his parent’s dairy farm (Colin and Shelley Daley) outside of Millaa Millaa on the Atherton Tablelands and attended the local primary school.  Owen worked on the farm on the weekends and school holidays.  Owen attended Malanda High School for grades 8 and 9 and then St Josephs Nudgee College in Brisbane for grades 10 to 12. After graduating, Owen returned to the family farm to work full time.
Owen is involved with all aspects of the dairy business, milking most mornings and afternoons and is heavily involved in the artificial breeding program.  Owen and his partner Brie have recently started their own Holstein stud trading as 'Promenade Holsteins'.  Brie works in the business and is involved with milking (when required), book work and registering calves.   In 2015, a heifer that Owen bred was crowned Junior Champion at the Malanda Show, and this rates highly on his list of achievements. 

Looking forward, Owen and Brie would like to own their own farm one day and have a high quality, high producing herd of Holsteins.

YDN QUESTIONS - Our questions this month are answered by Owen Daley

Question 1: Your role in the Dairy industry? 
A dairy farmer at Millaa Millaa on the Atherton Tablelands

Question 2: The best part of being involved in the dairy industry? 

The chance to work outside with animals everyday is something that I love.  The chance to travel and work at shows around Australia, and make new friends and catch up with old ones is an important aspect.

Question 3: What three words best describe you? 

Compassionate, Determined and Proactive

Question 4: What’s your greatest achievement to date? 

The birth of our gorgeous son Hugo, 8 months ago

Question 5: Who would you rather be & why?

Mark Zuckerberg, Hugh Jackman, Albert Einstein or Jonathon Thurston? Jonathon Thurston because he is such an ambassador and role model.

This article was supplied to QDO by the Young Dairy Network (YDN) in partnership with Subtropical Dairy.
The entire YND e-news editions can be seen below. 

Dairying on the Budget


By Brian Tessmann, QDO President

Along with many other rural industries and small businesses the dairy industry cautiously welcomes the 2017 federal budget that was handed down by Treasurer Morrison.

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) acknowledges that the federal government needed to strike a balance between the necessities of rural industries alongside the important debt reduction agenda. Despite this delicate balancing act it was encouraging to see a number of worthwhile initiatives and projects get approval or extra funding.

QDO welcomes the 12 month extension of the short term asset write off equipment under $20,000 for business with under $10 million turnover, an increase from the previous $2 million turnover cap. Funding of major regional projects along with the Building Better Regions Fund and the extended eligibility for the Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme is also welcomed by QDO.

The budget also included funding for a number of very worthwhile work programmes and initiatives ranging from getting serious about the inland rail project to putting some much needed funding into fire ant control. It was however disappointing that there was no new funding for better telecommunication services in the bush.

Also lacking were any plans to address the ongoing and burdensome energy costs currently strangling Australian farmers businesses. It is a shame this debate still revolves around political games about generation fuel sources when generation remains less than a quarter of costs incurred on electricity bills.

One way QDO is directly assisting members to reduce their electricity costs is through a recent partnership with ‘Make it Cheaper’. This partnership is providing our members with access to comparison across all types of electricity and gas accounts to help identify potential savings. This will be particularly useful wherethe market is offering regional competition for energy supply. This service could allow some members to make significant savings on their energy accounts. QDO is currently disseminating information and I encourage farmers to make the most of this membership benefit. For further information on how to save on your on farm electricity bill call the QDO office.

Queensland Country Life Dood Heroes Dairy Day: Wrap up & gallery

The recent Queensland Country Life (QCL) Food Heroes Dairy Day held at the Platell’s family dairy in Tabooba was a well-attended and a constructive opportunity for the local industry and to come together and discuss challenges and positives facing the dairying in Queensland.

QDO would like to thank the Platell family for opening up their property to so many visitors and being accommodating and gracious hosts. A special thanks goes to Jim Platell for providing a tour of their operation as well as answering the many questions about their operation.

The forum held after lunch opening up a robust discussion about the viability and adequacy of how the Queensland dairy industry has been able to sustain and look after its dairy farmers.

QDO Vice President Ross McInnes opened with a candid and honest take on the current status and challenges facing the industry. He presented some challenging numbers, in particular around his concerns with the increasing squeeze being placed on farmers due to the $1 litre milk price.

