Agribusiness Gippsland goes to the Show; Shape Gippy's future, School-industry partnership to benefit agribusiness, Backpacker tax slashed, and more! ...



3 October 2016

Edition 132

In this issue

- Agribusiness Gippsland goes to the show
- Opportunity opens to shape Gippsland's future
- School-industry partnership to benefit agribusiness
- Backpacker tax slashed
- Communities prepare for new rabbit virus release
- Indigenous agriculture has lessons for today

- Scholarships, grants, funding & awards
PLUS: LOTS of jobs!

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Agribusiness Gippsland goes to the Show!

Agribusiness Gippsland (AGI) hosted a group of 30 influential stakeholders at the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) agribusiness luncheon at the Royal Melbourne Show. Our partners, RASV, have made this a prestigious industry event in the annual calendar of Victorian agribusiness leaders.
Winners of the 2016 Emerging Leaders in Victorian Agriculture awards were Melissa Neal, Emma Germano and Grace Calder. The awards is open to industry participants under 40 who have achieved in one of more areas of professional, industry and community contribution, as well as demonstrated leadership qualities such as innovation, communication or ethical conduct.
The lunch also provided the opportunity for the AGI team network with participants to discuss our recent projects, events and representations to Government on emerging issues for the agribusiness sector including: an annual conference with a record number of delegates, Agribusiness Gippsland signing as the first industry partner at the new Gippsland Hi Tech Education Centre, and support for the new Gippsland Innovation and Education Precinct. In the next few weeks we partner with ABARES to run one of their regional Conferences in Traralgon. More? Paul Ford 412 519 850 or

Opportunity opens to shape Gippsland’s future

The Victorian Government has established a Regional Partnerships Program to give regional communities greater say on what matters to them and ensure their opinions reach government. Gippsland is the largest of nine regions, with gross regional production at $14.3bn per annum. Food and fibre contributes $7bn to this.
Each Regional Partnership is guided by a facilitation group drawn from local communities, businesses and the three-tiers of government. Emphasis will be on engaging with communities to identify regional priorities, build on existing strategies and plans and harness the ideas, energy and passion of locals. Priorities will be presented directly to the Victorian Government who will develop a whole of Government response.
The Gippsland Regional Assembly will be held on November 17. Gippslanders have an opportunity to help set the agenda for their region in the weeks leading up to this event. To participate on-line or register interest in attending the Regional Assembly visit:
A growing, vibrant food and fibre sector underpins Gippsland’s future prosperity. The team at Agribusiness Gippsland encourage you to proactively engage in this Partnerships Program.

School-industry partnership to benefit agribusiness

With the aim to attract, retain and develop talented people for a career pathway in agribusiness, AgriBusiness Gippsland is the first industry partner to sign up with the new Gippsland Tech School. The Tech School will bus-in 7500 secondary students from across Gippsland. The school is hosted by Federation Training and is a shared learning centre being established by a partnership of local schools, industry partners, higher education providers and other stakeholders in the region. The coming weeks will see the school “discovery” sessions for the region’s future industries, including the important food and fibre industries. More?

Climate change adaption project is winding up

The Climate Resilience Project will end on November 7. Agribusiness Gippsland supported the original application for the project, so we are pleased to see the project is highly productive with a number of events approaching (mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter). Federation University has been engaged to evaluate the project and are seeking respondents to a survey. Take the survey at:
The project will close with an event on October 25 with a dinner and short videos showcasing case studies run through the project. More? Jill Vella 5662 9200 or

Backpacker tax slashed!

The Federal Government has announced that the controversial 32.5% tax on backpackers will be reduced to 19%. The age cap for working backpackers has also been raised to 35 years instead of 30. More? Click here

Dairy: we are on your side

A Mental Health First Aid Course in Inverloch on October 27- 28 will help participants recognise stress anxiety and depression to help those working with farmers in this tough time. The free two-day accredited course will be held at the Inverloch Community Hub from 9.30am-4pm, with lunch provided. Please RSVP. More? Kris 5672 2494 or

The Dairy Farmer Central website contains information on a number of dairy farmer support programs, including:
  • Dairy Australia's Tactic for Tight Times and Taking Stock programs, which provide specialist one-to-one farm business support.
  • The Rural Financial Counselling Service, which provides free financial counselling to farmers experiencing financial hardship.
  • The Look Over the Farm Gate program, which provides community wellbeing workshops and community events.
  • Mental Health First Aid Training, which provides support on mental health issues

Latrobe City Council is working with the State Government and local services to support the roll out of a range of measures to assist local dairy farmers, local businesses, farm workers and families. These could be in the form of a social event to get people together, or providing financial services or even food hampers. Farmers who have difficulty in paying rates are asked to contact Council’s rates team to discuss payment plan options. More? Latrobe City Council 1300 367 700

Baw Baw Shire Rates and the Dairy Crisis:
Baw Baw residents impacted by the dairy crisis or experiencing financial hardship regarding your rates payment are advised to contact the council to discuss options. More? Baw Baw Council’s Revenue team 5624 2411 or

The Victorian Government has announced a $1.5m package for South Gippsland to support affected farmers and the community through more counselling services and grants. More? Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources 136 186

The Department of Human Services also provides a Farm Household Assistance Package for eligible farmers. More? Department of Human Services website.

