ADF National Council

The Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF)’s National Council plays a crucial role providing input to ADF’s strategic direction and policy focus areas.

The National Council is responsible for developing policy for the ADF Board’s consideration and advising the Board of opportunities to improve the implementation of the ADF Strategic Plan. The National Council is a larger body that also keeps the ADF Board informed of member issues.

The National Council also oversees the Policy Advisory Groups (PAGs), providing valuable insight and support on new and emerging issues amongst the five PAG areas.

Rick Gladigau

Chair

Rick Gladigau grew up on his family’s dairy farm and was employed there as a farmhand upon leaving school. Rick has broad experience, having worked on a potato farm and as a dairy share farmer, and trained in Canada as part of an agricultural exchange program before returning to manage his family’s dairy farm.

He was a ward representative for Australian Co-operative Foods and a member of the Dairy Farmers Milk Co-operative (DFMC) Board of Directors from 2013 to 2016. Rick has been a Board Member of the South Australian Dairyfarmers’ Association (SADA) since 2007 and is currently the organisation’s treasurer. He also sits on the National Farmers’ Federation’s Trade Committee and the ADF Markets, Trade and Value Chain Policy Advisory Group.

Rick is passionate about the dairy industry, which has helped him gain experience in industry leadership, governance, and negotiation.

Paul Mumford

Victoria

After an initial stint in a bank, Paul Mumford and his wife Lisa chose a career in dairy farming. Today, their dairy farm in Won Wron consists of 330 hectares of dryland farming, running 450 jersey cows in peak operation with support from staff. Paul has a long history in the dairy industry as a Nuffield Scholar, industry mentor, committee member of DataGene Data & Services Standings, and an ADF National Councillor.

John Keely

Victoria

John Keely is a fifth-generation dairy farmer from Cohuna, Northern Victoria and an active Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) representative on the ADF National Council and Natural Resources Policy Advisory Group.

He is also the Regional Representative for DC1 (formerly District Council No.1) for the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria Policy Council.

John and his wife, Michelle manage their family run operation, alongside John’s father and son. The farm has been in the Keely Family’s name since 1874, spreading over 400 hectares of irrigated pastures and crops, and milking 340 predominantly Holstein cows in a split calving system.

Outside of farming, John’s interests include football as a passionate member of the Collingwood Football Club and a representative of his local Central Murray Football Netball League Board.

Ann Gardiner

Victoria

Ann Gardiner operates a dairyfarm in northern Victoria with her husband and son. The family milk 850 cows on 351ha in a split calving, pasture-based system.

After completing her B.Agr.Sc (hons) at University of Melbourne in 1981 Ann came to Echuca as a dairy extension officer with the Department of Agriculture in February 1982.

In May 1989 Ann went sharefarming and in July 1990 bought the first farm in Bamawm. The business has grown from 220 cows on 41 ha to the current size. There are 7 full-time employees.

Ann was a director on Murray Dairy Board, has sat on numerous steering committees, is Treasurer of the local Dairy Business Network group and has completed a Murray Darling Basin Leadership course with ARLP.

In addition to dairy interests Ann is passionate about supporting farming communities. She was treasurer of the local football club Ladies Committee for several years. She was also a member of the Lockington and District Community Plan Group for many years and has been involved with running community events during the millennial drought years to provide support for farming families. Ann has 5 children and has been on the local primary school board and has been actively involved with a variety of local sporting clubs.

Mark Billing

Victoria

Mark and his family farm in near Colac in South West Victoria.

As a 4th generation dairy farmer who feels he owes a lot to the industry, Mark is determined to give some of his time to ensure that the views of dairy farmers are represented at all levels.

He is passionate about the future of the dairy industry industry and its people. Mark believes that good governance and strong leadership is integral to securing a sound future for the dairy industry.

Bruce Knowles

Victoria

Bruce Knowles has been involved in the dairy industry on both sides of the Tasman. He was raised on a family dairy farm on New Zealand’s north island, and was heavily involved as a director of dairy companies, before moving to Australia in 1996.

