Campaign launched to attract more farmers to Tasmania

The Australian state of Tasmania has launched an international campaign to attract dairy farmers from around the world to move to the island off the country’s south coast.

DairyTas, part of the Australian farmers organisation Dairy Australia, is particularly interested in farmers from the UK and officials will be visiting in May to persuade young dairy farmers to consider moving to the other side of the world.

It points out that milk production on the island has grown at an average rate of about 5% per year over the last 10 years., a 43% increase overall in comparison with a national decline of 4% and is put down to sustainable farming practices.

Dairy-Cow

The body also believes that the climate in Tasmania is more suitable for dairy farming than other parts of Australia as pasture based livestock systems thrive.

Under a project called Into Dairy, project manager Steve Jarman will be in the UK from 11 to 17 May to find farmers interested in making the move. He explained that those interested would be able to move to Australia with a temporary skilled worker 457 visa which allows them to stay and work for up to four years.

Some British farmers have already made the move. They include Peter and Jo Jones who have a 780 cow dairy farm on the island. They have found that lower land prices, less red tape and a more traditional approach have worked for them.

Indeed, the latest survey from Dairy Australia found that farmers in Tasmania are the most likely to have a positive outlook and the majority made an operational profit during the last financial year.

It comes at a time when more money is being put into the dairy industry in Tasmania. Dairy Australia and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) has just launched a $7.6 million partnership over five years which will deliver targeted dairy productivity research and extension services aimed at helping to drive Tasmanian dairy farm profitability and sustainability.

“This agreement utilises the expertise of the TIA Dairy Centre in addressing high level objectives for improved feed base performance in Tasmania’s pasture based dairy systems,” said Dairy Australia managing director Ian Halliday.

“At the core of this new programme are farmers, who will directly contribute to research direction and the building skills and knowledge across the state,” he added.

TIA director Holger Meinke pointed out that dairy is Tasmania’s biggest agricultural industry and is worth more than $1 billion per year post farm gate to the Tasmanian economy.

“The industry has grown by 34% over the past decade and research and innovation are crucial if we are to see the sector to continue to grow profitably and sustainably,” he explained.

The first project Dairy on PAR is seeking to improve feed base performance in pasture based dairy systems by increasing home grown feed production and consumption, increasing milk response to concentrate feeding and growing industry skills, knowledge and confidence in business analysis and understanding of risk.

Article Via: australiaforum

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