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Media Release: November 2016

New chairman for Subtropical Dairy Programme

8 November 2016

After seven years, Mr Ross McInnes has stepped down as the chairman of Subtropical Dairy Programme Limited. Mr McInnes made the announcement at the Subtropical Dairy Annual General Meeting on Thursday 3 at Maleny Queensland.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my role as chair over the last seven years as Subtropical Dairy transitioned to a skills-based board” Mr McInnes said. “It has also been a time of much organisational change with Subtropical Dairy now taking a lead role in regional extension and project delivery”.

Mr Paul Roderick who farms at Harrisville, Queensland was elected as new chairman, with Mr Luke Stock, a dairy farmer from Gatton, Queensland elected as the new deputy chairman. Mr Paul Judge, a dairy farmer near Toowoomba resigned from the board, with Ms Rachael Parkes, a dairy farmer from the southern Darling Downs being appointed as an interim director.

“Several existing directors were also returned to the Subtropical Dairy board at our AGM” Mr Roderick said, “Mr Ian Hollindale, a private consultant with Parmalat Australia, Ms Katrina Sinclair, a research agronomist with NSW Department of Primary Industries and Mr Paul Weir, a dairy farmer from Lismore NSW”. “These three directors bring to our organisation 80 years’ experience in northern Australian dairy RD&E plus extensive corporate experience” Mr Roderick said.

In conjunction with its AGM, Subtropical Dairy also took the opportunity to review its future strategic direction over a two-day workshop with forty farmers and service providers participating from across Queensland and NSW.

“There were some clear messages from this workshop” Mr Roderick said, “relating to Subtropical Dairy working in the future more closely with private service providers, having more projects where farmers can learn from fellow farmers and improving individual support to help farmers integrate new approaches in their businesses”.

Subtropical Dairy is one of eight Regional Development Program (RDP) funded by Dairy Australia and the dairy service levy. Subtropical Dairy addresses regionally specific research, development and extension needs of the Queensland and northern NSW dairy industry through its linkages with dairy farmers’ and service provider’s local knowledge and skills.


Retiring Subtropical Dairy Chairman, Mr Ross McInnes (left), with new Deputy Chairman, Mr Luke Stock (middle) and new Chairman, Mr Paul Roderick (right).

July 2016: Subtropical Dairy Programme Director Positions. Now Closed


Subtropical Dairy Programme Ltd (SDP) is a company limited by guarantee and is governed by an elected skills based Board. SDP is Dairy Australia’s contracted Regional Development Program (RDP) for the northern dairy industry. SDP delivers Research, Development, Extension and Education outcomes for northern dairy farmers by leveraging funds from external sources by at least 3:1 against the core funding provided by Dairy Australia.
The Board consists of 6-9 members, the majority of which must be dairy farmers. At our Annual General Meeting to be held in early November 2016 on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, four board members (two dairy farmer directors and two non-farmer directors) who have served three years terms must stand down, in accordance with the SDP constitution. These Board members are eligible to seek re-election through the same selection process as new candidates, if they so desire.
Leading up to the AGM we are seeking nominations for these four Board positions. The Board positions are for three years and we are seeking Expressions of Interest from potential candidates to submit applications for Board positions through our selection panel process.
The key skills being sought as agreed by standing members of the Board are:

  • A good understanding of the principles and practices driving dairy farm productivity and profitability;
  • Track record in collaborating and communicating with a broad sector of the region’s dairy industry, including farmers, processors, scientists, extension staff and dairy service providers;
  • An interest in working with stakeholders to research and develop project areas that will drive the productivity and profitability of the region’s dairy farms;
  • Leadership ability;
  • A good understanding of the principles and practices of effective corporate governance. Qualifications in corporate governance will be highly regarded.

Applicants should also have a keen interest in Dairy R&D, especially as it relates to small projects within the Subtropical Dairy region and be able to commit time and effort in guiding the future direction of R,D, E and E in the northern Australian dairy region.