There are a number of other services that individuals can access if they are unsure of who to go to including:

The Leongatha Rural Financial Counselling Service provides financial counselling to farmers experiencing hardship. More? Anne Gilligan 5662 2566 or or Marshall Scott  0407 898 735

ABS Australia is offering dairy farmers a deferred payment plan on their purchases to help ensure herd improvement programs are not put at risk while milk prices are low. More? ABS Australia website (

Gippslanders have started a Facebook hay donation drive. Yarram-based organiser David Tilley said transport and loading/unloading assistance was also sought as the donated fodder would be delivered across the state. Donations are being accepted on 0409 334 397

Agriculture sector insights go regional

The ABARES Traralgon Regional Outlook conference will be held from 8.30am-4pm on October 5 at the Traralgon Vineyard, 140 Burnets Rd, Traralgon and features leading industry speakers and access ABARES forecasts and industry analysis. The conference themes are: Investing in rural industries - growing our future; Where to now for the dairy industry?; and Operating in a changing environment with speakers from ABARES, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, United Dairy Farmers of Victoria, Fonterra, Rabobank, Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Millring Pastoral and Germano Produce. Registrations are now open. There is no registration fee so download the program and register online. More? Click here

Names in the news

Chancellor Professor David Battersby AM, will retire at the end of the year after nearly 40 years working in regional tertiary education, most recently as Vice Chancellor of Federation University.
ALSO…Stuart Dunbar, owner of Yarra Valley Truffles, and dog Lani found one of the largest truffles grown in the world at their property in Woori Yallock, weighing in at 1511.21g.
MEANWHILE… Chris Monnier from Mornington has been awarded a Nuffield Scholarship to investigate egg production systems and balancing consumer demand, population and consumption growth across cage, barn and free range systems.

Venus is rising!

Congratulations to Burke and Bronwyn Brandon of Prom Country Cheese who were awarded Champion Australian Dairy Product for their ewes' milk cheese 'Venus Blue' at the Australian Food Awards in Melbourne in September. Venus Blue now joins other gold medal Prom Country cheeses from 2016; Kongwak Reserve and Picnic Point to qualify for the Grand Dairy Awards in October. More? Burke and Bronwyn Brandon 5657 3338 or visit

Agribusiness takes top spot!

Congratulations to Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs for being named Casey Cardinia Business of the Year 2016. Founded in 2008 by Jan Vydra and William Pham, the business uses the latest technology in horticulture to produce herbs, cresses and edible flowers. Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs also won the Agriculture and Food Award.

Take the lead for Gippsland

Applications for the 2017 Gippsland Community Leadership Program are now open. Several scholarships exist for 2017 for those applicants who are not employer-sponsored, or who meet specific criteria. These include:
  • Gardiner Foundation Dairy Scholarship
  • Bank Australia Indigenous Scholarship
  • Hugh Williamson Scholarship
  • Committee for Gippsland (Barry Rogers Bursary)
Applications close at 9am on Monday October 31. Late applications cannot be accepted. Application forms can be accessed here. More? Committee for Gippsland 5623 3219 or

Meet the Coles buying team

Coles Supermarkets, Food Innovation Australia Ltd and City of Dandenong are holding an industry briefing on the Coles Brand Vision on Wednesday October 5 from 8.30am-3pm at the Drum Theatre, Corner Lonsdale and Walker Sts, Dandenong. Participants will be able to network with Coles Brand General Manager, Michael Lovsin and Coles brand team.
To attend the briefing only, please register your interest by clicking here.
Food and agribusinesses can also meet with a Coles Brand buyer. Register here. If selected, you will be notified by email of your appointment time before the event. More? Helen Beekmans  8571 5373 or or click here

Ideas are flowing for Gippsland irrigation expo

The volunteer committee that organised the highly successful, inaugural Gippsland irrigation expo have reconvened to plan the 2017 event. More than 500 farmer attendees and 40+ national exhibitors are expected to attend the second Gippsland irrigation expo at Sale Showgrounds on March 15, 2017. The event has free admission and a free lunch. Exhibitors can register for stands here and sponsorships are now being sought. More? or 0402 267 802

Plan to help achieve agribusiness success

Food Innovation Australia Ltd (FIAL) has released the Food and Agribusiness Sector Competitiveness Plan that was developed in consultation with stakeholders across Australia and represents the strategic vision and key priority areas for achieving industry-wide growth. Download the Competitiveness Plan, or the one page summary.

Roadshow presents Nielsen data

As part of Hort Innovation’s baseline demographic research for the vegetable industry, also known as Nielsen Homescan data, presentations will be held to explain the project, the data and the resulting analysis, with case studies applying the data to local growing operations. A presentation, focussing on leafy veg, brassicas and snow peas, will be held on Wednesday, October 19 from 2-2:45pm at The Top Paddock, Maffra Community Sports Club, 122/126 Johnson St, Maffra. Please RSVP. More? To view all 2016 Nielsen reports click here.

Damn! I should have checked the walls!

Agriculture Victoria is reminding landholders to check farm dam walls for cracks and other issues after recent heavy rain has increased the risk of “failure” from leaks and bank collapses. More?

Funding available for irrigation plans

Funding is now available for irrigation farm plans in the Macalister irrigation area. Funding for farm plan updates is also available for plans over 10 years old or where changes to the SRW supply system have opened up new opportunities for improvements on farm. Funding covers up to 75% of the cost of the plan. More? Sarah Killury 5147 0800 or

Thinking of stepping up or stepping back?

GippsDairy is running workshops through the Stepping Up Stepping Back program:
  • Succession pilot program for farmers looking to step back from the business or transition to retirement in Traralgon on November 9 from 10am-1:30pm
  • Sharefarming and leasing program on transitioning to sharefarming and leasing using Dairy Australia's best practice guidelines in Warragul on November 24 from 9:45am-3pm.
RSVP essential. More? GippsDairy 5624 3900

Communities preparing for the release RHDV1 K5

The national release of rabbit biocontrol measure RHDV1 K5, a variant of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus, is proposed for 2017. In preparation for the release, landholders and the community are being asked to lend a hand in developing baseline information about rabbit populations before the release, and in reporting any evidence of disease-affected rabbits in their local area. More? Visit PestSmart

Are you a levy payer?

