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VICTORIAN November 2017


Barley to whisky p6 Workplace relations p14 Commodities p35

Your voice was heard: A year in highlight





Graeme Coe WFI Area Manager Swan Hill, Victoria

WFI has been insuring Australian farmers since 1919, providing support and assistance when they’ve needed it the most. At WFI, we’ve always taken insurance personally and that’s why we have 190 insurance specialists across the country delivering on our promise of being good people to know.

For farm insurance with a personal touch call 1300 934 934 or visit 2

To see if our products are right for you, always read the PDS from the product issuer, Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722 AFSL 227681 trading as WFI (WFI). VFF is an alliance partner of WFI. If you take out a policy with WFI, VFF receives a commission from WFI of between 7% and 10% of the value of the premium payment (excluding taxes and charges).


Need someone who knows insurance? You need to know your local WFI insurance specialists.

Barbra Hayes, WFI Area Manager, Traralgon Barbra is a local WFI Area Manager in the Victorian Gippsland region. Covering a primarily rural area, Barbra services Boolarra, Churchill, Mirboo North, Meeniyan, Stony Creek, Fish Creek, Foster, Wilsons Promontory and Port Franklin. Barbra takes satisfaction from knowing that, if a client has a claim, that WFI is there to make the experience easier for them. By getting to know her clients and forming good long term relationships, Barbra works to ensure her clients have the right covers in place. Call Barbra on 0437 110 435

Paula O’Hare, WFI Area Manager, Melbourne Paula O’Hare currently services the northern and western suburbs of Melbourne, as well as the farming areas on the fringes of those suburbs. Working on the periphery of Melbourne has allowed Paula to enjoy variety in her role, which entails a mixture of both the country and city lifestyle. Paula joined WFI in September 1986, and since then she has built and maintained many longstanding, professional relationships with her clients. Paula can meet with her clients on site, to provide them with a high level personalised service. Call Paula on 0417 099 576

Adam Wray, WFI Area Manager, Geelong & Colac Having grown up in Drysdale on the Bellarine Peninsula, Adam brings a wealth of local knowledge to his role of WFI Area Manager. Adam services Colac, The Otways, Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula and the Surf Coast and some areas of Melbourne, including Werribee and Hoppers Crossing. With many years of experience in the insurance industry, Adam has been a local WFI Area Manager since 2007. He says that meeting with his clients and assisting them with their insurance requirements is what he enjoys most about his job. Call Adam on 0412 117 458

To see if our products are right for you, always read the PDS from the product issuer. Visit Paula O’Hare (AR 362593) is an authorised representative of WFI.


President’s report iable rainfall – aging our farmlands and var rav e mic h wit , rall ove r yea Firstly, it’s been a tough and water–logged in others. dry in some parts of Victoria ustries. While some of our has fluctuated between ind tion duc pro and es pric Commodity ggling. ord highs, some are really stru members are experiencing rec nications, road astructure such as telecommu infr l vita d nee we r spe pro to For our businesses and rail. rs’ top topics during the Farme rates and labour, were your ter, wa h wit top er ues eth iss tog , se the ues p iss These ernment to kee we will continue to lobby gov Forums we held this year and of mind.

ting local government ers’ lives better, including figh farm an tori Vic g kin ma on s and making sure our Our focus remain dmark win in the Ararat shire; lan a by d ase wc sho – ue h as the CFA issue. on the rates iss ich affect our members, suc wh es put dis in rd hea is ge regional messa win, so they with their native vegetation ily fam h Ric the ist ass to e se that make I am thrilled we were abl innovation. It’s wins like the and ty tivi duc pro r ate gre h and can continue to farm wit working hard for our members torian Farmers Federation – Vic the of t par be to ud pro us achieving great results. pricing transparency with now have some certainty on ers farm ry dai our t tha me a relatively low production It pleases ished which, combined with abl est ng bei t duc con of e the dairy cod . come through a tough period cost year, will help our farmers our support have challenge this year and with the up ing tak n bee ly tain for intensive Our members have cer ep and goats, planning reforms she for s tag ear nic ctro ele to embraced changes just to name a few. ns and the Q fever campaign, industries, LPA biosecurity pla the h a dynamic new person at in the next few months. Wit ced oun ann be will CEO The new re is bright. a new strategic plan, the futu helm, a progressive board and al events throughout er with a number of region eth tog 8, 201 in d hel be A conference will h you, our members. Victoria to better engage wit 2,600 rity and we are pleased that ssage has been another prio me Bike ety d saf Qua our the oss of acr t par ting Get productive farms as re mo er, saf e hav now Victorian farming families Safety Rebate Scheme. be able to deliver safety n to be on the ground, we will soo cer offi ety saf farm With our new local communities. ing families, right across our education programs to our farm l business. I’m ductive life and a successfu pro a to key the is lth hea ness message Mental and physical is spreading the cancer aware a tori Vic cer Can h wit ip rsh e mental health pleased that our partne our Look Over the Farm Gat d pte ado has tors Doc ing and that the Royal Fly awareness program. to live, not live to work, so son. Remember that we work sea tive fes ing om upc the oy Finally, enj you in 2018. e off. I look forward to seeing tim e som and nds frie ily, enjoy fam David Jochinke President


From the editor Welcome to the latest edition of our Victorian Farmer magazine. We’ve listened to your feedback and we will continue to bring you more information about what’s new in agriculture and keep you updated with the latest trends. I think you’ll find our articles on the barley to whisky endeavour and the future of agrigenomics very interesting. It’s been a busy year and we are proud of our achievements. There’s been some great outcomes such as the Ararat Council rates back–down and the Rich family winning their native vegetation case, both of these with assistance from our talented policy team. Have a look at all the new information we’ve added to the website. It’s only available to members through the log–in, giving you resources and tips to improve your business and make a difference in your community. Who knew the Royal Flying Doctor Service had so many services which were available right here in Victoria? Check out page 24 for all the information on what they do. On page 25, there’s a story on the Invisible Farmer Project. Although 49 per cent of people on farms are women, they are very under–represented. A fascinating project and the website is full of extraordinary achievements by rural women and stunning photos by Catherine Forge, curator of the project. Safety is always a hot topic and I thought we’d do something a bit different and put an emphasis on kids this time, see page 32. We’ve included an update from the Bureau of Meteorology, as we’ve received great feedback on the inclusion of the fortnightly weather update in our e–news. You also asked us for more information on our staff and board, that’s also included in this edition. There’s even a list of some great, community minded organisations, in case you have any spare time! It’s been a jam–packed year here at the VFF and all our staff have worked incredibly hard for you, our members. Thank you for helping us achieve so much this year. We are constantly adapting to change, as a progressive innovative organisation, continually striving to achieve great outcomes for our members and the community. Loretta Gibson

VICTORIAN FARMERS FEDERATION Farrer House, Level 5, 24 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 Suite 2/145 View Street, Bendigo VIC 3550 P: 1300 882 833 f: 03 9207 5500 e: w. Editor: Loretta Gibson Design: Mulqueen Creative & Print – Tamara Wardell & David Lowther Disclaimer: Victorian Farmer is the official publication of the Victorian Farmers Federation. The Victorian Farmers Federation, its partners, agents and contractors do not guarantee that this publication is without flaw and do not accept liability whatsoever for any errors, defects or omission in the information provided. All rights reserved 2017 Victorian Farmers Federation.

Contents Updates and activities


Workplace relations

P 14

Event calendar

P 28


P 35


P 36

Flowers Victoria

P 38


P 41


P 42


P 45


P 48

Member offers

P 50

Cover photo: David Vitale, STARWARD whisky


Barley to whiskey It’s neither a recipe nor a formula, however if you harvest Victorian barley, blend it with Melbourne water, have it lay languid in an Australian wine barrel for three Melbourne years, then you might produce STARWARD whiskey. As we know, creating and making is never that simple. STARWARD founder David Vitale knew that making Australian whiskey had to go beyond the traditions of the Scottish fells, puritan water and hundreds of years of custom.

He also knew that Melbourne is the place to be for a contemporary whiskey – access to high grade molten barley from Victoria, Melbourne water which is considered ‘commercially pure’, Australian wine and aperol barrels from locally owned family wineries and a climate that is totally unique to the world; Melbourne – hot, cold, warm, snowy, rainy all in a single day. “We take barley that’s worth about $700/tonne and conceive a whiskey that’s valued around $40,000”, said David Vitale.

David says… Forget about time honoured traditions. Create something unique Identify a reason to exist. Find things that we can talk about – ingredients, occasion and innovation Celebrate great things; develop a product that’s approachable and affordable.

