The Australian dairy industry is exciting, its dynamic and it has a great story to tell. I know because my family has been dairy farming in this country for almost 200 years.
But for some reason I am yet to figure out at the top it seems to be much more important to be seen as traditional and doing the right thing rather than being seen as trailblazers.
Over the past three months I have attended the farewell of chairman of two very different research and development corporations, Not only different in the food or fibre they produce but very very very different in mindset,
Tonight it was on the top floor of a 5 star hotel in the Melbourne CBD. There were lots of speeches and platitudes and references to wives at home keeping the fires burning.
The previous function was held in farmer heartland by an industry that prides itself on being trailblazers and isn’t afraid to shout if from the rooftops.
There were some things that were the same. There were lots of speeches. Very different speeches. Speeches that shared with the audience the new direction, the innovative and pioneering research that the chairman and his team had undertaken during his tenure. Then there was the handover to the new chairman. No glass ceilings in this industry. Yes a woman and it was clear that the audience believed she had the potential to take the industry to the moon and back . What was also very noticeable was the number of young people in the room, sadly lacking in Melbourne tonight
This is why I love working with young people in agriculture, they find it exciting and they want to tell people. They want to be trailblazers and they want to be the change that agriculture must have.
Will I see this at the top in the dairy industry in my lifetime? The jury is still out on that one.
What I do know is what I did hear about the ‘farmer’s wife’ mentioned in the first part of this post was she sounded awesome I wanted to hear her story.