GIPPSDAIRY has elected a new chair and three new directors to its board.
The annual general meeting saw Fish Creek dairy farmer Graeme Nicoll chosen to replace Matt Gleeson as GippsDairy chair for the next two years.
Denison farmers Brad Missen and Ross Anderson will fill two other board vacancies, while Leongatha agribusiness manager Brian Gannon will become a specialist director.
Matt Gleeson, Judy Johnson and Mark Dunsmuir stepped down from the board at the AGM, which was held at Traralgon’s Century Inn on October 12.
The new chair said he wanted to continue the work done by GippsDairy in developing the skills and business acumen of the region’s dairy farmers.
“During my time on the board I’ve seen our industry change in its significance to both the national dairy industry and the Gippsland community,” he said.
“The industry and farm businesses are becoming more and more professional all the time and GippsDairy needs to continue to lead further development.”
Mr Nicoll, who has been deputy chair for the past two years, paid tribute his predecessors, saying they had set a great example of what can be achieved at the head of the GippsDairy board table.
“I’m humbled to be taking on the role after such strong chairs as Matt and (preceding him) John Versteden,” he said.
“Matt has put an enormous amount of time into the role – and not just at GippsDairy.
“He has hosted industry groups on his farm and has done a huge amount of work for Gippsland dairy farmers during his whole time on the board.”
The 44-year-old also praised the contribution of the two other departing board members.
“Judy (Johnson) has brought her own special view of the world to the GippsDairy board,” he said.
“Her contribution has really been quite significant, particularly in the natural resources space.”
“And Mark (Dunsmuir) has been extremely valuable in bringing his business and accounting skills to the board. His contribution as a non-farming specialist director has been hugely valuable.”
The three new board members will bring new perspectives and different skills to GippsDairy.
Brad Missen and Ross Anderson are both from the Macalister Irrigation District adding to the board’s depth of understanding of issues among the irrigation sector.
“It’s great to have Brad on board, with his experience in the water industry,” Mr Nicoll said.
“He’s very well known in the MID and been involved in farming for a long time.”
“Ross brings a unique perspective, having worked outside the dairy industry for a number of years and will bring a whole lot of extra skills into the dairy industry.
“He’s got a really professional approach to what he does and it’s exciting to have a younger face on board.”
Brian Gannon joins the board as a non-farming specialist director, bringing his skills as an agribusiness manager for NAB in Leongatha.
“Brian has a huge network of contacts, impressive financial skills and the ability to connect with farmers,” Mr Nicoll said.
“GippsDairy is funded through the dairy service levy, so it’s vital we have the financial know-how to make every dollar spent a worthwhile investment for the farmers we serve.”
The GippsDairy board comprises Graeme Nicoll (chair) Grant Williams (deputy chair), Iain Stewart, Sinead de Gooyer, Joanne Bills, Lauren Finger, Edwin Vandenberg, Brad Missen, Ross Anderson and Brian Gannon.