“This might be the highest value add for an agricultural commodity in Australia”. Being located in Port Melbourne in an old warehouse alongside two breweries has allowed STARWARD to combine inputs and output deliveries. As such, the waste by–product of distilling has become an ingredient to a high fibre, high calorie protein feed for beef cattle not far from Melbourne. The Port Melbourne location is also the distribution point for the 90 per cent Australian and 10 per cent United Kingdom markets. For those of us who are unaware of how whiskey is made, it transitions from beer after three days at 8 per cent alcohol onto the distilling process through bacteria to build flavour. At STARWARD, this means 25,000L of beer distilled down to 250L of pure alcohol. The vapours from the extraction process are added back into the liquid to become 1,000L of whiskey at 25 per cent alcohol. The flavour, colour and character come from the wine and aperol barrels that are sourced from Australian wineries. Three Melbourne years later, the liquid responds to the profile of the barrel that is STARWARD whiskey. The provenance of the grain and the wine barrels is a founding principle of STARWARD. “We work with wineries to ensure we have their stories live in our product”, said David. “We are keen to work with barley growers in Victoria, from planting to harvest so we can tell their story too”. Victoria is becoming renowned for collaborations such as STARWARD that use locally sourced provenance raw ingredients. Jessica Purbrick–Herbst Head of Engagement and Communication jpurbrick–


What is agrigenomics and how will this make business better? Genomics is about sequencing genomes – the complete set of genetic information that determines how an animal or plant functions, its behaviours and what it looks like. It’s a complete set of DNA. In agriculture, genomic sequencing can distil 30 years of animal or plant breeding down to just a few years. Agrigenomics is the science of accelerating breeding decisions using whole genome information. It is enabling and revolutionising how breeding decisions are made. Michael Bishop, agrigenomics specialist for United States based company Illumina, visited the VFF earlier this year. “Genomic sequencing is the process of understanding the DNA and how attributes play out”, said Michael Bishop. “In the livestock industry, we are sourcing the traits within the gene to understand the baseline data. “The dairy industry has a history of recording data. Because of this existing data, it has been relatively easy to transpose the available data over the genomic sequencing to reduce risk, make better business decisions and understand which traits produce milk and which produce meat”, he said. This work is currently happening commercially in Australia with some dairy farmers. Michael and his team are also developing the genomic sequencing in sheep in Australia and New Zealand.

Some technical details Genetic markers are linked to specific value traits that can be screened in large numbers of progeny to have desired characteristics – such as drought tolerance, high productivity, disease resistance – from the parent to the progeny. This process accelerates the desired genetically linked traits to be a commercially viable plant or livestock

Michael Bishop holds a genomic snip of 24 dairy cows. Melbourne, August 2017. breeding stock. Importantly, these genetic markers can be used to identify animals and understand relationship of progeny to parents. In linebreeding situations, where multiple generations of males or females are present in the herd, the marker results added to breed knowledge, determine accurate parentage.

Better business Next generation sequencing allows the identity of commercially important phenotypic traits – these are the observable characteristics such as size or milk production – allowing breeding stock to be ranked on genetic merit. The better business opportunity exists in selecting genetic traits to improve herd or productivity, fast tracking traditional breeding to achieve financial returns sooner based on specific herd genetics. New research in soil genomics will increase plant breeding and growth rates in the coming years.

Eggs harvested from a six month old heifer (a1). Semen collected from a nine month old bull (b1). The created embryo is transferred to a mature host mother. After gestation, a calf (a2) is produced that displays the selected traits before the heifer (a1) reaches calving age. The subsequent calf (a2) can be bred from using a bull calf (b2) with a second generation progeny (a3) being produced before the initial heifer (a1) reaches calving maturity. Using genomic sequencing, two generations of breeding have been condensed into a single traditional breeding cycle. Jessica Purbrick–Herbst Head of Engagement and Communication jpurbrick–


Focus on our members

Image: Jamie Street

Becky McKay I haven’t always been actively involved in agriculture – I initially pursued a career as a ballet dancer – but my true passion lay in the land. My grandparents purchased the 1,000 acre family property near Ararat and worked the land for over 50 years. They concentrated on sheep breeding and rejuvenating the land, planting over 100,000 trees, while holding down jobs off–farm. After completing a Certificate 4 in Woolclassing and winning the Graduate Woolclasser of the Year in 2010, I decided to return home from Perth to raise my son the same way I was raised, on the land and take over the family property in the future. My grandfather was my greatest inspiration, very supportive and eager to teach me everything he knew. I worked with him as much as possible to show that I was just as passionate about the land as he was. We developed a 10 year plan to start a superfine poll merino stud with large framed sheep, suitable for both meat and wool production. Sadly my grandfather passed away in late 2012, then my grandmother suffered a stroke in mid–2013. Appointed manager of the property, managing the stock with my


grandmother, I continued my education with a Diploma of Agronomy. In July 2015 my grandmother and I become partners, with myself as the major decision maker, but more tragedy struck in early 2016. My grandmother passed away and the property was divided up. I retained a portion of the property and earlier this year registered my stud as Bellastead Merinos, from my grandfather’s Scottish Gaelic family history, meaning beautiful view. It’s my own little piece of paradise. My merino stud is based on Terrick West bloodlines and I’m indebted to Ross McGauchie and his family for their assistance with the set–up of my venture. Six–years into the original business plan, I now produce around 30–40 wool bales per year, which has steadily risen since improving the genetics of the flock. Additional income is provided by joining cast ewes with Border Leicester rams and selling the first cross lambs as suckers.

A trial of six monthly shearing, to improve fertility and wool production, will start in the near future and I am developing the pastures to ensure I have enough feed each season. I currently only hire contractors for shearing and marking lambs and manage the crutching, sowing and harvest myself. In 2015, a friend nominated me for the Ballarat Rural Achiever Awards ‘Next Generation Farmer of the Year’ and I was thrilled to be runner up. I wanted to use the prize money to improve my agribusiness knowledge and was accepted into AWI’s Breeding Leadership Course. I’m now studying accounting to enable me to complete the farm BAS, as well as running the farm, working part–time and raising my 10–year–old son solo. With my passion for life–long learning and a willingness to adapt in an ever changing industry, I hope to continue to grow in confidence, establishing a profitable and sustainable business within the industry. Authored by: Loretta Gibson with Becky McKay

Cam Parker Cam shows what planning, ingenuity, imagination and a passion for the land can do and he wants to encourage other young famers to “just give it a go”. Cam is a young man on a mission. He’s 29 years old, married to Amanda and their first child is due in April. He doesn’t own his own land – yet. But with his drive and ambition, together with a growing farming business, I’m sure he’ll achieve his dream of buying a property around the Boort area very soon. Here is his story: Even growing up in Melbourne, Cam felt he had a connection with the land. His grandfather had owned and worked land around the Nhill area. “I never met my grandfather, but I was always aware of the family farming connections,” he said. Six years ago, Cam had the opportunity to further his retail career and get closer to his agricultural roots by moving to a regional area. He then took it on himself to get to know the people around the Boort area and how they ran their properties.

Cam helped out one harvest and was hooked. He prepared a detailed business plan, then took a leap of faith 12 months ago, starting up his own contract baling and share farming business. “The key is to put together a meticulous plan. I know exactly how much everything costs me down to the last ball of twine and what I need to do to make a profit,” said Cam. Cam credits his solid network of people in the local community for his success. “I knew when I moved here I needed to make connections and get to know people to make a success of my own business. But I didn’t really realise how valuable this would be. Even people I met six years ago are still coming to me with work,” he said. Offering farmers the option for him to receive part of the payment as product, is just one of the ways Cam looks at different ways of doing business. “This baling arrangement works on the principle that I arrange mowing, raking and baling and in return I receive 50 per cent of all bales produced. The land owner then receives the other 50 per cent. No ‘cash’ is exchanged and each party can market their share how they wish. “It’s all about risk and reward, take a bit of risk and get more reward later on,” Cam said. Cam then uses online options to market the bales, such as sites set up to sell just about anything in the farming world. He’s also had a couple of sales from Twitter.

Cam has an intense interest in information gathering. He has online contacts all over the world, including the UK, USA, Canada, Kenya and Ukraine. These people share his passion for agriculture and knowledge and they all manage to find common ground. “Professional development is one of my actual passions, sharing information around and learning from others in the industry, or in related industries. “It’s one of the main ways I’ve gathered my own knowledge. I enjoy having control over my business and learning every day. And I like to pass this on to others. “You can have a profitable conversation world–wide on Twitter. The bloke I know in Kenya actually uses some of the Australian GRDC* research on his farm.” said Cam. Cam’s advice to other young farmers is simple. M  ake good connections maintain them


Don’t be afraid to have a go Integrity and pride in the work you do is critical – particularly for repeat business P  ut a plan together and know your numbers. *GRDC – Grains Research Development Corporation


Authored by: Loretta Gibson with Cam Parker


A year in highlight Leadership Industry collaboration created a dairy code of conduct to bring about pricing transparency. Dairy farmers now have more control of processor contract negotiations – endorsed by dairy groups, processors and retailers Creating opportunities for more productive and safer farms by delivering $2.3 million in rebates – that’s nearly 2600 safer families in Victoria Increased funding to deliver livestock health and biosecurity programs including building awareness of the Q fevervaccination and implementation of the LPA biosecurity plans – our aim is to reduce the impact of Q fever on worker health and better prepare farmers for biosecurity resilience Agreement by Murray–Darling Basin Ministers to recognise environmental projects as delivering water recovery to the basin to avoid further water buy– backs. This means sustainable growth for the rural communities along the river system – farming and rural towns, the environment and native flora and fauna and the economy.



Core policy priorities

Twenty–five per cent of our members access our experienced and strong workplace and industrial relations team for support and advice

Right to farm

Native vegetation

Sixteen Farmers’ Forums across Victoria – you told us your top issues related to telecommunications, water, rates, labour, road and rail

Talent and foreign investment

Energy and power


Rural rates

Native animals

Road and rail

Fire services property levy

Onshore gas

Thirteen core policy priorities.

Empowering members Commission of Inquiry into Ararat Council rating strategy. Led by the residents of Ararat and supported by the VFF, this action group gained voice through clear messaging and a single focus – a State Government inquiry into the Rural City of Ararat differential rating strategy A VFF member wins native vegetation regulation impact. Supported by the VFF policy team, a Western Victorian farmer wins the right to farm with efficiency using GPS technology Three and a half million litres of Farmers’ Fund milk sold in Victoria, delivering $1.65m to dairy farmers creating a connection and social impact from consumers to rural communities.

Foreign ownership Telecommunications Seasonal workers and an ethical workforce

Land tax – tips to prove primary production

Over the past 12 months there have been increased reports of backdated land tax assessments in peri–urban areas. This is especially relevant when your farm business may be over several holdings. The State Revenue Office is seeking proof that primary production is actually occurring on the land and sometimes may seek back tax for several years. Keeping non–essential records is not always a high priority but with smart phone cameras, cloud storage and external drives, it is now easier to collect and store information.