Levy Payer Registers were identified by a recent Commonwealth Senate Committee as key to the ongoing strength of Australia's rural R&D system. Callida Consulting has been engaged to gather information that may assist in the design of automated and digital Levy Payer Registers. Input from levy payers is sought through a short online survey. Click here to complete the survey

Eight applicants compete for five places

Horticulture Innovation Australia has announced new candidates for its Board. Levy paying apple and/or pear grower should ensure that they are registered to vote at the AGM on November 25. More? Click here

See the ‘cutting-veg’ in ag research facilities

Victorian vegetable and potato growers are invited to visit one of Australia’s cutting-edge research facilities, AgriBio, at La Trobe University in Bundoora on Friday October14. The tour will focus on crop and soil health research. Buses will depart at 7:30am from: Thorpdale Post Office, with an 8:20am pick-up stop at Warragul Post office. Morning tea and lunch is provided during the day. Please register to attend. More? AUSVEG 9882 0277 or

New fire zones explained

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Parks Vic are sharing information and seeking feedback on proposed changes to fire management zones on October 5 from 5-8pm at DELWP, Parker's Cnr, 3264 Moe-Rawson Rd, Rawson. More? Sandi Bowles 9210 9381 or Bushfire Planning DELWP

Indigenous agriculture has lessons to teach

The West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, is hosting Dark Emu author, Bruce Pascoe, in Traralgon on October 21 from 10am-12:30pm, as he discusses Indigenous agriculture prior to European settlement. To book click here. More? WGCMA 1300 094 262

Inquiry looks at productivity performance

The Australian Government has asked the Productivity Commission to undertake an inquiry into Australia's productivity performance and provide recommendations on reform priorities. Input from the public is sought to help in this process. More?

Farm biosecurity is in place!

Designed for primary producers and organisations with a biosecurity responsibility, a practical and informative series of workshops and lectures at will be held at Farm Biosecurity 2016 on Tuesday November 8 from 9am-4:30pm at the newly established Biosecurity Centre of Excellence, Box Hill Institute, Lilydale Lakeside Campus. Workshops include:
  • Implementing a Farm Biosecurity Plan – Dr Jessica Lye, AUSVEG.
  • Phylloxera under the Microscope – Dr Kevin Powell, DEDJTR.
  • Apiary Inspection – Jessica Hartland, DEDJTR.
Keynote Speakers:
  • Dr Simone Warner Research Director Microbial Sciences, Pests and Diseases, Biosciences Research Division
  • Dr Andrea Magiafoglou – 360 AgSolutions on behalf of Cherry Growers Australia
  • Dr Cathy Robinson - Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO
  • Dr Brendan Rodoni - Principal Research Scientist, Microbiology, Biosciences Research Division
Full fee-$200, primary producer-$100, full time student-$50. Book here. More? Mick Blake 8892 2530 or or click here

Look beyond the beef price peak

Australian cattle producers are being cautioned to “look beyond the price peak” with current record-high prices unlikely to be sustained in the medium to longer term according to the industry’s latest beef research report. Rabobank says while Australian cattle prices are likely to remain high for the next six to 12 months, they will come under pressure as global beef production and total animal protein production increases.

Get some Gippy traction ... soon

If you need to target Gippsland's agri-community and the services they use, consider highly targeted Gippyagchat for your advertising. You'll also get the satisfaction of supporting Agribusiness Gippsland, the region's not-for-profit group helping support our important ag sector. Want to get some ad traction? More info? Email
Single insert $60 plus GST
Five inserts $250 plus GST = $50/insert
Full year $500 plus GST = $30/insert

Spring into the field

The Gippsland Southern Farming systems (SFS) Branch Spring Field Day will be held on October 28. More? Janice Dowe

Landcare AGM promises to be fair to MDLN

Nominations are sought for the Maffra and Districts Landcare Network (MDLN) Board. Election of Board members will be via pre-meeting nomination process. The election will take place at the MDLN annual general meeting on Thursday October 20 at Federation Training's G-Tec campus, 37 Cobains Rd, Sale from 6.30 pm pizza prior to a 7pm start. More? Darren Williams 0457 786 582 or

Take a very fast break on the weather

Watch the seasonal weather forecast for September with the Very Fast Break September 2016 edition. More? Click here

Do you like your innovation fast and furious?

Food Innovation Australia Ltd’s (FIAL’s) FastnFurious Innovation course is designed specifically for the food and agribusiness sector. Participants bring their own specific innovation challenge with the aim of realising a commercial outcome. The program will roll out nationally. Click here to register your interest and suggest a course location.

Reach peak dairy fitness with boot camp

The Young Dairy Farmers Boot Camp will help dairy farmers, share farmers, employees and all who are ‘young in dairying’ to develop clear plans to cope with the price downturn. The boot camp offers chance to meet like-minded people, in similar situations, hear from speakers and experts and develop a plan for the future. The three-day workshops run from 10.30am-2.30 pm on:
  • October 4, 11, 18 in Ellinbank
  • October 6, 13, 20 in Leongatha
  • October 12, 19, 26 in Maffra
A dairy extension officer will make on-farm visits to participants to assist in financial analysis. Partners are encouraged to attend. More? Greg O’Brien 0427 522 909

Agribusiness set to bloom

The role of agribusiness in the value-add sector is slowly getting recognition. Read more here

Mornington burn off restrictions eased for October

Peninsula Shire will ease burn off restrictions on small properties throughout October 2016 to allow residents to burn off for fire prevention purposes. In October 2016 open air burning is permitted only on Fridays and Saturdays between 9am-4pm on land less than 1500 square metres provided that:
  • No more than one cubic metre of vegetation is burnt at any one time
  • The fire is not within 10 metres of any neighbouring dwelling
  • The General Fire Safety Provisions are followed at all times.
Open air burning is otherwise prohibited on properties smaller than 1500 square metres. More? Mornington Customer Service Centre 1300 850 600 or click here

Participate in national quad bike survey

An independent quad bike workplace safety survey is being undertaken by the Transport and Road Safety Research Centre at UNSW. The Quad Bike Workplace Safety Survey (QBWSS) aims to better understand quad bike use and related crashes and injuries in Australian and New Zealand workplaces. Victorian farmers are encouraged to participate in the survey at:

New early warning app released by GRDC

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has released a new digital disease, pest and weed early warning and surveillance system - GrowNotes Alert. Early warnings can help growers actively look for diseases and pests in their crops, enabling them to act quickly to contain their spread. The free Apple (iOS) app is also available to download now, with an Android version almost store-ready. More?