Lisa Harrison from Daughters of Dairy Farmers (DDF) presented on her experience of successfully and positively using social media to engage with the public on the plight facing the dairy sector. Dairy farmer John Cochrane also presented his take on the future of the Queensland dairy industry. Lion also presented on their Dairy Pride program.

There were many in the audience who raised legitimate concerns with what they perceived to be the shortcomings of the complex and fractured relationships between the farmers, the processors and the retailers.

QDO is committed to working with all members and all stakeholders to get a better a deal for our farmers. We acknowledge the challenges facing our industry, however we are determined to work with all who share our passion for dairying to ensure a viable future. It is our firm belief that our industry only has a future if farmers band together and work together on this this united and shared goal.

Natural Disaster Recovery Grants - Category C Assistance

Category C assistance now available.

Primary producers that suffered direct damage from Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie and associated rainfall and flooding can access grants from QRAA.

What assistance is available?
An Exceptional Circumstances Grant up to a maximum of $25,000 is available to assist eligible primary producers as follows:

  • Initial grant amounts to assist you with cleaning and reinstatement costs – up to a total of $5,000; and
  • Subsequent grant amounts to assist you with additional cleaning and reinstatement costs – up to a total of $20,000

How can the assistance help you?

The assistance enables you to pay for costs associated with cleaning and reinstatement activities.Examples of eligible activities:

  • purchasing, hiring or leasing equipment or materials to; clean premises, property or equipment or to immediately resume farming activities
  • removing and disposing of debris, damaged goods, materials including injured or dead livestock
  • repairing or replacing fencing on the property
  • purchasing fodder or salvaging crops or feed for stock
  • repairing or reconditioning essential plant or equipment
  • maintaining the health of livestock or poultry
  • paying additional wages to an employee to assist with clean-up work

Grant application – HERE

Eligible Local Government Areas:

The areas activated for Category C are:

  • Whitsunday Regional Council
  • Mackay Regional Council
  • Scenic Rim Regional Council
  • Logan City Council
  • Part of Isaac Regional Council
    Activation is limited to the portion of Isaac Regional Council that is: east of the Fitzroy Development Road to the Peak Downs Highway, and north and east of a boundary consisting of the Peak Downs Highway, the Suttor Development Road; and the Collinsville Elphinstone Road
  • Part of Livingstone Regional Council
    Activation is limited to the portion of Livingstone Shire Council that is: north and west of the Apis Creek Road, the Marlborough Road, Glenprairie Road and west of the North Coast Rail Line
  • Part of Central Highlands Regional Council
    Activation is limited to the portion that is east of the Fitzroy Developmental Road and north of the Capricorn Highway
  • Part of Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council 
    Activation is limited to the portion of Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council that is: north of the Capricorn Highway
  • Part Lockyer Valley Regional Council
    Activation is limited to the southern section linking to Scenic Rim Regional Council, this incorporates areas south of the Gatton – Clifton road, the Gatton – Helidon road, the Gatton – Laidley road, and the Rosewood – Laidley road (buffer zone)
  • Part of Gold Coast City Council
    Activation is limited to the portion of Gold Coast City Council that is: within or adjacent to the Albert River Catchment These are analogous to the SA2 ABS regions of Jacobs Well – Alberton, Ormeau – Yatala, Kingsholme – Upper Coomera, Pimpama – Coomera, Pimpama – Coomera, Oxenford – Maudsland, and Nerang and that parts of Guanaba – Springbrook north from the shire boundary along the SA1 boundary and then east, bordering along the Lower Beechmont Conservation Area.

For further information contact QRAA on 1800 623 946 or use the postcode search on the home page to connect with your local QRAA manager.

If you need anything or have been affected by natural disaster but you do not reside in declared areas please contact QDO on 3236 2955.


Cyclone Debbie's $6 million impact on dairy

In late March 2017, Ex Tropical Cyclone Debbie brought major and record breaking flooding across two parts of South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

The worst affected areas for the dairy industry have been Scenic Rim Regional Council and Logan City Council. In some cases, dairy farms were totally inundated with flood water causing major impacts including animal loss, herd health issues, decrease in milk production and damage to farm infrastructure. A number of farmers were isolated by flood water and debris and are still without access to a main-power supply.

As a comparison to recent flooding events in 2011 and 2013, it is anticipated that the cost to the farming industry in South East Queensland will be in excess of $6 million. The full extent of impacts on individual farms will take some weeks to accurately assess, particularly given the time required to review what can be salvaged.