What are the rules? Exemption of primary production land in greater Melbourne but not in an urban zone Land is exempt if the commissioner determines that the land comprises one parcel: That is wholly or partly in greater Melbourne; and None of which is within an urban zone; and

Case study There was a rented dwelling on a small area of a farming property. The main farm business was some distance away from this dwelling and the majority of the farm was being actively farmed. The following evidence led to an outcome where less than 2 per cent of the property was subjected to land tax. Diary entries

Marked Google extracts


Council rate notices

Vendor declaration forms

Tenancy agreements

Sales documentation from stock and station agents

Correspondence from council (active land management)

Transport invoices

Profit and loss records / annual reports

Photographs of the land, dwelling, fences and stock

Tax returns.

Letter from DEPI – PIC Most farmers will keep invoices, taxation records and sales. That information is helpful but photographic evidence of stock and stock movements, crops and land management activities can demonstrate that these records relate to the land itself.

Being involved in a community weed management or landcare group can also show active management of the land. Lisa Gervasoni Acting Policy Manager

Is used primarily for primary production. The tests used primarily for primary production are that it must: Meet the definition s64(1) of the Taxation Administration Act 1997 Be the predominant use Not be minimal, slight, intermittent or spasmodic Be genuine and have some degree of substance and intensity Be sufficiently substantial to prevail not only over any competing use but also over the proportion that the land is substantially unused.

Photographic evidence of stock and stock movements, crops and land management activities can go a long way to demonstrate that these records relate to the land itself. 11

The recent attempt by the Ararat Rural City Council to increase farm rates by 45 per cent was a perfect example of the need for a peak lobby group within the agricultural industry.

Your voice should be heard Have you wondered why you pay your membership and what we at the VFF do for you? Read on to find out the answer. The statement “Why would I join the VFF, they’ve never done anything for me. Besides, I get anything you do for free anyway” is one that our Membership Development team regularly has to take on board from non–members when discussing VFF membership and to be honest, we wouldn’t expect anything different. You see, it is up to us to demonstrate what marketing departments call ‘our membership value proposition’, which simply means what the VFF can do for you. Let’s strip it right back and start with the obvious benefits that all Victorian farmers enjoy, which keeps valuable dollars in their pockets, thanks to the ongoing work of the VFF – Primary Producers Registration and the Diesel Fuel Rebate. Victoria is the only state with Primary Producers Registration and the government just doesn’t let us enjoy these privileges year in and year out without questioning their existence.


We go into bat for all Victorian farmers to justify the ongoing need to keep subsidies such as these in place, with the next battle to retain Primary Producers Registration being just around the corner.

want to have your voice heard, the VFF is the perfect platform to do so.

If this is lost it will result in an increase of hundreds of dollars in the registration of farm vehicles such as cars and tractors, while those with trucks will pay thousands more in registration.

Our VFF legacy includes leadership within local communities, advocacy on rural issues, expert employment advice, co–ordination of disaster relief programs and funding for infrastructure and environmental initiatives such as Landcare – which protects and preserves the environment and its productive beauty, for the next generation.

Rates and the Right to Farm is also a topical discussion throughout Victoria. The recent attempt by the Ararat Rural City Council to increase farm rates by 45 per cent was a perfect example of the need for a peak lobby group within the agricultural industry. We give you access to an established support system of people who are motivated to get things done – but this is only half the battle. There is strength in numbers and without the buy in from the local farmers and community any efforts to void the council vote would have failed. All farmers need to have input into the direction of their industry and if you

We are the providers of trusted knowledge that empowers individuals and helps build resilient farming communities.

For decades our VFF members have joined together from all over the state to become the voice of Victorian agriculture. We continue to evolve to serve the needs of our members and their families, on and off the farm. To be part of the voice, call Mick, Lisa or Kim from our Membership Development team. We look forward to having you involved. Tim McKenzie Membership Development

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visit call 1800 675 839 Call 1800 675 839 for a Product Disclosure Statement. Prime Super Pty Ltd ABN 81 067 241 016 AFSL 219723 RSE L0000277 as Trustee of Prime Super ABN 60 562 335 823 RN 1000276.


Casual award update Minimum engagement period – casual Pastoral Award 2010 Our VFF Industrial Relations team provided valuable input into the National Farmers’ Federation’s (NFF) submission to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) concerning the minimum of a three hour engagement period for both part time and casual employees.

The NFF submitted that part time and casual employees who operate in dairy operations should be provided with a two hour minimum engagement (currently three hours). In support of its case that the current three hour minimum engagement exceeded the time required for milking, the NFF also stated that the three hour minimum engagement was inconsistent with the need to promote social inclusion through increased workforce participation, especially for young workers, or those with family responsibilities. A two hour minimum engagement period would also promote increased flexibility for employees seeking casual and part–time employment. In its decision, the FWC did not consider it appropriate that the minimum engagement period for casual and part–time employees in dairying operations should be reduced from three hours to two hours on an across– the–board basis. They did however agree with NFF’s evidence that school students and junior employees may be deterred from entering the industry because of a burdensome minimum engagement. The FWC has directed the NFF to draft a clause for the Pastoral Award 2010 to be varied, to reduce the three hour minimum engagement to two hours strictly for school students and junior staff members.


Overtime – casual Horticulture Award 2010

reason) to work as many hours and earn as much income, as they can within a short space of time and then move on; and

The Australian Workers Union (AWU) made submissions to the FWC to clarify the application of hours of work restrictions (and consequent overtime rates) to casual workers under the Horticulture Award 2010.

The most likely response of horticultural employers to the imposition of any onerous overtime penalty rate requirement will be to try to avoid its incidence, meaning the engagement of more casuals to cover the hours, equating to less money for employees already employed within a business.

The National Union of Workers supported the AWU in this claim. In considering evidence from the AWU and the NFF, the FWC was convinced that; Horticultural businesses tend to be price takers for their product, meaning that they have little or no capacity to pass on any increase of significance in their labour costs Casual employees are used extensively to perform seasonal harvesting functions. These functions require extensive hours of work to be performed in relatively short periods of time Casual employees who perform seasonal harvesting work are commonly on work or holiday visas. Their preference is (within

The FWC determined that casuals under the Horticulture Award 2010 should have their ordinary hours of work included in the award. On the basis of the evidence however, the FWC has expressed a provisional view to allow a larger span of hours in the modern award, so that the incidence of overtime is minimised as much as possible. The NFF and other parties have been asked to make submissions in relation to hours of work flexibility and the FWC will make a final determination. Patricia Murdock Workplace Relations

Modern award update The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has recently handed down significant decisions that will affect the operation of Modern Awards within the VFF Membership. Two of these modern awards, namely the Horticulture Award 2010 and the Pastoral Award 2010 are currently under review. The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is representing members in these proceedings. Our Workplace Relations Department is also watching with interest a Federal Court matter, involving the Fair Work Ombudsman and piecework rates. This case is separate to the Modern Award review, but will have an impact pending the court’s decision.

Common issues casual conversion One of the main common issues identified as part of the proceedings was whether or not casuals should be given the opportunity to convert their employment to permanent after meeting certain criteria. The FWC identified that some 85 modern awards currently do not have a casual conversion provision. The FWC has granted the inclusion of

the provision and asked for further submissions on the issue. Casual conversion is likely to operate (once finalised) in the following fashion:

Common issues minimum engagement period – casual

Employers notify their casual employee of their right to request a conversion within the first 12 months of their employment

Another common issue identified was minimum engagement periods for casual staff members in various modern awards.

Casual employees consider their option and make a formal request for casual conversion – this aspect of the decision is important as it illustrates that casual conversion is not an automatic right on tenure

The Pastoral Award 2010 already has minimum engagement periods for casual staff members with the NFF making submissions on this issue.

Only employees who can demonstrate that they have worked on a regular and systematic basis over preceding 12 months would be eligible to make request Employers can refuse request on reasonable business grounds. The FWC has identified that reasonable business grounds may include if the conversion would require a significant adjustment to the casual employee’s hours of work to maintain permanency, or where it is reasonably foreseeable that the employee’s casual position will cease, or there is a forecast change to their hours of work which would be reduced in the next 12 months.

The Horticulture Award 2010 along with 34 other modern awards currently contain no minimum engagement period for casual employees. The FWC decided that a minimum engagement period of two hours be introduced for casual employees.

Piecework rates examined – Fair Work Ombudsman v Tao Hu and Ors The Federal Court is currently hearing evidence in relation to the application of piecework rates concerning a Queensland mushroom grower. The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges that the piecework rates applied resulted in workers being underpaid. It is anticipated that clarification concerning how piecework rates are calculated will result from the matter. The case represents an important interpretation on how piecework rates are calculated in the future and as a consequence the NFF has provided financial support in order to support the grower in these proceedings. Members will be informed of any outcomes before the FWC and Federal Court as soon as they arise. Patricia Murdock Workplace Relations


Be aware Vulnerable Workers Bill

The Fair Work Ombudsman will now have stronger powers for collecting evidence in investigations. The Vulnerable Workers Bill amends the Fair Work Act 2009 (Act) and once it receives the Royal Assent, it will become law. Increased penalties apply for a category of serious contraventions. These penalties are significantly higher than before these amendments were made. A contravention will be deemed as serious if a person knowingly contravenes the provision and the person’s conduct was part of a systemic pattern of conduct, relating to one or more persons. There are new penalties relating to providing Fair Work inspectors with false or misleading information or records and new prohibitions for hindering or obstructing an investigation that the Fair Work Ombudsman or workplace inspectors are conducting. The Fair Work Ombudsman will now have stronger powers for collecting evidence in investigations. Also, there are increased penalties surrounding pay slips and record keeping. Employers must not make or keep a record/payslip that the employer knows is false or misleading.