Working together for a safer future

The Living with Bushfire Community Conference will be held in Lilydale on October 7-8. Presented by Yarra Ranges Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee and Box Hill Institute Lilydale Lakeside Campus, the conference is for community members, emergency planning groups, the emergency management community, including state and local government, emergency services, recovery organisations, university academics and students. Book here. More?

Take no bull with dairy fertility!

The Young Dairy Network is hosting a discussion on artificial insemination (AI) and semen options at Sale’s Sporting Legends on October 4 from 6:30pm. The evening features fertility experts Jakob Malmo from the Maffra Vet Centre, Hico’s Mick Daly, Kahli Higgins from LIC and a representative from Nugene. The cost is $20 and a two-course meal will be provided. Please RSVP by October 3. More? Irene Baker 0428 889 337 or

Register online for fruit exports to Thailand

All apple and pear growers/exporters wishing to export to Thailand for the 2017 season need to register their orchard, packhouse and coldstore facilities via a new online system. More? Click here

Get on course with learning

The NCDE are running a number of courses in the coming months including: 
  • Farm Chemical Users Course covering safe handling and use of agricultural chemicals. Successful participants gain their farm chemical users certificate (valid for five years) in Yarram on October 7, 14. Enrollment essential.
More? Robin Bell 0427 574 229 or Tony Seymour 0429 000 301

Eat a power breakfast

Join entrepreneurs, business and community leaders for a business breakfast with Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack. The Minister grew up on a farm just north of Wagga Wagga, and has lived in the Riverina all his life. The event will be held at McCartin's Hotel, 2 Bair St, Leongatha. Bookings close October 4. Book here. More? Meg Edwards 0429 841 555 or

Walk with the bugs and butterflies

A butterfly field day on Sunday November 6 from 10am-12.30pm at Henry’s Rd Sanctuary, Loch features a guest speaker from Butterfly Adventures, a walk and an activity butterflies and water bugs. The day is part of the Westernport Landcare groups Sword-Grass Brown Butterfly project. Please RSVP. More?

Register interest in dairy youth camp

The National Centre for Dairy Education (NCDE) National All Breeds Dairy Youth Camp will be held at Tatura Park on January 3-8. The five day program, for participants between 16 and 20, aims to support young people as they develop  leadership and teamwork skills, and foster a passion for the dairy industry. No dairy experience necessary. Register before November 1 for the chance to win a GOPRO. Register at More? Lucy Galt 0488 144 999

Make the most of water

The EnviroNews section of the latest edition of Vegetables Australia includes information on water use to combat difficult growing conditions. More? click here

Women wanted to discuss dairy

Women in Dairy Discussion Groups have been launched in Gippsland to provide practical on-farm or farm-business related information for women in the dairy industry. The groups will provide extension and education services and a supportive environment for dairy women to network and discuss current issues. Initial meetings have been held in West and South Gippsland. More? Leah Maslen 5624 3900 or

Learn the latest food safety testing requirements

A chemical Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) and microbial testing workshop for QA Managers will be held at Melbourne Markets Conference Centre, 315 Cooper St, Epping on Wednesday October 12 from 10am-2:30pm. The workshop will provide the latest information on testing fresh produce to meet the latest requirements of food safety audits and major retailers. Register here. More? 02 8627 1058

Backyard bird count is back!

An initiative of BirdLife Australia, the Australian Backyard Bird Count will run from October 17-23. More? Visit

Do you have a view on Landcare?

The Australian Government is seeking feedback on the National Landcare Programme through an online survey. The survey should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete and responses are confidential. More?

New phosphorus test shows promise for potatoes

Inaccurate soil tests are resulting in phosphorus applications of more than twice the required amount and costing farmers in excess of $250 per hectare in unnecessary fertiliser according to the research from Innovative Nutrient Management for the Australian Potato Industry project. The project has developed a new soil phosphorus test, the’ Diffusive Gradients in Thin-Films (DGT) test’, which is more accurate at predicting a yield response to applied phosphorus fertiliser in potatoes than currently used tests. More? click here

The French are coming to Maffra Show!

The Maffra Show will be held on Saturday October 22 at the Maffra Recreation Reserve, McLean St, Maffra. This year the theme is “The French Are Coming!” Horse events commence Friday October 21. There is a food and wine court and all traditional stalls and activities. The cost is $30 per family (including children under 18), single $15. More? Jen McDavitt 5147 2444 or visit

FREE mulch offer for Gippsland landowners

Get a free* 30m3 load of locally-made mulch. No-obligation to buy. Ideal for calf bedding, laneways, vegie/tree mulching. Made in Dandenong from recycled new-home timber offcuts, non-toxic FARMULCH is already popular with local dairy farmers. They find it filters better than sawdust and seems to reduce lameness and mastitis. And at $8m3, it’s much cheaper than sawdust. Dairy farmer, Clyde Jones of Gembrook, said: “FARMULCH makes for a softer, cleaner walk to the milking bails, significantly reducing lameness and mastitis in my cows.”  PLUS: It’s a cost-effective mulch and soil conditioner for vineyards, vegetables and soft/pome fruits. More? Book delivery your free 30m3 trial load – first five callers each week (One load per customer) Ph Andrew 0416 246 256. (*Within 30km of Dandenong or $5/km thereafter). Or DIY collect for free from Dandenong.) Agribusiness Gippsland is proud to bring this offer to its readers through Gippyagchat.

Lessons learned from South Korean Smart Farms

Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs executive director and 2011 Australian Young Farmer of the Year, Jan Vydra, is using his Nuffield Scholarship to study sustainable horticulture around the world, with a focus on the urbanisation of the farming of leafy greens. Read his post on the South Korean - Smart Farms Initiative here

All eyes are on the sheep

A free event for all sheep and potato producers at the Thorpdale Recreation reserve October 4 from 6-8.45pm will deliver information on fast finishing lambs, making the most of pastures, managing lameness in sheep, and navigating contracts. The event is delivered by Livestock Health and Biosecurity Victoria and Potatoes Victoria. Please RSVP. More? Catherine James 0418 360 470 or

Conference seeks improve nitrogen use efficiency

The 7th International Nitrogen Initiative Conference (INI2016) will be held in Melbourne on December 4-8. The conference’s theme, ‘Solutions to improve nitrogen use efficiency for the world,’ aims to address reducing nutrient losses while producing food and energy for all humans. More?

Cryptic crayfish spring into nature with

The Trust for Nature is holding a Spring into Nature event on the Cryptic Crayfish of West Gippsland nature walk and talk on Sunday October 16 from 10am-3:30pm at the Uralla Nature Reserve, Giles Rd, Trafalgar. More? Click here John Hick 0437 589 317 or

Look after yourself and your family

Local GP, dairy farmer and GippsDairy director Sinead De Gooyer is guest speaker at the Women in Dairy Discussion Group focussing on women’s health, mental health and wellness on Friday, October 14 from 11.30am-1.30pm at Leongatha RSL, cnr Smith St and Michael Pl, Leongatha. Lunch can be purchased from the RSL. Please RSVP. More? Leah Maslen 0448 681 373 or

Manage change and succession

Gotafe is running a Managing Change and Succession course in Bairnsdale on October 17, 18 and 24. Presenters include Lyn Sykes, Karen Harper, Colin Wright, and Mark Gardner. The course will help participants understand the processes required to successfully plan changes in farm ownership, understand suitable business structures and address the legal, financial, social and emotional question faced by many farming families. RSVP essential. More? Tony Seymour 5624 1402 or

Eat your weed problem

Learn to identify and cook edible weeds with author, Doris Pozzi and host Juneen Schulz at Manna Community Garden, cnr Court St and Hyland St, Foster on October 22 from 10:30am-1:30pm. The event includes a light lunch of edible weeds. Cost: $20 per adult, children free. Bookings are essential. More? Manna Gum Community House 5682 1101

Start planting and get pruning

Latrobe City Council is launching its inaugural garden competition to find the best gardens in the municipality. All Latrobe City residents, schools, community groups and businesses can enter except private residents who have had their garden developed and maintained by a professional gardener.
There are 11 categories and it’s free to enter. All entries will be judged by a panel of three judges, including a horticulture professional and one community representative. Entries close Friday, October 14. Judging will be held between Monday 17 October and Friday, 4 November and winners will be announced in late November.  More? or

Plant health conference to be held in Australia

The global Science Protecting Plant Health 2017 conference (#SciPlant17) will be held in Brisbane on September 26-28, 2017. Proposals for workshops to be held at the conference are open, with abstracts opening October 1. There are also major sponsorship opportunities. More? Click here

New app to tell growers when to water

Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) is joining forces with technology company The Yield to produce a mobile app that guides irrigation decisions. The levy-funded app will focus on brassicas, carrots, lettuce and leafy vegetables and will help to remove some of the uncertainty growers face when deciding the best time to irrigate, and how much water is needed. More? click here

Dinner makes a difference to the lives of many

The Annual Charity Dinner, from 6:30pm on Friday October 14 at the Cardinia Cultural Centre, 40 Lakeside Blvd, Pakenham, is the major fundraiser of the Casey Cardinia Foundation, with ticket purchases and auction items raising funds to support local community groups in the Casey Cardinia region. Tickets include: the Absolutely 80s show, local entertainment, pre-dinner drinks, three course meal with locally grown produce, beverages, auctions, raffles and prizes. Cost: $135pp ($1350 table of 10). More? Therese Howell 0439 905 533 or click here

Map to show food and agribusiness capabilities

Food Innovation Australia Ltd is developing an interactive tool to help individuals and businesses connect with suppliers across Australia. Companies are invited to highlight their capabilities in an interactive, searchable and accessible map. Complete the survey below by October 4 here

Is it time to rethink you revegetation plans?

Bass Coast Landcare Network and the Agricultural Climate Adaptation Project are hosting a free workshop on direct seeding for climate change in West Creek on October 11 from 11:00am-1pm. Geoff Trease from the Leongatha Seedbank and Dave Bateman will teach participants about direct seeding methods and adapting revegetation plans within a changing climate. RSVP. More? Rob Gray 0448 386 724 or

Master the cups!

Cups On Cups Off is a two-day training course designed by Dairy Australia and delivered by the National Centre for Dairy Education Australia (NCDE) and Countdown 2020 trained experts in mastitis and milk quality. Cups On Cups Off helps dairy farmers achieve best practice in milk harvesting, with the emphasis on the detection, treatment and prevention of clinical mastitis. The course will run in:
  • Maffra on October 13, 20
  • Warragul on October 14, 21
  • Leongatha on October 17, 24
More? Donna Gibson 5624 3900 or

Learn about irrigation for leafy vegetables

Applied Horticultural Research will hold a pilot, one-day irrigation management training workshop for leafy vegetable growers that focuses on managing water to minimise soil-borne disease and maximise quality. Topics include:
  • understanding soil wetting patterns and plant water uptake
  • calculating crop water use
  • soil moisture and soilborne disease
  • plant water stress and the effect on yield and quality in leafy vegetables
  • scheduling irrigations based on evapotranspiration data
  • methods for measuring soil moisture
  • irrigation system efficiency.
The workshop will be held in East Gippsland on either Thursday October 20 or Wednesday November 16, depending on interest. More? Sandra Marques

There’s no reason to be morose about Morass!

The 10th anniversary of the Restoration Project at the Heart Morass Wetland will be celebrated on October 9 from 10am-3pm at Heart Morass on Swing Bridge Dr. There will be fun environmental activities including Snake Busters, netting for macro-invertebrates, bird watching, bus tours, face painting, WGCMA and field and game display with Lions BBQ and drinks.  More? WGCMA 1300 094 262

Get in early for quad bike safety rebate

Farmers can claim up to $1200 in rebates on quad bike operator protection devices (OPDs), side-by-side (SSV) and other alternate vehicles as part of the $6 million Quad Bike Safety Rebate Scheme. The Scheme is being administered by the VFF and will be available for purchases made on and after September 1, with farmers able to lodge applications to claim the rebate from October 1. Rebates of up to $600 can be claimed on the two eligible OPDs: the Quadbar™ and the ATV Lifeguard, as well as a $1200 rebate on alternate vehicles. More?

Wander through the Wandin Silvan Field Days

The Wandin Silvan Horticultural and Farm machinery Field Days will be held on October 14-15 at the Wandin East Recreation Reserve. The event features about 200 presenters and showcases the latest in horticultural, agricultural, farming equipment and industry practices. Entry is $12 per person, with no concession rate. Children under 15 are admitted free of charge. The 2016 Exhibitor Prospectus and Registration Form is here. More? Nan Cleven 0429 428 537 or click here

Project starts with sausages

The Black Spur Creek Wetland Project will be introduced at a Nerrena Landcare group event on Friday October 7 from 5pm at the Koonwarra Hall. All welcome. Sausages provided; BYO everything else. RSVP for catering. More? Jill Vella 0419 382 379 or

The world is awash with grain!

The number of times the statement “the world is awash with grain” has been published this year is unprecedented says Rabobank Global Financial Markets specialist Hamish Allerton. More? Click here

Take a swing at SGLN’s AGM

South Gippsland Landcare Network’s annual dinner and AGM, on Saturday October 8 from 6.30-9.30pm at Woorayl Golf Club, Leongatha Recreation Reserve, features special guest Brian Nankervis Booking details will be provided next month. The cost is $35 per head and includes dinner and dessert by Muma Van. More? Kate McKenzie 5662 5759 or

Help save the bees

Landcare has launched a donation campaign to establish specially equipped tracker hives. Visit And if you're an apiarist seeking new bushland for your bees, or you're a landholder will to host hives, visit our hugely popular Wannabee Facebook page

It’s time to train

The Box Hill Institute Land Sciences program at the Lilydale Lakeside Campus includes: There are also two apprentice programs commencing in 2017:
  • Certificate III Landscape Construction – Apprentice
  • Certificate III Production Nursery – Apprentice.
For those looking to upskill, training is also offered in Auschem, chainsaw, tractor/FEL operations and quad bikes. Modules can be completed on campus or in the workplace. More? Rob Hall 8892 2546

Updated exporter directory now online

The 'Australian apple and pear exporter directory' has been updated and is now available as an online version on APAL's website with all exporters having their own page to showcase their business. More? Click here

Briefing to describe infrastructure strategy

Victoria’s draft 30-year infrastructure strategy will be released on October 4 at 12pm at the State Library Victoria, Village Roadshow Theatrette, Conference Centre - Entry 3, 179 La Trobe St, Melbourne. The draft strategy outlines a range of projects, policies and reforms to respond to our infrastructure challenges and opportunities over the short, medium and long term. RSVP here.
Consultation on the draft runs run until October 31. More?

Gardiner is improving herds

ImProving Herds is the Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s collaborative project, valued at $3.3 million, that aims to increase rates of genetic gain in the dairy industry, by demonstrating the value of genetics and herd improvement. ImProving Herds involves twenty-seven genetic partner farms selected to measure how genetics can assist in accelerating herd improvement gains and overall farm profitability. More? or click here

Inspire, share and connect

A Gippsland Food Growers and Makers event will be held in Warragul on October 12 from 9:30am-1:30pm. Convened by the Open Food Network, the event offers the chance to inspire, share and connect with like-minded people and link with potential resources, networks and training. Speakers includes local farmers and producers who are taking innovative approaches to marketing in their local region and value-adding to their business. Entry is $15. Book at

AgroFresh to establish local lab

AgroFresh Australia has announced that it will invest over $330,000 to establish a laboratory to support customers using SmartFresh™, its post-harvest technology, and other emerging products including Harvista™. The 72-square metre laboratory will be built in Officer and operate for the 2017 season. More? Click here

Think you’ve got a Landcare tale to tell?

Landcare is seeking submissions of stories on successes and learnings for the quarterly publication Landcare in Focus.
  • The November issue on Grazing management for improved productivity and profitability, soil resource management and variable rainfall response has a deadline of October 20.
Article submissions must be between 150-600 words saved as a Microsoft Word document or a PDF; have at least one and no more than two or three high resolution images that clearly illustrate the accompanying article. Full captions for each attached image and permission to publish from any people in photos are required. More?

Book in for breakfast

The next Casey-Cardinia Business Breakfast will be held on Wednesday November 23 at the Cardinia Cultural Centre, Lakeside Blvd, Pakenham with futurist Chris Riddell. All breakfasts run from 6.45-9am. Cost: $60pp or $700 to sponsor a table. Book online through trybooking. The Casey-Cardinia Business Breakfast series is presented by Casey Cardinia Region, Monash University and the Melbourne Football Club. More? Raylene Wilson 9705 5200 or

Get the family fishing at free clinics

Fisheries Victoria is hosting junior fishing clinics to teach young people about responsible fishing. All gear is provided including bait. Participants can bring their own rods. Children 16 years and under must be accompanied by an adult. Clinics will run in:
  • Meetung at the end of Beach Rd on October 16 from 11am-12:30pm
  • Nicholson at the Nicholson River Boat Ramp on October 16 from 2-3:30pm
Bookings are essential. More? Mick Douthat 0447 504 609

What’s the buzz about bee-keeping?

A Beekeeping for Beginners field day will be held on Sunday October 23 from 10am-3pm at the Mirboo North Recreation Reserve.  Entry is $10 (children free). Note: A minimum of a face veil is required for open-hive sessions. A full bee suit is recommended. More? or Bronwyn Barton 0433 035 143

Silage wrap is a recyclable plastic

East Gippsland Landcare Network seeking information from farmers about silage wrap to feed in to discussions with Wellington Shire and East Gippsland Shire about collecting silage wrap. Farmers are asked to send responses to the following questions to
  1. Approximately how much silage wrap is currently on your farm?
  2. Would you be willing to recycle the silage wrap?
  3. Are you willing to pay small fee for disposal?
  4. Is silage wrap in Bulka bags? Or in PlasBack bags?
  5. What is your locality? What is the nearest main town?
  6. What are the best two months of the year for collection?
  7. Do you have any suggestions on how to make silage wrap recycling possible?
More? April Wilkins

Do you need help with your training budget?

