The challenges many dairy farmers will face as a consequence of downgraded
milk prices and ongoing market volatility are of great concern and extremely disappointing.
Many farmers are already experiencing a challenging season due to dry conditions and high water prices – these announcements add further distress.
The health and wellbeing of our farming families and their staff is our number one concern. We encourage farmers to share and seek information among your
networks. Start talking: to your bank, to your accountant, to your field services officer, to your partner, to your staff, to your neighbour.
If you are not a farmer, contact the farmers you know and ask them how they are coping.
The Australian dairy industry is working on a coordinated response for measures to help farmers make informed decisions and cope with their situation.
Discussions with Government, processors and banks are underway to ensure that the short and long term implications of the current situation are understood
Already, Dairy Australia is rolling out the Tactics for Tight Times program through its Regional Development Programs (RDPs), which helps provide clarity to farmers about settings and seasonal conditions, and supports
key decision making on farms.
Local RDPs will deliver support programs, and put farmers directly in touch with other services, including mental health organisations.
Programs include one-on-one business assessment and support; technical workshops focused on business analysis and planning, feed and water budgeting, climatic
outlook and cropping/forage strategies; and social and community support programs – including expanding the “Look over the farm gate” program.
Dairy Australia has prepared a guide for Building Emotional Resilience,
listing support resources and also some key tips to help get you through difficult periods (available here: http://www.thepeopleindairy.org.au/announcements/emotionalresiliencefactsheet).
Now is the time for farmers to focus on the things that can be controlled, take a step back, and make informed decisions based on current circumstances.
If you or your dairy business is facing challenging times, help is available from your representative bodies, your state dairy farming organisation and
Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF), as well as Dairy Australia and your local RDP.
For more information on the programs delivered by your local RDP contact the relevant individual listed here.
Please continue to look out for one-another in these tough times.
ADF will continue to provide regular updates on industry initiatives to support farmers through this difficult period.
Simone Jolliffe, ADF President