Employers should always give payslips to their employees. Employers who do not meet record–keeping or payslip obligations and cannot show a reasonable excuse will need to disprove wage claims made in court. This is called a reverse onus of proof.

about the contraventions but failed to take reasonable steps to prevent those contraventions occurring

The legislation makes it clear that employers cannot ask for cash back from employees or prospective employees.

Making a holding company (or an officer) responsible for a variety of contraventions of the Act by its subsidiary, where the holding company (or an officer) fails to take reasonable steps to prevent those contraventions occurring

There are new reforms that will significantly impact on the franchise sector. The new reforms are due to the government’s promise to protect the most vulnerable workers.

Making officers of a franchisor or holding company, potentially liable as an accessory to a contravention of these new provisions by a franchisor or holding company.

The Seven Eleven franchise networks and other recent cases, revealed the exploitation of vulnerable workers and this legislation is directed to solve the problem.

While most of the provisions will start once the Royal Assent is given, a franchisor will not be held liable for a franchisee’s contravention that occurs within the first six weeks after commencement.

Some of the other key reforms are: Making a franchisor (who is able to exert a significant degree of influence or control over a franchisee) liable for a variety of different contraventions of the Act, by franchisees within their network in circumstances where they knew, or reasonably ought to have known,

If, as an employer, you do not know your record keeping/payslip obligations please phone our Workplace Relations Hotline for assistance on 1300 442 481. Patricia Murdock Workplace Relations

workplace relations Stay up to date with the latest workplace relations and industrial advice and information. If you employ labour, you need the management tools to make the right decisions, for you and your employees. No matter your business size, large or small - the VFF has a package that's right for you.

VFF WORKPLACE PACKAGES EMPLOYMENT HANDBOOK PACKAGE $137 INC GST PER ANNUM (Fully tax deductible) 12 month subscription to the VFF Employment Handbook Package ONE HOUR telephone or written advice (total per annum) VFF workplace relations e-newsletter Discounted service rates Access to the 'Your Business Package' and 'Tailor Made' upgrade options for ongoing workplace support.

your business package $475 INC GST PER ANNUM (Fully tax deductible) VFF Employment Handbook Package THREE HOURS tailored advice (total per annum)

tailor made package $795 INC GST PER ANNUM (Fully tax deductible) VFF Employment Handbook Package UNLIMITED telephone advice FOUR HOURS representation and advice (total per annum)

VFF WORKPLACE PRODUCTS induction kit $77 PLUS GST General Farming Induction Kit Quadbike kit Telehandler kit

for more information: p: 1300 442 481 e: 17 VICTORIAN FARMER | Summer 2017

engaging a contractor kit $39 PLUS GST Letters to referral agent Independant contractor agreement templates

general farming induction $69 PLUS GST Includes induction checklist

quadbike induction $9 PLUS GST

telehandler induction $9 PLUS GST




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A large majority highlighted the need for stronger policy to support agriculture in the planning system.

Our land Land management policy update Survey response Thank you to everyone who participated in our recent policy surveys – this insight will guide our responses to current issues as well as seek to influence state election platforms and budgets. Based on the first 30 policy surveys received the ‘big issues’ are: Regulatory issues such as native vegetation, planning permits, cultural heritage and biosecurity Government action / inaction and cost burden to farmers such as rates, condition of roads, poor weed and pest animal management and energy prices Policy settings that seek to protect agriculture and promoting our credentials to build social license. Many of our members highlighted the need for stronger policy to support agriculture in the planning system and thought that their council supported ‘lifestyle’ over productive agriculture.

Planning We have recently adopted a right to farm policy. This addresses the need for strategic policy, supportive regulatory settings and commitments from all levels of government. This policy has been sent to all rural councils. Strong support has been received on advocating for clearer planning practice notes for use when making decisions in the farming zone, planning controls in water catchments, rural dwellings and intensive animal industries. We are building on the ‘how to’ advice on planning, native vegetation and land access with support for information on how to make a submission and cultural heritage management plans.

Issues update Intensive animal industries: Preparation of a response to the proposed draft changes. Native vegetation: Negotiating for procedural changes to reduce notification, appeals and cost of getting a permit. EPA review: Involvement in the group overseeing the local government officer pilot. Emergencies: Engagement with Emergency Management Victoria to improve preparedness, response and recovery.

Lisa Gervasoni Acting Policy Manager


We’re invested in helping all Australians thrive. Today, being connected is more important than ever before, especially in regional Australia. From video calls with mum, mobile calls on the run or data downloads to get business done. Telstra has invested more into regional mobile networks than any other company. Over the last decade, 15% of our mobile investment has gone to 2% of the population, in rural and remote Australia. And we’re not done yet. In the next 5 years, our investment and co-investment could see up to $1 billion flow to regional Australia, including $229 million to reduce mobile blackspots, and adding 1.4 million square kilometres of 4G coverage, to create a world-leading 4G network. Because we’re committed to helping every Australian thrive. 20 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW: The spectrum device and ™ are trade marks and ® are registered trade marks of Telstra Corporation Limited, ABN 33 051 775 556.

Fire season planning

Have you checked your farm fire safety plan? With a high fire risk forecast for central and eastern Victoria this year, it is timely to double check your farm fire safety plan.

ploughed breaks can be effective, as can heavily grazed paddocks with low– level vegetation. Ensure there is a supply of water for livestock.

Preparation can vary by the operations on the farm, but the key is to plan ahead and know your responsibilities during the fire season.

Stockyards can be effective in protecting stock, if protected by a firebreak and have sufficient water. A sprinkler system can also be very useful in preventing heat stress.

Limit or cease farm machinery activity on Severe, Extreme or Code Red days Farmers need to consider the needs of family, staff and contractors on their farm Effective preparation and response means better recovery and return to business Fire is an all year round risk management activity

Have a routine in place for fire risk days (moving stock and limiting or postponing machinery use, switching off electric fences). Make sure everyone on your property is aware of it. Fire Danger Ratings are a good way to decide when to leave. Ratings are not a weather forecast – it tells you how dangerous a fire would be if one started. As the ratings increase, so does the risk of a fast moving and uncontrollable fire.

Farmers have legislative responsibilities during the Fire Danger Period.

If you plan to stay and defend a building during a bushfire, take steps to establish a water supply of at least 10,000 litres (independent of the mains supply).

Having a firebreak of some sort is imperative, using bare laneways and

The CFA website has more detailed information on:

Hay and fire safety Restrictions and permits for farming activities Operating farming machinery, equipment and vehicles Livestock Powerlines Private fire equipment Harvesting. In conjunction with the CFA, we have developed the Voluntary Grain Harvesting Guide which states that grain harvesting operations need to be suspended when the local Grassland Fire Danger Index exceeds 35. Additional resources and links can be found in the VFF member portal: Source: Lisa Gervasoni Acting Policy Manager


The fight for fair Native vegetation has long been a ‘top’ issue for us. The early results from a recent policy survey also had this issue as the top priority for our action. For many years any call for a simpler, fairer system has been portrayed as farmers being environmental vandals, where the opposite is true. Farmers care for the land. Sustainability is a triple bottom line for farmers. The naysayers rarely have practical ‘hands on’ experience. After all, a productive farm is more likely to have the ability to invest in revegetation or soil management. The Rich family from Kaniva in Western Victoria’s recent three–year battle is a prime example of this tension and the system failing to reward good applications.


Stephen Rich and his family applied to remove some trees from his property to allow for machinery to implement no–til farming, using GPS technology. Cropping around the trees was expensive and made this style of farming almost impossible. Three quarters of the trees were to remain, with the offset being appropriate and in an area of significance. From the start of the process, the Rich’s spoke to council and DELWP in preparing their application, which was deemed to meet the regulations and achieve an acceptable outcome.

costs, including $10k for an ecological consultant’s report which showed no impact on local fauna. They eventually received their permit after three years and two VCAT hearings – at significant additional cost and stress to themselves. In the end common sense prevailed, but why did the system allow for this costly delay? We will continue to fight for a simpler system and are actively calling for DELWP to make ‘operational’ improvements to the system.

The case then proceeded to two VCAT hearings, as local residents argued it would ruin their view and threaten biodiversity.

At a minimum we will seek the removal of third party notice and appeals for agriculture, so that farmers regain certainty in process, cost and time. Then hopefully, in the future, farmers will be rewarded for their diligence in preparing good applications with a smoother process and the granting of a timely permit.

Environmental Justice Australia covered the resident’s costs, while the Rich’s personally paid for their legal

Lisa Gervasoni Acting Policy Manager

But their application was then knocked back by council, siting a ‘procedural error’.


Delivering local rural health The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) is known for responding to emergencies in remote parts of Australia, but what you might not know is that the RFDS has a growing presence in delivering primary health services to rural and regional Victorians.

Rural Women’s GP Service This service offers a gender choice in the communities of Charlton, Corryong, Hopetoun, Robinvale, Dunolly and Yarram.

RFDS Telehealth services link Melbourne based endocrinologists via video– conferencing to regionally based patients. This service is now being extended to other specialties in many rural communities.

RFDS Mobile Eye Care While 75 per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable, accessing an optometrist in rural and remote locations is difficult.

“I had gone to the male doctor here in town, but I just felt I needed a woman doctor. There comes a time in life when sometimes you need to talk woman to woman, rather than to a male.” says Corryong resident Lisa Greenhill.

