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 Strategic Steering Committee
The Strategic Steering Committee (SSC) is the peak consultative forum of the Northern Dairy Industry’s Young Dairy Networks and oversees the operation of the program. The SSC is currently made up of the following:
NSW Young Farmer Rep
QDO Young Farmer Rep
SDP Young Farmer Rep
SDP Executive Officer
QDO Executive Rep
NSW Farmers Rep
YDN Program Manager
Queensland Dairy Organisation Board Member
Subtropical Dairy Board Member
Francis Hayden (Chair)
Charlie Ernst (Parmalat)
Sally Hopper (Maleny Dairies)
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 the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation and 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.
Project Staff Project Manager & SC Regional Coordinator – Vivienne McCollum
M: 0428 460 380
South-East Qld Co-ordinator, Darling Downs YDN Contact – Belinda Haddow
M: 0423 003 638
Far North Coast and Mid North Coast NSW Coordinator – Katina Trout
M: 0439 587 688
Sunshine Coast Coordinator – Kylie Dennis
M: 0456 191 965
Qld Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Processing Company Representatives
The funding obtained from the Australian Government Department of Social Services, Community Investments Program is being delivered for the YDN project “Building a stronger community through the young farmers’ network in the Darling Downs, South East Queensland and Sunshine Coast regions”.
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”.