According to initial assessments by QDO, more than 50 farms in the Scenic Rim have been adversely affected, 16 of which have suffered major to severe impacts. Additionally, five farms in Logan City and two farms on the Gold Coast have been affected by the disaster. There are a number of farms along the Condamine and Mulgowie region that have also been affected.

These figures have been extrapolated from impact survey results as recent as Monday 10 April and account for 60% of dairy farms in flood affected regions.

So far major damages assessed have included: more than $300,000 in losses to equipment including pumps, tractors, irrigation equipment; more than 200 hectares and 400 hectares of pasture lost; 121 km of fencing destroyed; more than 10 km of internal laneways damaged; more than 400 round bales hay lost; and the loss of 11 animals.

QDO will continue to touch base with farmers in Central Queensland that were impacted to assess the damage and advocate for any additional support as determined following assessment.

Mixed Fortunes from Debbie

By Ross McInnes, QDO Vice-President

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When Tropical Cyclone Debbie crossed the North Queensland coast two weeks ago, it looked almost as through the major dairy regions had dodged a bullet. However, as the system moved inland the true impact of Cyclone Debbie, both positive and negative, become apparent. Many dairy farmers on the Darling Downs welcomed much needed rain while others in the South East corner were inundated by localised flooding events that resulted from the record rainfall.

Major flooding occurred in many catchments in SEQ and Northern New South Wales with the Logan, Tweed and Richmond river systems measuring record flood heights. This resulted in utter devastation for many of our members. Over 30 farms were severely impacted in Scenic Rim and Logan City with most of the damage to crops and fencing.

One of the things that Dairy does very well is pull together in traumatic times. A team effort across the industry organisations of Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation, Subtropical Dairy, milk processing companies, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Dairy Australia helps to ensure the immediate welfare of all farmers is addressed and crucial information regarding damage and impact is assessed. This information is extremely important to build a case for disaster relief that agriculture can apply for.

Queensland farms impacted by Tropical Cyclone Debbie represent some $45 million in GVP. QDO welcomes the announcement by the government to initially activating Category B assistance.  The industry will continue to assess the impact of recent events in order to activate Category C assistance.

The immediate damage bill looks to be in excess of $4 million on the dairy industry. It will be a tough road ahead with many lingering production impacts and feed gaps resulting from the floods.

QDO is working closely with the Scenic Rim Regional Council and local State member for Beaudesert Jon Krause to get assistance through organisations such as BlazeAid to help with the restoration and recovery works across farms.

You are not going through this alone, QDO is here and available to help Queensland dairy farmers, just like it has in the past.

Canberra Wash Up

By Brian Tessmann, QDO President

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation’s (QDO) visit to Canberra last week not only provided our national representatives with a better understanding of the issues affecting our domestic dairy industry, it also gave QDO some fresh insights into the rationale behind current policy positions.

Some positive news from our visit was that the ‘effects test’ Bill passed the House of Representatives. The challenge now is getting the laws through the Senate.

During our visit to Parliament House a number of members or advisors challenged us on our views on how to fix the domestic dairy industry. The one thing however that everyone agreed upon was there was something fundamentally wrong with the domestic dairy market and it is wasn’t the dairy farmers.

Labor appears to have locked itself into opposing the ‘effects test’, however most others across the political spectrum support the much needed change. What we were told by Labor and many others was that the ‘effects test’ was no silver bullet and that more needs to be done. QDO agreed in principle, but remains resolute in getting the ‘effects test’ passed as an important piece of an industry remedy.

Many politicians were keen to zero in on the relationship between farmers and processors and I believe this is key to the current ACCC inquiry into the industry. It was also interesting that one Coalition member said, while the ‘I buy branded milk’ campaign was good, they felt we should have a brand or logo on bottles to indicate that buying this bottle was positive for farmers. I informed them that is was exactly part of what the proposed Fair Milk Logo here in Queensland was designed to do.

While there was considerable debate in our discussions I would like thank those members who have long supported both the ‘effects test’ and other measures to repair the domestic dairy industry. QDO will continue to advocate for a fairer system on behalf of our dairy farmer members at both a state and federal level.

QDO off to Canberra & QDO Council Report

Eric Danzi, QDO Executive Officer

Eric Danzi, QDO Executive Officer

This QDO council met a few weeks ago to discuss and progress a number of important issues for Queensland dairy farmers. This meeting was used to frame QDO’s position as it heads to Canberra next week to lobby parliamentarians on key issues affecting the Queensland dairy industry. Issues discussed included the federal senate inquiry, the ‘Effects Test’ and the ACCC investigation. Other issues discussed at council included the Fair Milk Logo Bill, the QDO government relations plan,  ticks and membership of Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF).