RFDS Mobile Eye Care provides screening, spectacle dispensing and referrals throughout the Mallee, West Wimmera and Gippsland areas.

“The service means a lot to the community in general, because otherwise a lot of women would miss out.”

A team of dentists, oral health therapists and dental students conduct screening, treatment and oral health promotion in rural towns throughout Victoria, with a visit from the purpose–built dental truck.

Lisa’s reluctance to ask a male doctor to do a pap smear is backed up by data which shows that seven in 10 Victorian women who develop cervical cancer either never had a Pap test or did not have them regularly prior to diagnosis. This is just one of the services RFDS provides to help overcome the reality that rural Australians get three times as many avoidable illnesses and see a doctor 50 per cent less than people in cities.

Flying Doctor Dental Clinic

Flying Doctor Psychological Service One in five Australians aged 16–85 years will experience a mental disorder. The Flying Doctor Psychological Service allows for patients in Far East Gippsland to be triaged through the local bush nursing centres and then access

subsequent appointments via our secure Flying Doctor Telehealth Service.

Look Over the Farm Gate ‘Look Over the Farm Gate’ is an initiative encouraging rural communities to look out for one another, creating awareness about mental health and reducing the impact it has on rural communities. The program was developed in 2015 by Victorian Farmers Federation, RFDS Victoria and other rural health organisations in response to the drought impacting Northwest Victoria and was extended to areas affected by the dairy crisis. RFDS Victoria is now continuing this program, by assisting community groups to apply to host events that address mental health, in their community. A range of resources have also been developed to support these events and promote the important message to support mental health. For more information on services available in your area visit Article supplied by: Royal Flying Doctor Service 8412 0400

This is often due to barriers such as lack of time for long travel and limited transport options.

Flying Doctor Telehealth Service Many rural patients diagnosed with diabetes have to travel to Melbourne to see their endocrinologist.

Rural Women’s GP Dr Mary–Anne Lancaster encourages women to make health a priority.


Rural Women’s GP patient Lisa would have to travel five hours to Melbourne to see a female GP.

Kerang resident Ron Hick and his Diabetes Educator Alex Carter connect with Melbourne based Baker Endocrinologist via the Flying Doctor Telehealth Service.

‘Look Over the Farm Gate’ is an initiative encouraging rural communities to look out for one another, creating awareness about mental health and reducing the impact it has on rural communities.

Invisible farmer

Amelia Bright and Hazel.. Image: Catherine Forge This project is the largest ever study of Australian women on the land. Initiated by Museums Victoria it involves a national partnership between rural communities, academics, cultural and government organisations. A major aim of the Invisible Farmer project is to uncover the untold stories of Australian women in food and fibre production. Many stories and photographs have already been published on the project’s website and social media pages. Over the three years of the project, this will expand to a major public collection, an analysis of gender equity, health and resilience of women in agriculture and educational opportunities, to name a few. Heather Mitchell’s hat In 1986 Heather Mitchell was elected as the first woman president of the Victorian Farmers Federation. In the same year Heather and Joan Kirner AC were instrumental in establishing Landcare Victoria.

The badges displayed on her hat represent her life story – her issues, interests and activities.

Amelia believes that it results in happier pigs and a higher quality, better tasting meat.

It also represents the many hats that agricultural women wear and was the first artefact acquired by the Invisible Farmer Project. This hat was on display at the opening of the Women of the Land exhibition recently held at Museums Victoria.

She is hands–on right through the process – feeding the pigs, transporting them to the abattoirs and helping the butcher cut and pack the meat, before selling the pork direct to customers.

Women on farms – Amelia Bright Amelia’s story is just one of the stories highlighted on the Invisible Farmer website. Here is an extract: Amelia was living and working as a prosthetist in inner Melbourne before she married husband Dan, and took up farming pigs on 164 acres in Fish Creek, specialising in high–quality pasture raised pork. Amelia and Dan have worked hard in the past seven years to revegetate their property with native plants and trees, strive towards a neutral pH soil balance, create compost locally from pig and cow manure and to follow zero waste and organic farming principles. Their hard work has paid off and the farm is now entirely off–grid and self– sustaining.

“We couldn’t run our business without the support of our local community. Our products are mostly sold within a 30– 50km radius or less, and we’re able to do that because of the support of the community. “By having a farm and being a farmer I get to be connected to our property, to our land and to our community. The connectedness I think overall is really important.” Amelia said Amelia Bright holds hopes for a future where women, like her daughter Hazel, will have equal opportunities. For more see or search for @invisfarmer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also email

The pigs at Amber Creek Farm live outdoors for the entirety of their lives and have unrestricted access to shelter, fresh water and wallows at all times.

Invisible Farmer Project Curator, Catherine Forge, holds Heather Mitchell’s hat. Image: Loretta Gibson

They do not have their tails docked or their noses ringed to prevent foraging, and are free to roam in the soil and graze on a diet that is rich in nutrients and free of chemicals, hormones, drugs or GMOs.

Heather’s hat at the Women of the Land exhibition. Image: Lisa Gervasoni

Authored by: Loretta Gibson with Catherine Forge


YAPs YAPs is a network of next generation farmers and young people working in agribusiness. Young Agribusiness Professionals (YAPs) aims to promote and connect vibrant, innovative careers in Australian farming and draw upon a talented workforce. Within the VFF, YAPs provides a conduit for young farmers to understand and participate in local topics, state policy and issues that effect agriculture. YAPs also provides a social connection between rural and urban voices to create conversations, new ideas and build networks. Established in 2006, YAPs is made up of financial and non–financial

members aged between 18–35 years and has a committee of five members, supported by the YAP’s co–ordinator. We are proud to announce our 2017– 2018 YAPs committee:

Pheemie Herold | Docklands | Director of ConsiderAg, University of Melbourne Kate Rogers I Melbourne I YAP’s Co–ordinator, Victorian Farmers Federation


The committee are in the process of planning and exploring ideas for 2017– 2018 and will look to provide an event calendar in the near future.

Lauren Mackenzie | South Melbourne | Fresh Produce Supply Manager, Coles

Should you have any insights or topics of interest, please contact me on 0407 048 622 or via email as below.

Megan Williams | Mildura | Wheat Breeder/ Agronomist, Bayer Crop Science

Kate Rogers Events

Annabel Davies | Wendouree Agribusiness Manager, NAB Julia Waite | Seddon Accelerator, Sprout X



YAPs’ Coordinator Kate Rogers with Annabel Mactier and Min Wang, enjoy a YAPs’ function. Image: Stock & Land.


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For more information or to register for events, visit or call Member Services on 1300 882 833. Rural Women Uncovered, 2017

8 1 0 2 / 7 1 0 2 T T SNAPSHO


2017 DECEMBER December 5 Stock up: a practical guide to biosecurity Leongatha

2018 FEBRUARY Annual Grains Conference VFF AGM

MARCH Wimmera Field Days Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show

APRIL Farm World

JUNE VFF Annual Conference Heart of Victoria Dinner

AUGUST Sheepvention

SEPTEMBER Rural Women Uncovered Annual Grains Roadshow

OCTOBER Elmore Field Days Wandin/Silvan Field Days For more events, go to

Images: Loretta Gibson


19– 25 November is National Skin Cancer Action Week, a time when Cancer Council and the Australasian College of Dermatologists come together to raise awareness about skin cancer and the importance of prevention. Here’s some top SunSmart tips for VFF members: Swap your cap for a broad–brimmed hat for better protection

Don’t rely on a yearly GP visit, check your own skin regularly

Sunscreen expires. Make sure yours is in date

Found a new or changing spot? See your GP

No shade? Move the job to early or late in the day

Employ workers? Keep them safe from UV.

For more information go to

Elmore Field Days, 2017

Images: Loretta Gibson


Staff profiles Get to know the people who work for you Jessica Purbrick–Herbst

Lisa Gervasoni

Maureen Webb & Jane Ristrom

Engagement and Communication

Land Management and Planning Policy

Member Services

Every role I have taken on has added to my achievements and leadership. Be it great experiences with people and industries, or roles that have rattled morale and left me stripped. Qualifications come as a mixed lot; Farm Management through Orange Agricultural College, Applied Science (extension and community cohesion) through Melbourne University, Diploma in Counselling with the Australian College of Applied Psychology and Product Marketing from New York University. A big standout was as rural (financial) counsellor in the Goulburn Valley. Coming off high interest rates straight into a flood, it took the breath away from the hardiest of dairy farmers. Just arrived in the area, I found myself wading through waist–high water carrying people and livestock to higher ground. This reminded me about community. Establishing Women in Horticulture, a founding board member of FreshCare and a national role in the apple and pear industry began a long interest in being part of the conversation that leads to applicable implementation and access to new ideas, something that I have brought to the VFF. Time in London and New York working in agricultural investment and becoming a mother put Australia into perspective. The stickiness of start–up tech and social enterprise that aim to solve social issues with business acumen has taken me down an unexpected pathway to create connections with the unobvious. These unlikely conversations lead to lasting positive change that makes a difference to farm businesses and their communities.


