Paul Mumford sits in as new UDV president.

THE United Dairyfarmers of Victoria’s new president has had a meteoric rise through the dairy lobby group’s ranks.

After only being appointed UDV vice-president earlier this year when a vacancy became available, Won Wron dairy farmer Paul Mumford has now found himself in the top job, albeit in an interim capacity until a formal vote is taken of the organisation’s membership next May.

Mr Mumford takes over the reins from Adam Jenkins, who recently announced he was retiring after four years in the top job.

Cohuna’s John Keely has been appointed vice-president.

The appointments were made at UDV’s policy council meeting in Melbourne last week.

Mr Mumford said he would be on a steep learning curve over the coming weeks.

“I have to engage with all sectors of the industry and am going to be extremely busy over the Christmas period,” he said.

Mr Mumford runs a 320-hectare dairy farm at Won Wron with wife Lisa and two full-time employees and one part-timer.

He said they normally ran 450 cows but cut milker numbers to 360 back in August and September due to drought.

Mr Mumford said he was typical of most dairy farmers in that his farm’s cash flow was “horrid”.

“We may turn a profit if we get an autumn rain,” he said.

“Everyone is under stress.”

Mr Mumford paid tribute to Adam Jenkins, who, he said, steered the UDV through one of its most tumultuous periods in history.

“I take my hat off to Adam for his commitment,” he said.

“He always had dairy farmers’ best interests at heart in anything he tried to achieve.

“The pressures that were put on him personally and his family were very difficult to manage with the problems of the industry during his presidency.”

Mr Mumford said Mr Jenkins was instrumental in delivering $900 million from the sale of the Port of Melbourne to agriculture, achieving farm energy grants from the State Government and played a role to help the southwest Victoria community recover after fire earlier this year.

Source: Weekly Times