The Industry Skills Fund is an Australian Government initiative that provides grants to up skill/reskill workforces. Eligible businesses with identified growth opportunities or seeking to diversify can receive free independent skills advice, streamlined access to training grants and support services through financial co-contribution. Onsite help is available through the Gippsland area representative. More? Mariah 0438 497 836

Product swaps on one well-viewed map

More than 4000 people have viewed the Google-map-based listing of produce swaps across Gippsland prepared for Agribusiness Gippsland by Dr Graham Moore from the University of Melbourne. You can view and edit the map at:

Forthcoming markets 

Market When Where More?
Bairnsdale Boot Market 3rd Saturday Great Alpine Rd, Bairnsdale  
Bittern Sunday market Every Sunday Bittern Railway Station, Frankston-Flinders Rd, Bittern 0409 417 463
Bruthen Village Market 4th Saturday Mechanics Hall, Bruthen  
Churchill Island Farmers Market 4th Saturday Churchill Island Visitor Centre, Phillip Island 5664 0096
Coal Creek Farmers Market 2nd Saturday Coal Creek Community Park and Museum, Korumburra 0459 629 000
Drouin Craft and Produce Market 3rd Saturday Drouin Civic Park 5625 3360
East Gippsland Farmers Market 1st Saturday Bairnsdale Secondary College Oval, Bairnsdale  
Emerald Community Craft and Produce Market 3rd Sunday Emerald Community House 0419 345 750
Gembrook Market 4th Sunday Puffing Billy Railway Station 0437 664 121
Gippsland Heritage Park Market 3rd Saturday Gippsland Heritage Park, Moe 5127 3082
Heyfield community market 1st Saturday Dr John Graves Memorial 5148 2780
Inverloch Farmers Market 3rd Sunday The Glade. Inverloch 5664 0096
Jindivick Market 1st Saturday Jindivick Harvest Kitchen, 1070 Jacksons Track, Jindivick 5628 5227
Jumbunna Bush Market 1st Sunday The Main Hall, Jumbunna 5657 3253
Kongwak Market Sundays Kongwak General Store 0417 142 478
Koowee Community Market 2nd Sunday Cochrane Park, Rossiter Rd, Koo Wee Rup 0418 289 847
Lakes Entrance Surf Club Foreshore Market 1st Sunday The Esplanade, Lakes Entrance 0407 098 805
Lardner Park Market November 22 Lardner Park, Warragul 5976 3266 
Loch Market 2nd Sunday (Oct-April) Loch Village Railway Station, Loch 0418 500 520
Longwarry Fire Brigade Market 1st Sunday Bennett St, Longwarry 0419 158 946
Lucknow Market 4th Sunday Howitt Park, Bairnsdale 5152 4662
Maffra Variety and Farmers market 1st Sunday Johnson St, Maffra 0408 057 772
Mallacoota Artisans and Produce Market 1st Saturday Mudbrick Building, Develling Drive, Mallacoota 0422 988 890
Metung Farmers Market 2nd Saturday Village Green, Metung  
Mirboo North Community Market last Saturday of month Baromi Park in Ridgway (Strez Highway) Mirboo North 5668 2465
Mornington Racecourse Market 2nd Sunday Mornington Racecourse  
Paynesville Market 2nd Sunday Gilsenan Reserve, Paynesville  
Prom Country Farmers Market 3rd Saturday Main St. Foster 0407 543 371
Red Hill Community Market  1st Saturday Arthurs Seat Rd, Red Hill  
Rokeby Market 2nd Saturday Rokeby Reserve, Main Rd, Rokeby 5626 8523
Sale 3rd Saturday Sale Showgrounds  
South Gippsland Farmers Market 1st Saturday Koonwarra Memorial Park 0408 619 182
Stratford Variety and Farmers Market  4th Sunday Apex Park, Stratford 0408 057 772
Surf Club Market 1st Sunday Foreshore Rotunda, Lakes Entrance  
Toora market 2nd Sunday Jetty Rd, Toora 5688 1237
Traralgon Farmers Market 4th Saturday Kay St Gardens – Kay St, Traralgon 0409 232 715
Warragul farmer’s Market 3rd Saturday Civic Park, Warragul 0435 757 047
Yarragon community craft and produce market 4th Saturday Yarragon Public Hal 5634 2209

Dairy Food Safety announce AGM

Dairy Food Safety Victoria is holding the annual general meeting on Wednesday October 12 from 4:30pm at Melbourne Marriott Hotel, Yarra Suite, Cnr Lonsdale and Exhibition Sts, Melbourne. RSVP essential. More? Karen Hill 9810 5900 or

Ellinbank plans a year of seminars

Ellinbank seminars provide a free forum to discuss current research and extension activities. The seminars are held at the Dairy Centre of Excellence, 1301 Hazeldean Rd, Ellinbank, between 12:30-1:30 pm. Please bring lunch. The seminars will be held on:
  • October 19 with Natalie Nelson, Specialist, Farm Business Economics - Dairy, Leongatha on Dairy Farm Monitor results 2015-16
  • November 16 – TBC
More? Sharon Aarons 5624 2339 or

Make your home healthy and sustainable

The Kooweerup Regional Health Service is running a program to help people make their homes healthy and sustainable places to live. The program will run at Hewitt Eco House, 235 Rossiter Rd, Koo Wee Rup with main presenter David Rasmus “Building Biologist” at Black Diamond Sustainability on:
  • Saturday October 22 on water and waste with guest speaker Tammy Logan, Unwrapped and a representative from Cardinia Shire Council
  • Saturday November 19 on garden sustainability with guest speaker Ella Boyen, Chooktopia
Bookings are essential. Donations accepted for the Koo Wee Rup Men’s Shed Bandicoot Habitat Protection Program. More? Brian Harlow 5997 9687