While not being raised on a farm, I come from a long line of South West dairy/ potato farmers on my maternal side and Central Victorian hort/livestock on my paternal side. I’ve chosen to spend a majority of my 25+ years in planning in rural areas and was involved in introducing the new planning system. This experience helps identify opportunities to ensure the planning system understands agriculture and supports innovation and expansion of the sector. I’ve received a National Planning Award and have been on the Australian Executive for one of my professional bodies, but the important achievements are when you help make the system better. Striving for changes that make a system fairer, cheaper or more efficient is worth more than a trophy. The Rich’s win at VCAT was a highlight of 2017 and we are striving to ensure the system changes so no other farmer has to go to VCAT under similar circumstances. We don’t always win but we don’t go down without a fight. I am very pleased to now be acting as policy manager and look forward to hearing from our members about their issues. Please feel free to contact me on 1300 882 833 or

You may know Jane from her successful management of the ‘Look Over the Farm Gate’ project and Maureen who previously helped out with a range of Member Service activities. Maureen and Jane are now an integral part of the Member Services team, sharing one position which suits both of them down to the ground. Their warm, engaging personalities and their ability to find solutions for our members makes them ideal for their role. Both Maureen and Jane bring a wealth of experience and skills and we are lucky to have them. “A job share position works well for both of us and for the VFF, as it allows us the opportunity to help out in other areas during busy times. “We feel the most important thing for us, being the first contact at the VFF, is the ability to listen, empathise with members’ situations and point people in the right direction. “We pride ourselves on customer service and providing a helpful experience to members when they call. Sometimes we might be the only person a farmer speaks to in that day. And we look forward to chatting to our members and helping them out.” said Maureen and Jane. Job sharing allows Maureen time to travel between Melbourne and Canberra to spend time with her children and grandchildren and enjoy attending their sporting activities. Jane is busy on her farm, with her family and grandchildren and is heavily involved in horse–riding.

An event to remember Women from around Victoria came together in September to attend our initiative, Rural Women Uncovered. The two day event, held at RACV Goldfields Resort Creswick, provided rural women with professional development and networking opportunities, leaving them inspired, empowered and revitalised.

It provided some valuable topics of interest for next year’s event. These topics include work/life balance, entrepreneurial women, body image, positive attitudes and confidence.

Rural Women Uncovered Exposing the potential of women in agriculture I look forward to shaping and creating next year’s event based on their input and tailoring the event to meet the needs of today’s women in agriculture. Kate Rogers Events

The event was designed to expose the potential of women in agriculture and encourage rural women to have an active voice in government and community decision–making. This year’s event introduced our voice session with women committing to three actions to implement. We will provide support, guidance and assistance to the women as they achieve their three actions and use this as a touch point to stay connected to the women. We also proudly donated $450 to Ovarian Cancer Australia to raise awareness of this disease. Thank you to the women who attended the event for their support and positive feedback.

Images: Loretta Gibson

Profile – Cara Hadzig There she helped build houses in villages totally destroyed by flood. Seeing how these people lived gave Cara a valuable life lesson.

Cara’s life is a busy one, as well as supporting the local CFA, kindergarten and school, she needs to fit in spending quality time with her family.

“It makes you appreciate and realise how lucky you are. We have a lot compared to those that don’t even have clean drinking water,” she said.

But she enjoys giving back to her local community, wanting the place where she is raising her family to continue to grow and prosper.

Growing up on a rural property, Cara would help her father out on the farm, soon realising that agriculture was a life she wanted to pursue.

Attending Longerenong College, Cara was dux of her course. Unfortunately, due to her father’s continued poor health, the family farm was sold, but Cara went on to be employed by our own President, David Jochinke.

Instead of joining her friends at ‘schoolies’ after high school, Cara decided to travel to Cambodia.

Cara credits David as a great mentor and his support has helped her achieve her goals to date.

Cara has recently taken on a new career challenge and her long term goal is to return to a college like Longerenong to teach the next generation of agriculturists. I’m sure she will achieve her goals and wish her all the very best on her journey.

Cara was just one of the many inspiring women we met at this year’s event. At just 26 years old, she is a working mum, married to Allan, with two young boys and an interesting story to tell.

Authored by: Loretta Gibson with Cara Hadzig


Keeping kids safe Kids on farms are at more risk of injury or death than adults, with kids visiting a farm making up a total of 25 per cent of all child farm deaths. We take safety very seriously and want to make sure our members’ families are protected. Major risks to children who live on, or visit a farm include: Drowning – dams, rivers, channels and water tanks Accidents – vehicles, tractors, quad bikes and motorbikes Poisoning – chemicals, baits Falls – buildings, ladders, equipment Injury – livestock, horses, domestic pets, guns, sharp equipment. A fenced area where younger children can safely play is essential. Fences need to be too difficult for a child to climb over, or under, ie solid or vertical

rail, no foot–holes and around 1.2 –1.5 m high and low to the ground. Covering old tanks, dips and water troughs and being watchful around portable pools, dams and channels is essential. Kids can drown in six inches of water. Preparing a farm safety assessment is a good idea. Simply walk around the farm, looking at every area to see what hazards could be a risk to your children. Try to see things from your child’s point of view. Educate your children about dangers on the farm. Find ways to child–proof dangerous areas, like using fences and locks and removing keys to machinery and vehicles, which can protect your child from injury or death.

Farm safety suggestions It is impossible to make your farm completely safe, but you can minimise the risks: Create a safe, well fenced play area close to the house Wear a helmet and safety vest when horse riding and supervise young children closely Fence off all water sources such as dams, ponds, septic tanks, sheep dips, pools and creeks Lock up chemicals, guns and other hazards Ensure electrical equipment and other dangerous materials are out of reach Don’t let your child ride on farm machinery, such as tractors and quad bikes Ensure your child doesn’t have access to any ladders and doesn’t climb to heights – such as on hay stacks Teach children about both the positive and dangerous aspects of livestock and farm animals Teach safety rules that apply to the different areas of the farm Make sure your child understands that certain areas are out–of–bounds for them for example silos, grain loading areas, farm machinery and animal pens. Sources: Farmsafe Victorian Government – Better Health Channel

David Jochinke’s daughter, Audrey, showing farm safety is a real issue with kids.


Loretta Gibson Communications

Supporting our farmers’ futures The red meat industry in Victoria is leading the way in seeking operator protection devices that provide safer work environments on–farm. The farm safety rebate has created opportunities for more productive and safer farms by delivering $2.3 million in rebates – that’s nearly 2600 safer families in Victoria. Quad bike rebates – making safer purchasing choices It has been encouraging to see the continued uptake of the quad bike rebate as we reach the one year mark of the scheme. Beef and sheep farmers are taking the lead by making safer purchasing choices – either fitting a roll over device to their quadbike, or taking the opportunity to upgrade to a safer side by side vehicle, then claiming the available rebate. The safety message is starting to have an effect with Victorian farmers recognising the dangers of quad bikes on farms, which can also result in a loss of productivity; and making a decision to do something about it.

Injury and fatality statistics in farming speak for themselves – quad bikes are a major contributor. Improve on–farm productivity with a rebate. A Victorian farmer with a quad bike can take advantage of the $1200 rebate by upgrading to a safer side– by–side vehicle. Or you can fit roll over protection to your quad bike and claim up to $600. Make your purchase, fill in the application, attach the tax invoice and send in to us here at the VFF. You will receive your rebate within two weeks. For more information and applications call the Quad Bike Hotline 1300 945 030 or visit

Farmers’ Fund – improving dairy businesses Farmers’ Fund grants aim to promote a more resilient and sustainable dairy industry supporting real benefits to farmers.

With more and more success stories coming through, the grants are making a real difference to the lives of everyday dairy farmers.

Within the last 12 months, just over 120 farmers have received grants from the Farmers’ Fund and more than half of those projects are now completed.

Some of the funded projects currently underway include:

In addition, a number of projects are well underway and it has been encouraging to hear some of the benefits of these projects. One successful recipient, granted funding for 10 automatic cup removers, said, “The project has immensely improved the function and performance of our dairy business”.

Extending dairy yards Installing rubber matting Staff training Automated calf feeders Installing a solar water pump. Successful round five applicants will be notified during November.

Image: Megan Osborne @foodiewritings

Examples of successful projects and the latest information about the fund is available at

Kellie Quayle Programs


Never underestimate the of a well-made decision


Have you considered fixed interest? Quite often when reviewing a client’s portfolio it becomes evident they are carrying large quantities of cash in their trading accounts. On further inquiry, the answer is often the same: ‘The return on term deposits is poor and the environment for share investment is volatile – what else do we do’? Fixed Interest Investments may prove to be the answer. There are a myriad of instruments in this investment class, not just term deposits. They can fill a range of income needs, often with lower volatility levels than direct share investment. The basic mechanics are that if a company was to enter receivership, there is a ‘pecking order’ or capital structure in which funds are returned to investors. That is, fixed interest investments rank higher than ordinary share holders. The trade-off being that


with less risk, there is less return. Using the example of an Australian bank, term deposits would be returned to investors before ordinary shareholders were paid out. While fixed interest investment has a place in all well diversified portfolios, they may be particularly suited to individuals and super funds who require a dividend income substantially higher than term deposits, yet aren’t in a position to take onboard the risk of direct share investment. That is, other investments in the capital structure should be investigated. The diagram (right) highlights this ‘pecking order’. While investment in Hybrids, Subordinated or Senior Debt may not be for everyone, it’s important to know that they exist and should be explored further. They frequently

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Grains on the move

During September, the VFF Grains team travelled across the state for the annual VFF Pre–Harvest Road Show. Stopping in Boort, Tungamah, Derrinallum and Longerenong, the roadshow was a great opportunity for growers to come together and discuss the big issues of harvest. In light of the blitz on trucks around the Wimmera during harvest time last year, heavy vehicle regulations were a key focus at this year’s roadshow.

We invited the Victorian Police Heavy Vehicle Unit and VicRoads to conduct practical truck roadworthy demonstrations for attendees. A big thank you must go to those members who gamely lent their trucks for the demonstrations. Members also had the opportunity to speak to representatives from Emerald Grain, AWB and GrainCorp about key issues such as payment terms, the new grain harvest management scheme and delays at receivals sites.

Heavy vehicle regulations were a key focus of this year’s roadshow.