Other desirable criteria are:

  • Training and/or experience in communication and engagement;
  • Knowledge and/or experience in the key success factors of education and extension programmes in agriculture, with particular expertise in the VET sector;
  • Skills in business financial management with commercial experience;
  • An understanding of Natural Resource Management in the context of the northern Australian dairy industry;
  • Experience in the development and deployment of organizational strategy within not-for-profit (NFP) organisations;
  • Skills in developing public private partnerships and/or other collaborative project models suited for NFPs.

Please contact our Executive Officer, BRAD GRANZIN on or 0431 197 479 to request an application form and information pack.

Applications must be lodged with the Executive Officer by cob Friday 12th August 2016.

2016 Milk Quality Awards

2016 Milk Quality AwardsCongratulations to the winners of the 2016 Milk Quality Awards.

The Australian Milk Quality Awards recognise the lowest 5% of farms across Australia based on annual average bulk milk cell count (BMCC).

The following farms in the Subtropical Dairy Region were listed in the top 100:

The Zischke’s from Haden, DD
The Kennaugh’s from Tyalgum, FNC
The Billings’ from Dorrigo, MNC

Congratulations to all the winners

Read more about the 2016 winners

Nov 2015 : New directors join Subtropical Dairy Board

Dairy farmer delegates from as far north as Malanda in Queensland to Kempsey in New South Wales gathered in Lismore on 10 November for the Subtropical Dairy Programme Annual General Meeting.

The delegates ratified the recommendations of the Subtropical Dairy Board Selection Committee to elect Harrisville dairy farmer Paul Roderick, North Queensland veterinarian Dr. Bill Tranter and NSW dairy consultant Jo Davey as directors.

At the board meeting following the AGM, Ross McInnes was returned as Chairman while Paul Roderick was elected as Deputy Chairman.

Mr Roderick and his family operate a 250 cow dairy and brings wide experience having held a wide range of dairy industry roles over the last ten years.

Mr Roderick thanked the two retiring directors, David Binney and Jenny Easlea, for their excellent contribution to our Board over the last 12 months.

Re-elected Chairman Ross McInnes stated that the year saw us deliver 76 events to over 1,000 participants.

In conjunction with Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) through initiatives, such as our joint NRM project, we co-delivered a further 19 events to over 300 participants.” Mr McInnes added.

Subtropical Dairy Programme is one of Dairy Australia’s regional development programmes.


Nov 2015: Johne’s Disease Calf Accreditation Program (JDCAP) available in New South Wales

The Johne’s Disease Calf Accreditation Program (JDCAP), is designed to minimise the risk of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis spreading from adult cattle to replacement calves, reared within a dairy herd.

The program is currently operating in Victoria, and has been adapted for NSW with assistance by the Australian Cattle Veterinarians and dairy industry organisations. The JDCAP will be administered by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

The 3 step calf rearing plan has been available to dairy farmers in NSW. JDCAP is an enhancement of the 3 step calf rearing plan with an auditing requirement which is conducted by Johne’s Disease Market Assurance Program accredited veterinarians. Farmers need to consult with their vet and establish a set of procedures for the rearing of replacement calves, document the steps taken and monitor the program on an ongoing basis.

Farmers enrolled in the JDCAP will be able to claim 3 points in the Dairy Bovine Johne’s disease assurance score (DAS) at Part B Calf Credit Points. Previously, NSW dairy farms could only claim 1 point for 3 step calf rearing at Part B Calf Credit Points. The maximum Total Score is 7 for non CattleMAP herds.

For information on the JDCAP, see the NSW DPI web site (

The introduction of the JDCAP is supported by NSW Dairy Farmers Committee, Dairy Connect, Dairy Australia, and the Australian Veterinary Association.

Graham Bailey, Cattle Health Coordinator, NSW DPI Mob: 0400 998 232 E Mail: