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TAS Country : February 16th 2012
12 Tasmanian Country Friday, February 17, 2012 News Helping farmers cream it ROGER HANSON INSPIRE: Ben Geard TASMANIAN dairy far- mers attending the Aust- ralian Dairy Conference in Gippsland, Victoria, this weekend should learn how to extract better value for their milk. Dairy farmer Ben Geard, from Broadmarsh, near Hobart, who is chairing the programming com- mittee of the 10th anniver- sary Australian Dairy Con- ference, said the event was designed to open far- mers' eyes. ''The program will give them take-away ideas to put in their tool box to take back to their farm,'' Mr Geard said. It was not too late to attend the conference days on Wednesday and Thur- sday next week. Tours be- fore and after the event are also available. ''I urge any farmer who has not registered to do so,'' Mr Geard said. To attend the confer- ence, last-minute regis- trations can be made by today contacting event manager, Esther Price Pro- motions, on (08) 9525 9222 or email donna@esther price.com.au. Last Sunday was a busy day for the Geard family when their galloper Geegees Blackflash won the Hobart Cup (2200m). However, the emotion of winning the Cup hasn't slowed Mr Geard. ''I have been working with a talented and en- thusiastic group of dairy farmers spanning four states and a range of pro- duction systems,'' Mr Geard said. ''Together with some dedicated service pro- viders, we have scanned the country and indeed the globe to identify speakers and topics that will leave our audience informed, en- thused and with a tool kit of ideas and philosophies to take back to their dairy farm businesses.'' Mr Geard said the Aust- ralian Dairy Conference (ADC) Ltd board issued the challenge to ensure the 10th anniversary event took dairy conferencing to a new level. ''We have relished this mandate and are delighted with the quality of spea- kers and experts who are on the program,'' Mr Geard said. In Gippsland, there are about 1500 dairy farm businesses within three hours of the conference centre. The area is respon- sible for about 24 per cent of the nation's milk pro- duction and has a farmgate value of $880 million. Mr Geard said the ADC board commissioned a wide-ranging study into the market mechanisms. ''This will take the in- dustry forward into the next decade and beyond,'' Mr Geard said. ''This ADC com- missioned body of work will be released exclusively to attendees of the confer- ence and is expected to generate significant dis- cussion and become the foundation of an oppor- tunity for change.'' The Australian of the Year, Melbourne-based businessman and phil- anthropist Simon McKeon, will deliver the Tom Reid Oration lecture at the War- ragul Arts Centre on the opening evening. Further information is available from www.australiandairy conference.com.au. Gunns in farmer's sights over rent payments VICTORIAN farmers Gra- ham and Carol Merrett say they have been starved of their sole income due to the alleged failure of Gunns Ltd to pay the rent for their 160ha farm. Mr Merrett, of Carpen- deit near Cobden, alleged Gunns was three months behind in its quarterly payments on the 26-year lease. The farm was orig- inally leased to Great Southern, operating a managed forestry invest- ment scheme, six years ago. After Great Southern collapsed, Gunns bought the lease. ''They've been late pay- ing from day one,'' Mr Merrett said. ''They (Gunns employees) told us there's no money and they don't know if we'll ever get paid.'' Mr Merrett said he couldn't afford to consult a lawyer. ''We're totally financial- ly drained,'' he said. ''The farm is now a total dis- grace, they've let the black- berries go wild in the creek, it is wrong and it is embarrassing. ''The whole bluegum thing is a total load of crap; we thought we'd done our research and it was a sure thing. I want the govern- ment to make new laws so a person who owns the property has the power to remove the trees if they (the company with the lease) doesn't pay.'' TFGA chief executive Jan Davis said she had heard of ''many'' farmers in Tasmania not being paid. A Gunns spokesman said the company would not comment on individual commercial matters. Weekly Times D D D D D D D D EVERY CIGARETTE YOU DON'T SMOKE IS DOING YOU GOOD In 5 days most nicotine is out of your body In 1 week your sense of taste and smell improves In 1 month skin appearance is likely to improve Today quit before getting pregnant and your risk of having a pre-term baby is reduced tothatofa non-smoker In 12 months your risk of heart disease has halved In 8 hours excess carbon monoxide is out of your blood In 3 months your lung function begins to improve In 1 year a pack-a-day smoker will save over $4,000 STOP SMOKING START REPAIRING Advertisement australia.gov.au/quitnow Authorised by the Australian Government, Capital Hill, Canberra
February 9th 2012
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