The roadshow concluded with a workshop and field day in Longerenong. Held in conjunction with Grain Producers Australia, GRDC and Australian Custom Harvesters Inc, the focus of the workshop was another important harvest issue – reducing header fire risk. Large crowds turned out to hear presentations on header insurance, see practical displays on new fire suppression technology and learn tips to reduce header fire risk.

Header fires Reducing header fire risk is a key focus of our VFF Grains Group. According to research conducted by the GRDC and Kondinin Group, 7 per cent of harvesters catch fire each year. Header fires cost the industry millions of dollars each year and are a big safety risk for farmers. Tips for reducing your risk of header fires this harvest: Use the Voluntary Grain Harvesting Operations Table developed jointly by the VFF and CFA to determine whether it is appropriate weather conditions to harvest

Adopt a regular maintenance and cleaning program, both before and during grain harvest operations Have a well maintained and fully operational farm fire–fighting unit with 250 litres of water located in the paddock area during harvest Develop a five metre fuel break around crops or paddocks to be harvested Ensure you have access to UHF CB radio or mobile phone. Source: Voluntary Grain Harvesting Guide, a joint Victorian Farmers Federation and CFA initiative.

Annabel Mactier Contact 1300 882 833 or email Grains for your copy.

The Grains Group is proudly sponsored by: GOLD SPONSOR






Insight into young dairy leaders We caught up with a couple of past Gardiner UDV New Zealand Study Tour participants to see what they’re up to now . Dustin Kemp – 2016 New Zealand tour I have stepped up from managing a dairy farm into a share arrangement where I own my own cows. As for the future, I‘m not from a farming Dustin Kemp family and the idea Image: The you have to own your Weekly Times farm wasn’t part of my background – there are other ways to develop wealth. Instead, I’m focused on developing what I have. I want to work for the mutual benefit of myself and the farm owner. I’ve helped to start a young farmer discussion group in the Campaspe area, which I also manage. I was also part of the Dairy Australia Emerging Dairy Leaders Program which encouraged me to think on an industry level. Now I intend to stay engaged, but I also need to make sure I continue to hone my business. New Zealand farmers play to their strengths and business acumen is



extremely important. The tour brought me some great perspective. I’d highly recommend next year’s tour to everyone. Will Ryan – 2015 New Zealand tour I’m working on being a professional large herd dairy farm manager, not just carrying out the work. On top of this, I want to make sure I’m bringing Will Ryan in young people and Image: Dairy Australia helping them develop. I’m dedicated to making sure they are well informed and taking the right steps in their careers. My involvement on the New Zealand tour gave some great perspective on industry and community engagement. The quality of discussion among the young farmers we met and their engagement was exceptional. I’ve since tried to become more involved with the local Young Dairyfarmer Network and I’ve been putting my hand up for local discussion groups, often hosting them on my farm. The business acumen of farmers in New Zealand dairy is remarkable; they manage their people well and create

a great environment for them. They understand their businesses and they plan for the future. They have long term vision that helps them plan through the tough times.

“New Zealand farmers understand their businesses. They have long term vision that helps them plan through the tough times... I’d highly recommend next year’s tour to everyone.” Authored by: Chris Paynter with Dustin Kemp and Will Ryan.


Flowers Victoria


Advocacy efforts Stricter conditions for imported flowers and foliage.



Image: Zara Walker


Spring is always a time to rejoice in the flower industry. It’s the time of year when all the hard work has paid off and thanks to the Spring Racing Carnival and ‘Wedding Season’, demand is high. At the Flowers Victoria office, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to ensure locally grown Victorian flowers are the favoured varieties. Therefore one can imagine our delight to receive a call from Barnaby Joyce’s office – The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, early in the season detailing revised import conditions for cut flowers and foliage.


and ultimately stricter policies resulting in less imported product on the market. All consignments of cut flowers and foliage coming into Australia must be quarantine pest free. The exporting country’s National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) must provide a Phytosanitary Certificate. This document must certify the following: One of the three invertebrate pest management options must be applied Pre–export inspection verifying freedom of live pests must be carried out Pest proof packaging must be used

A high number of insect pests including thrips had been found in shipments of international flowers.

Devitalisation treatment must be applied if the species is propagatable.

This causes a dangerous biosecurity threat. The department has now proposed stricter import requirements.

Further details regarding these new conditions are listed on the Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON).

This announcement is beneficial to our members and our purpose, as it ensures enhanced biosecurity efforts to support the safety of local product

From November 2017 the new requirements outlined in the report will be implemented, including the compulsory Phytosanitary Certificate.

Flowers Victoria

The changes will be monitored over the following three months to see if the changes have any impact on the detection of pests in imported consignments. If a reduction in pest and disease does not occur, then greater action to investigate the causes and working closer with the origin nations of the imported product will occur. Flowers Victoria, in alignment with the National Flower Council, will continue to monitor the progress of these developments, while always advocating on behalf of the local industry for stricter regulation. For further details on the regulatory process and proposed changes, please see au/import/goods/plant–products/ c u t – f l owe rs – fo l i a g e / t re a t m e nt – guide#phytosanitary–requirements– for–treated–flowers–and–foliage Anastasia Volpe Flowers Victoria










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BOTTLE A DOMESTIC DEAL VFF members save on domestic LPG Strengthen your business with our group buying power Domestic deal • Applicable to 90kg and 190kg/210kg vessels (subject to site assessment) • No supplier agreement required Location (Vic only)

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Call you local ELGAS branch on 13 11 61 or VFF Member Services on 1300 882 833

Who needs Three Phase Power? We may have the perfect solution: TRiiiON Single to Three Compliant Phases Converter Will enable Three Phase operations on Single Phase Electricity Distribution Networks (including SWER)

If you operate your facility on Diesel, this may be an opportunity to decrease fuel costs; If you need a Three Phase back up generator- This is the enabler for Three Phase operations. Designed and manufactured in Victoria, Patented around the world. Call us for initial consultation on 1300TRiiiON, or visit our website at and fill in the survey, we will then make contact

A framework for the future Earlier this year we surveyed our horticultural members to understand what’s important to you, what are the opportunities to grow your business and what’s holding you back. You told us: The top challenges relate to farm gate pricing, market access, supply chain and production costs (fuel, chemicals, fertiliser, seeds) That the cost of labour is the biggest expense along with input costs and debt repayment Farm gate price and profit margin ranked the number one threat to sustainability with labour costs and accountability being second To grow the business you are looking for products to value add and/or developing new product ranges to increase farm profitability; you are actively seeking out efficiencies through new technology, growing

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systems and product quality; and developing connections with consumers (shoppers). And you need the VFF to: Lobby for right to farm and a reduction of red tape and regulations Facilitate opportunities to increase business development skills, learn about new and emerging technologies and access to grants. The horticulture team thanks all members who contributed to the survey. We now have a detailed platform to deliver on what is important to the membership. We are putting in place the approach to investigate and innovate with novel thinking, which will deliver real benefit on our reason for being. We will be in touch again through newsletters and face–to–face meetings to build on these conversations.

Horticulture supply contracts If you’re an Australian fruit and vegetable grower, the Horticulture Code of Conduct may apply to you and the people you trade with. If you don’t have a valid Horticulture Produce Agreement (HPA) in place with each business/ trader that buys or sells your produce, you need to organise one as soon as possible to comply with the law, enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commissioner (ACCC). If you don’t have a valid HPA with all traders you have less control over important commercial issues such as payment times and rejection of your produce. If you are currently trading under an agreement that was entered into before 15 December 2006 or you have an HPA that complies with the old code, you have until 1 April 2018 to enter into a new HPA or amend your existing one so that it meets the new code requirements. However, if you have a written agreement which was not valid under the old code, or no written agreement at all, you may be operating illegally. The ACCC can ask growers and traders to provide documents to check compliance with the code. If you don’t comply the ACCC may issue an infringement notice to pay a penalty, as an alternative to court proceedings, or a court may order you to pay penalties. More details are available on our website or Horticulture Group



Finding the balance between integrity and red tape The livestock industry is on the front foot, strengthening the LPA program to meet changing consumer expectations. With recent changes to the Livestock Production Assurance program, there is speculation about what’s needed to meet new requirements. In some instances, people think the program is just more red tape. It’s worth thinking about the changes from another perspective. The program builds a body of evidence about the good work being done day–in–day–out to produce safe, high quality red meat on–farm. It is the hard evidence that says to our trade partners, government, consumers and others that we stand by what we sell. Wouldn’t you prefer that industry leads our red meat integrity system rather than government or outsiders?

renew your accreditation with instructions. When it comes to documenting a biosecurity plan, think of it as a risk assessment. It’s about identifying and reducing the risk of introducing or spreading diseases, pests or weeds. You don’t have to completely remove every risk. Focus on the things you can control that are important to your livestock enterprise. There are templates you can use to document your biosecurity plan, or your existing record keeping may be enough. In fact, you probably meet most of the expectations already, so use this as an opportunity to review what you are doing and decide if there are areas you want to tweak. Handy questions and answers about the LPA changes are on MLAs website at Catherine James Livestock Health & Biosecurity VICTORIA

So let’s break down what the LPA changes mean to you. Be familiar with the new biosecurity and animal welfare requirements and have a farm biosecurity plan in place. The details are in your information pack from MLAs Integrity Systems Company, who administers the program on behalf of industry When your accreditation is due, complete the assessment and pay the fee. You will be notified two months before you need to


Livestock Health & Biosecurity VICTORIA


Livestock President’s report

It’s been an exceptionally busy third quarter of 2017. We’ve been working hard to raise awareness of Q fever on behalf of rural and regional Victoria. Hopefully you’ve seen the campaign material or heard the LHBV team at recent events urging producers to get vaccinated. We have approached the Victorian Health and Agriculture Ministers for additional funding for a subsidised vaccination program and negotiations are taking place.

