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About YDN

The Young Dairy Network

The Young Dairy Network (YDN) provides a link for farmers with similar interests, in an environment where they can share ideas and experiences. Membership typically is made up of young innovative farmers who are adopters of change and seekers of information.

It is an organisation that is managed by Subtropical Dairy Program Limited and overseen by a strategic steering committee. It is non-political and a not for profit organisation.

The key principals of the YDN are to provide professional development and training and opportunities for networking and social interaction for young dairy farmers, in order to build community capacity within and across farming communities. This is achieved through a ‘ground up’ approach to operations which ensure that training is delivered in a timely manner and is relevant to the current and individual needs of each group within the Network.

The Northern Dairy Industry covers a large area from Kempsey in New South Wales to the Atherton Tableland in Queensland.

The Young Dairy Network has three aims:

1. To provide encouragement, support and opportunities for young farmers to develop the technical knowledge and skills they require to make informed decisions in their business; build the communication and leadership skills they require to fulfil key roles in the dairy industry and community; and communicate and build relationships with key industry, agribusiness and government contacts that can assist them to develop their businesses.

2. To create a supportive network environment where young farmers can act autonomously; share challenges and successes; inspire one another to grow and develop their businesses; and boost morale through challenging periods.

3. To improve the sustainability of the Northern Dairy Industry and the communities this industry supports through developing future leaders to fulfil key roles in the dairy industry and community; building the critical mass of dairy farmers the industry requires to continue functioning effectively; raising the profile of the dairy industry to other industries, all levels of government, communities and consumers; and sharing available resources across the whole Northern Dairy Industry Region.

YDN Advisory Committee

The Project Advisory Committee oversees the operation of the program. The Committee is currently made up of the following:

SDP Executive Officer

Project Supervisor

Chair and Sth East Queensland YDN Rep

Vice-chair and NSW Far North Coast YDN Rep

Darling Downs YDN Rep

Sunshine Coast YDN Rep

Subtropical Dairy YDN Coordinator Rep

Subtropical Dairy Board Rep

Brad Granzin

Alicia Richters

Jason McInnes

Jai Wooldridge

Kieran Bourke

Herbi Watson

Kylie Dennis

Luke Stock


Purpose of the Young Farmer Network Strategic Steering Committee

  • Foster the continued development of the Young Farmers Networks ensuring their continued sustainability
  • Provide considered direction and leadership to the Young Farmer Networks
  • Provide recommendations to Subtropical Dairy regarding future goals, gaps challenges and funding opportunities for the network
  • Ensure that applications for future funding for network activities are high quality and in line with the strategic direction of the networks
  • Provide guidance and mentoring to Operational Steering committees, by addressing their concerns and recommending approaches to challenges
  • Foster the collaborative partnerships within the Networks ensuring effective and efficient use of industry resources
  • Oversee project budget and financial management processes
  • Maintain a strategic focus within discussion topics.


Regions and Staff

There are six YDN Regions across Subtropical Dairy. Each region has an Operational Steering Committee (OSC) made up of young farmers from that region. The OSC is the leading consultative group of young farmers at a regional level, setting the direction of events and activities for that region so that members needs are being met at a local level. The current YDN regions are the Darling Downs, South East Queensland, Sunshine Coast, Far North Queensland, Far North and Mid North Coasts of NSW.


Young Dairy Network Regional Co-ordinator SE Qld, Darling Downs and Far North Coast NSW
Alicia Richters

Alicia comes from a family dairy farming background with her Uncle and Aunty still running the farm on the south coast of NSW. She completed a Bachelor of Systems Agriculture at University of Western Sydney in 2007 focusing on dairy and marketing. She has been involved with showing and judging cattle and loves getting involved on the farm be it milking or other farm work. She returns to the dairy industry after spending the last 6 years working primarily in the cotton industry focusing on operational process improvement, stewardship and product training programs with the regional field team, distributors and farmers.

M: 0428 718 620


Young Dairy Network Coordinator
Belinda Haddow

Belinda has been working in the dairy industry in Queensland since 1995, following her studies in Agricultural Science at the University of Queensland. She worked for 10 years in a farm liaison-extension role with the Dept Primary Industries and Dairy Farmers. During that time she lived in Toowoomba and spent most of her time working with farmers on the Darling Downs and the South Burnett. In her more recent roles, Belinda has worked with farmers in the Young Dairy Network and on industry projects and natural disaster response teams. Over the years Belinda has enjoyed working with dairy farmers and in their businesses and has built good working relationships with farmers and some great friendships. Belinda and her husband, Mark, have 3 children and live in Highfields near Toowoomba.

M: 0423 003 638


Sunshine Coast Coordinator
Kylie Dennis

Kylie began working in the dairy industry in 2004 when she commenced employment with the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) as an Executive Assistant. She left QDO late last year and joined the Subtropical Dairy team in January this year as an Extension Co-ordinator. Kylie has vast experience in event management, business administration, communication platforms and supporting farmers during disasters. She is very passionate about the dairy industry. Kylie lives in Brisbane with her three children.

M: 0456 191 965


Industry Partnerships

The Young Dairy Network is managed by Subtropical Dairy Program.

Key Stakeholders

Qld Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
NSW Farmers
Processing Company Representatives

YDN Funding

YDNA_Logo_CMYK_smYoung Dairy Network Australia

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The Young Dairy Network Australia (YDNA) is a Dairy Australia initiative which is working with existing regional groups to establish a nation network of young farmers.

Funding obtained from the YDNA by the YDN is being delivered for the project “Young Dairy Network in the Subtropics – to run a Young Dairy Network in the Subtropical Dairy Region that engages young farmers and industry representatives to build their capacity as future leaders of the Dairy industry”.