Delivering support for Gippsland beef farmers

For the last six years the East Gippsland Beef Conference has been welcomed by local beef producers as an opportunity to get together, compare notes with old friends and make new ones.

Unfortunately, the 2020 East Gippsland Beef conference, originally planned to be held in August in Bairnsdale, won’t go ahead due to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

However, despite the cancellation of this year’s conference, farmers still have an opportunity to go online and hear from a range of experts as part of an Agriculture Victoria webinar series that has been rolled out in recent months and is designed to take extension activities online.

Maximising herd fertility is the latest webinar in the series. The webinar on Wednesday 15 July will see Dr Shane Thompson from The Holbrook Veterinary Centre presenting on management practices for optimal bull management and reproductive performance with the aim of ultimately driving farm profitability.

South East Meat and Wool Program Regional Manager Lindsay Hyde said they are working to make the webinar program as flexible as possible to reach as many farmers as possible.

“So far, over 1,200 farmers have registered for them. Farmers can either view the webinar or listen to it by calling in on the day or listen to a recording of it later at a time that best suits them.

“We’re keen to get the message out to Gippsland farmers that we are still here and working hard to support them, particularly those farmers in drought and fire affected regions of Central and East Gippsland.

“The webinars are just one of the initiatives we’re providing that are designed to support farmers and the agriculture sector in Gippsland,” he said.

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) have also been delivering a webinar series on Productivity and Profitability with industry experts including Dr Alison Gunn of Herd Solutions. Dr Gunn is known to many East Gippsland farmers through her work as a coordinator of one of the Gippsland BetterBeef Network Groups and a forum facilitator at last year’s East Gippsland Beef Conference.

Agriculture Victoria is working in partnership with the MLA to coordinate the Back to Business program in Victoria, with the aim of providing tailored one-on-one business planning and technical support to red meat farmers in fire affected areas. Tailored consultations will assist farmers in assessing their current situation, working through key issues, and prioritising actions.

Beef producers can also keep in touch with the latest information, technical advice and industry announcements by subscribing to the Newsflash e-newsletter.To keep up-to-date with the webinar schedule check out the events page on the Agriculture Victoria website.

Mr Hyde said among the other services available to farmers are one-on-one phone consultations on a range of technical issues as well as general information about bushfire recovery and drought support programs.

“We’re keen to remind drought affected farmers that applications are still open for the On-Farm Drought Resilience Grant until 28 August or until funds are fully expended.”

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