The final report into the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector was handed down in September. This report demanded a crackdown on anti–competitive behaviour across the livestock supply chain. We are working to ensure that supported recommendations are implemented. Other areas we’re working on include:

Secure biosecurity funding to protect our livestock industries. We are keen for your input, to hear about issues important to you and how we can use our influence to improve the situation. Please make yourself known to regional livestock councillor participate in forums so we represent you to government through the value chain.

your and can and

Commercialising kangaroo and deer meat for pet food

Thank you for supporting the voice of livestock producers in Victoria.

The future of saleyards

Leonard Vallance President Livestock Group

Effective and efficient livestock traceability

EVERY IT’S SERIOUS LIVESTOCK AND IT’S SPREADING WORKER IS AT RISK On average, there are 600 notifications of Q Fever each year, although the rate of infection is thought to be much higher.

VACCINATION IS THE ONLY SURE WAY TO AVOID Q FEVER A once-only vaccination gives at-risk lifetime protection from Q Fever.

40% get acute Q Fever which could

mean being off work for 2-6 weeks, lead to chronic Q Fever in 10-30% of cases and to lengthy, even lifelong conditions.


GOVERNMENTS HAVE SUBSIDISED VACCINATIONS BEFORE. Up until 2006 the Q Fever vaccination was subsidised by governments. Since the end of the subsidy, vaccinations have fallen and workers reported Q Fever cases have risen.

SUBSIDISED VACCINATIONS WILL... Protect the health of workers and help business – and deliver strong economic benefits.



Summer checklist Prepare for summer blackouts now It’s not too late to prepare for summer on your poultry farm. Blackouts and brownouts are predicted to be more frequent over the next two summers. You need to ensure contingency plans and backups are in place and working before January. This will be even more important this year than in previous years.

Here are some suggested maintenance activities to undertake: Generator serviced Generator fuelled and batteries tested Secondary alarm tested All components of cooling system cleaned, tested and flushed Thermographic survey of switchboards Ensuring all staff are aware of emergency plans.

Caitlin Hirst Policy



Don’t take risks. Before excavation work always Dial Before You Dig.

Remember to Always Dial Before You Dig Dial Before You Dig is a free service that puts farmers in contact with owners of underground pipes and cables that may run through and around rural properties. It is essential to lodge an enquiry with Dial Before You Dig before any excavation work as the presence or location of underground assets may not be known to landowners. Minor excavation activities can cause major damages to these underground networks. Farmers can lodge an enquiry online at or by calling 1100 during business hours. You will receive plans providing details about underground assets including information on how to work safely around them. Dial Before You Dig is a proud supporter of the Victorian Farmers Federation.


The Essential First Step.


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• To learn more, contact us for a free demonstration on how Xero and Figured can help you take control. • Please contact Rachael Trickey or Bronte Gorringe to organise a time.

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News and reviews Useful contacts and information for members


Ashlee Hammond


Steve Sheridan


David Picker

Horticulture Intensives Laurie Mannix –  Chicken Meat

– Eggs

– Pigs

Flowers Victoria Anastasia Volpe


Kate Rogers


Rob Martin

All enquiries: 1300 882 833 or



David Jochinke President

Branch meetings

Brett Hosking VFF Vice President

Please contact Kate Rogers for assistance with guest speakers, sponsors or lodging of information/policies.

Adam Jenkins UDV or 1300 882 833.

Allan Bullen Intensives

Victorian Farmer online

Emma Germano Horticulture Leonard Vallence Livestock Ross Johns Grains Mary–Beth Bauer Independent

LONG–RANGE WEATHER FORECAST To make a long–range weather forecast you need to know how the oceans and atmosphere cause weather, what the current state of the oceans and atmosphere is and how they evolve with time. The Bureau of Meteorology’s long–range forecast model uses around 40 million observations, from ground stations to balloons, to buoys, to satellites and from every corner of the globe, to create a three dimensional view of the current state of our oceans, land, ice and atmosphere. All those observations are put into equations that describe the behaviour of the Earth’s oceans, land, ice and atmosphere and their interactions; and then mathematics is used to shuffle these relationships forward several months into the future. All this is run on one of the most powerful supercomputers in the southern hemisphere. We repeat that


165 times, each time using slight differences in the starting conditions. Sometimes those slight differences grow into large differences over time. Comparing the 165 different forecasts lets us calculate the likelihood of the future being wetter or drier than average. For example, a 75 per cent chance of exceeding the median rainfall means that 75 per cent of the 165 forecasts predicted a wetter than average outcome (and 25 per cent predicted a drier than average outcome) for that area. Climatologists interpret the forecasts and turn them into useful information. Then they take that information out to the community—online, on TV and radio, in print and in person. Jonathan Pollock – Climatologist Bureau of Meteorology 9669 4000 or

Our magazine is now available online through the Issuu app. Download the app from iTunes or play store and search for Victorian Farmer Magazine. The app has great functionality to view, snip and share across social media platforms. Email us if you’d like to receive a digital copy of the magazine only at



24 hour services Lifeline Australia 13 11 14 Beyondblue 1300 22 46 36 Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800 Suicide Help Line 1300 651 251

Laughter Clubs Victoria

Online resources

Young people Headspace 1800 650 890 www. Young Carers 1800 242 636 Men’s health Mensline Australia 1300 789 978 Australian Mens Shed Association 1300 550 009 Women’s health Womens Health Victoria 9664 9300 Mind Health Connect – womens–mental–health Jean Hailes for Women’s Health 1800 532 642 Sexual assault – family violence 1800 RESPECT 1800 737 732 Healthcare Free after hours services Nurse on call 1300 606 024 After hours doctors on call – check online in your local area Dial 000 for urgent assistance

Laughter is a powerful healing modality that is simple, fun and works on the body, mind and spirit. The Garden Clubs of Australia Promote and encourage the love of gardening throughout your community, with over 50 clubs around Victoria. Future Farmers Building the engagement and network of 18 to 35 year olds involved in agriculture. Victorian Young Farmers

PURBRICK CHRISTMAS PUDDING Clare Purbrick created a family Christmas pudding built upon a little bit of the CWA, a smidge of Sydney and a lot of the Trangie Red Cross cookbook. Make the pudding after the Melbourne Cup and store at the back of the fridge until Christmas. Serves 20.

Developing leadership capabilities and building social connectedness to increase well–being and to reduce isolation.


180g plain flour

Pony Club Victoria

180g fresh white breadcrumbs

Promoting the love of horses, horsemastership, riding skills and personal development.

360g seedless raisins

180g sultanas

Rural Women’s Network

125g candied peel

A one–stop shop for information about mentoring, leadership opportunities and inspiring stories, as well as events and ideas.

180g dark brown sugar

¼ teas salt

Country Women’s Association of Victoria Friendship, personal development and advocacy. Supporting community and social issues; and sustainable development. Zonta International District 23

500g suet (or butter)

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Grated zest of lemon ½ teas grated nutmeg

2 tabs lemon juice ½ teas ground cinnamon 4 eggs 100ml brandy, plus extra brandy to heat 600ml milk

Make a difference to the lives of women and girls around the world and in your community. Empower and be empowered.

Christmas charms – vintage porcelain charms (as shown) or old coins (coins must be sterilised and wrapped in greaseproof paper).



Free services National debt helpline 1800 007 007 Consumer Action Law Centre 9629 6300

Men’s Sheds Victoria

Free online assistance Salvation Army Moneycare program – financialassistance/financialcounselling Asic’s Moneysmart – www.moneysmart. yourmoney/managing debts/financialcounselling Australian Government – www.agriculture. financial counselling service Agriculture Victoria – www.agriculture. management/ debt mediation/financial counselling

Rotary Australia

Mix everything together in large basin with a wooden spoon. Push Christmas charms into the mixture, cover and leave overnight. Pack into buttered basin, ensuring charms are well covered, cover with disc of greaseproof paper and double wrap entire basin with silver foil. Tie with string. Stand basin in a stockpot on a wire rack (or use a pasta pot with colander) and add boiling water up to two–thirds of the way up the basin. Boil for six hours, topping up with boiling water as required. Let cool and then wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store at back of the fridge.

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Harnessing the ideas, ideals and intelligence of working–aged Australians.

Put your skills to use for the benefit of your community or simply have a chat, learn new skills and give back to the community. Allowing ordinary people to do extraordinary things, with the reward of paying it forward. Lions Club Promoting youth, medical research, aid to people with disabilities, community service and disaster relief. Apex Australia

Remove from fridge on Christmas Eve (night). In the morning, remove the plastic wrap and ensure silver foil and string is secure, re–boil (as above) for three–four hours. Carefully remove basin from stockpot, run a knife around the edges and tip upside down onto large flat serving plate. Heat brandy, pour over pudding and light. Serve to family and friends with brandy butter, thick cream or ice cream. Enjoy finding the Christmas charms. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave – delicious for Boxing Day gatherings.


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Alliance partners WFI Tailored policies – Early Bird Crop policy, Rural Plan, Commercial Plan, Private Plan, Landlord Plan. Momentum Energy Exclusive pricing on residential and business meters – electricity and gas, 100% Australian owned.

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For more information visit or call VFF Member services on 1300 882 833. VICTORIAN FARMER | Summer 2017


Member advantage FIND YOUR LOCAL WFI AREA MANAGER Albury / Wodonga




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Why not call WFI for a quote? If you would like to arrange an appointment for an insurance review or to request a quote, simply contact your local WFI Area Manager.

1300 934 934



Victorian Farmer Magazine - November 2017  

Victorian Farmer Magazine - November 2017

Victorian Farmer Magazine - November 2017  

Victorian Farmer Magazine - November 2017