Bruce currently farms 600 cows on 1,100 acres at Tyrendarra in South West Victoria.

Bruce attained a Diploma of Agriculture from Lincoln College in 1974. He is passionate about dairy structures and dairy farmer representation via strong advocacy.

Andrew Aldridge

Tasmania

Andrew Aldridge is a second-generation dairy farmer milking 500 cross bred cows at Branxholm in the picturesque North East of Tasmania, along with his wife Jenny and their 4 young boys. After leaving school Andrew spent 10 years away from Tasmania engaged in different career pathways that dairy farming offers.

Never one to sit back, Andrew has been involved off farm in post farm gate industry and community roles. He is Chair of the Ringarooma Water Users Group, TFGA Dairy councillor.

As an advocate Andrew prides himself on showing a high level of attention to detail and is regarded highly for his ability to look at issues from a practical point of view, considering everyone’s views, to ensure that all parties work towards a resolution that that is favourable to the stakeholders he represents.

As an ongoing representative, Andrew will dedicate his time to lifting the interests of the dairy industry and work with stakeholders to ensure cohesiveness, and resources are directed to the continued development of our superb industries. Andrew is committed to advancing the many and varied pathways to success for all farmers, regardless of size and status.

Geoff Cox

Tasmania

Geoff Cox has developed and managed a 1,250Ha family farming business located at Ringarooma in North East Tasmania. The business consists of a dairy enterprise running 1,600 dairy cows, a dairy/beef enterprise and a processing potato production enterprise. 

A third generation farmer, Geoff studied to obtain a degree in Agricultural Science through Melbourne University and has been a member of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Dairy Council for a number of years, becoming chair of the Dairy Council in 2019. 

John Hunt

South Australia

John Hunt arrived in South Australia from New Zealand eight years ago with his family – and a dream of dairy farm ownership.

Today, John and wife Karen are equity managers in a 600-cow dairy and co-own a neighbouring 240-cow dairy with John’s brother. The couple have recently purchased an adjoining 75-hectares, with plans to convert it to a 250-cow dairy.

John joined SADA in 2013 with a keen interest in helping facilitate the next generation of dairy farmers; protecting the farmer’s right to farm; securing profitability in the industry and establishing more transparency in industry-relevant government policy and planning.

Managing a team of full time and casual staff with his family has also built a desire for continual self-improvement and skills development. Since completing his Advanced Diploma in Agriculture, John has actively pursued industry best practice education and training as part of a strategic plan to allow him more time off-farm for industry advocacy involvement, as well as providing his team of both full time and casual staff with opportunities for career advancement.

John firmly believes that despite the occasional bump in the road, the future is bright for dairy farming in South Australia. He is committed to working with South Australia’s dairy industry and key stakeholders to achieve SADA’s mission of giving a voice to all dairy farmers and improving the viability and profitability of dairying now and into the future.

Ian Noakes

Western Australia

Ian Noakes is President of the WAFarmers Dairy Council.

Ian and his wife Helen milk 600 cows on their farm at Forest Grove, south of Margaret River, which they took over in 1988.

Four generations of the Noakes family live on the farm and Ian and Helen now share farm decision-making with their sons Brad and Steve.

Ian is passionate about the cost-effectiveness of home-grown pasture for milk production, and breeding appropriate cows for Australian conditions.

He also has a strong interest in natural resource management issues and believes dairy farmers have many opportunities to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.

Ian was previously a Director of Western Dairy. He also works part time for Genetics Australia.

Colin Thompson

New South Wales

Colin Thompson’s dairy career began on a small family farm at Narooma on the far south coast of NSW. In January 2000, due to deregulation, the family farm was sold and Colin, wife Erina and family relocated to Cowra, central west NSW. During the past 19 years they developed a 320 cow freestall dairy facility producing around 4.5 million litres of milk per year. They produce irrigated corn, lucerne and cereals to provide fodder for the dairy herd.

A member of the NSWFarmers Dairy Committee for the past 4 years Colin was recently elected Chair of the Committee.

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