The national senate inquiry, ACCC review and ‘Effects Test’ were discussed at length by the QDO council. It was noted that the effects test had been recommended by the senate committee and could go into the house at any time during sitting weeks over the coming months. The ACCC is still holding regional meetings across Australia after the first meeting was held in Toowoomba with over 100 Queensland farmers in attendance.

Mike Smith and Stephen Robertson from Ethical Consulting, a specialist government relations company, have prepared a detailed government relations plan for QDO. The plan is very comprehensive and professional, targets both state and federal members and focuses on the key issues facing QDO including the Fair Milk Logo Bill and three federal inquiries/bills already mentioned. The key issues facing QDO will be comprehensively lobbied to key government stakeholders under the plan. Implementing this plan will start in earnest next week when the QDO President, QDO Executive Officer and Stephen Robertson travel to Canberra to meet with over 10 key people from all sides of politics.

As QDO is a member of ADF, Terry Richardson, acting ADF president, attended council to discuss where the organisation was heading under his leadership. Terry spoke of his plan to move ADF forward by working closer with QDO in the future. The QDO council members appreciated Terry attending the meeting and giving councilors an insight the future of ADF and the industry at a national level. It was clear to all QDO councillors that there is great value for QDO working closely with ADF and Terry.

QDO councillor from North Queensland James Geraghty has nominated for the vacancy on the ADF board. All QDO councillors support James and it would be of great value to all dairy farmers in Queensland if James was successful in his quest to be on the ADF board.

QDO President Brian Tessmann briefed the council on recent activities relating to the Fair Milk Logo Bill including the meeting of the agriculture parliamentary committee in February. The bill is likely to be debated in Parliament in the coming months. QDO has been very active in supporting the Fair Milk Logo Bill and expect that all sides of politics will support Queensland dairy farmers by passing this bill.

Malcolm Macleod attended the council meeting and gave a very comprehensive briefing on issues related to the new tick line and management for ticks. It was clear that a lot had changed with regards to tick management and that QDO members would benefit from an update re ticks from QDAF. QDO has obtained a list of accredited certifiers for ticks in Queensland which is available HERE. We have also developed an information paper on the issue of ticks. This will be sent around in next edition of the Weekly Update.

QDO will be inviting QDAF staff with expertise in tick management to attend future QDO member meetings to discuss with members the latest in tick management.

Dairy farmers and processors need to work with not against each other

By Brian Tessmann, QDO President

The Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO), alongside the entire dairy industry, were surprised and disappointed with Parmalat Australia’s unprecedented attack on Queensland’s dairy farmers by labelling the farm sector “unwilling to make itself competitive”.

Unfortunately, the cost of milk production rises the closer you are to the equator. The warmer climate, lower quality tropical pastures and fodder all contribute to an overall higher cost of milk production. In addition, processors in Queensland require constant year round milk production to ensure shelves can be stocked 365 days per year.

The lower production costs in southern Australia stem from the cooler climate and the seasonal spring production system that relies on the availability of temperate pasture. Queensland farmers are currently involved in the same dairying improvement programmes including those made with animal genetics.

Since 2011, times have been tough for both processors and farmers’ alike. Both farmers and processors have shared in the pain caused by the introduction of $1 per litre milk. At that time Parmalat was forcedto implement a 3 cents per litre drop on the price it paid its suppliers.

QDO is committed to seeing all milk sold in Australia sold for a sustainable price that equally benefits both farmers and processors and ensures a fair rate of return for the industry as a whole.

It is indeed strange that the Fair Milk Logo bill would evoke such concern from Parmalat. The logo wouldexist solely as a voluntary consumer information tool, not in any way resembling a compulsory ‘quasi regulatory’ system. The Fair Milk Logo simply empowers consumers to identify and hopefully support local fresh milk products or processors that pay a sustainable price to Queensland dairy farms. QDO continues to work with Parmalat and all processors to improve the sustainability of Queensland milk production to ensure all sectors of the supply chain improve the viability and longevity of the state’s dairy industry. The Fair Milk Logo simply builds upon this this commitment and will in the long term deliver for consumers, retailers, processor and farmers.