Place your trust in a cemetery…

Cemetery Trusts across Gippsland are seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified members of the community who would be interested in serving on a trust:

This month at Lardner Park…

A number of events will be held at Lardner Park in October including:
  • Gippsland Home and Garden Expo 2016 on October 8-9
  • Baw Baw Big Blokes BBQ on October 14
  • Craft Markets Australia on October 16
  • Warragul High Tea-McGrath Foundation Pre-Cup Carnival Frock-Up on October 22
  • The Last of the Chrome Bumpers on October 23
More? Lardner Park 5626 1373 or

Join Ritchies boss for breakfast

The Committee for Gippsland (C4G) is hosting a breakfast with Ritchies CEO Fred Harrison on Tuesday October 25 from 7:30-9am at The Riversleigh, 1 Nicholson St, Bairnsdale. Hear the captain of industry speak about his experience of running an Australian-wide company. The event includes a cooked breakfast and tea/coffee.C4G members, GCLP sponsors, GCLP alumni: $45; others: $60. RSVP by October 20. More ? Committee for Gippsland 5623 3219 or

Beat the mozzie bite

Wellington Shire Council has commenced its Mosquito Control Program early this year due to the heavy spring rains. Coastal areas have already been sprayed and Council is keeping an eye on the breeding sites to determine if and when further spraying is required based on a range of environmental factors. More? or Environmental Health Office 1300 366 244

Applications open for World of Perishables

Levy-paying growers who are currently exporting are invited to attend and exhibit at the World of Perishables tradeshow in Dubai from November 13-15. Participants will gain an understanding of the Dubai market and establish new business contacts in the Middle East. Travel dates for participants are November 11-16. To download the application form, click here. More? AUSVEG 9882 0277 or

Make Facebook work for you

A free workshop series for community groups and volunteers will provide an introduction to Facebook and Instagram. Sessions will be held from 5-7:30pm:
  • October 25 in Foster
  • November 29 in Leongatha
Light refreshments available. RSVP essential. More? Sophie Dixon 5662 9202 or

Country women gather in Pakenham

Country Women's Association Pakenham Branch comes together in friendship and fellowship on the first Wednesday of every month for interesting speakers, fundraising events to raise money to improve conditions for women and children. The next meeting is Wednesday, October 5 from 9:30am- 2:30pm at Guide Hall, 31 Henry St, Pakenham. More? Heather Kleesh 5940 4481 or

Small business mentoring sessions are back!

Small business mentoring sessions offer 45 minutes sessions with a mentor who can provide general business advice and assist in initial steps to overcome an issue or information gap in your business. The free sessions are supported by local councils. Sessions are available at:
  • Mornington Shire Offices 2 Queen St, Mornington on: October 4, 18.
  • Bass Coast Shire Council Civic Centre, 76 McBride Ave, Wonthaggi on October 11
  • Cowes Customer Service Centre, 91-97 Thompson Ave, Cowes on November 8
To book a mentoring session please visit the Small Business Mentoring Service or contact your relevant local council.

Save the date for economic development

Economic Development Australia (EDA) and the Baw Baw Shire Council are hosting the EDA Victorian State Conference to be held in Warragul on March 8-10 2017. Sponsorship opportunities are available. More? Baw Baw Shire Economic Development team 5624 2411

Funds offered for women’s leadership development

Women and Leadership Australia is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across all agricultural sectors and at three levels: Expression of Interest (EoI) forms can be downloaded here. The deadline for EoIs is December 15. More? Ian Johnson 9270 9016 or

Grants protect biodiversity in Latrobe

Funding of up to $1500 per property is available through Latrobe City Council’s Biodiversity on Rural Land Grants for actions to protect and enhance existing native vegetation. Examples include:
  • Exclusion of stock by fencing native vegetation
  • Extension/enlargement of native vegetation
  • Creating/extending wildlife corridors
  • Provision of nest boxes/artificial hollows
  • Weed or pest control within native vegetation
  • Survey or planning for conservation
  • Capacity building e.g. training, identification aids
  • Wetland creation or maintenance
The grant is for projects on private rural land. It cannot be used for projects on public land, Crown land or Council owned land, nor for projects in urban areas. Applications can be submitted until November 13 at

Gardiner tertiary scholarships open!

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation is offering tertiary scholarships to four individuals residing in Victorian dairy communities, commencing studies in 2017 to pursue a career that will either directly benefit the dairy industry and/or benefit small dairy communities. More?

Funding boost to help farm and food economies

The $14.9m Farming Together program will help primary producers and processors collaborate to value-add, secure premium pricing, scale-up production, attract capital investment, earn new markets or secure lower input costs. Farmers who register receive one-on-one expert advice to discuss opportunities, either as a structured co-operative, a collective bargaining entity or as a less-formal collaborative group. The most-promising groups will be offered assistance for product research and development. Areas that are covered include advice on marketing, capital-raising, packaging, logistics and exporting as well as non-ongoing consultancy appointments. More? Nick or Andrew 1800 005 555 or

Applications open for 2017 Youth Ag Summit

Bayer and Future Farmers Network are offering 18-25 year olds the opportunity to win a trip to Belgium to attend the 2017 Youth Ag Summit in Brussels, where 1000 like-minded individuals will come together to discuss agriculture. Delegates will have the opportunity to share their passion for agriculture and gain exposure to new thoughts and experiences from around the world. Applicants are required to submit an essay response to a prompt. More? Click here

Funding to support jobs and infrastructure

The Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund will provide $200 million to strengthen the performance and resilience of the agriculture sector under two funding streams: Infrastructure and Program. Both will look at ways to improve farm productivity, maintain market access and grow exports and jobs through investing in projects and activities typically beyond the farm-gate. More? DEDJTR 136 186

Nominations open for the Rural Women's Award

The Rural Women's Award identifies and supports emerging women leaders who have the desire, commitment and leadership potential to make a greater contribution to primary industries and rural communities. A $10,000 bursary is awarded to each state and territory winner and provides the resources to bring to life a project or initiative that will benefit rural industries and communities. Applications close on October 30. More? Visit the RIRDC web site

Project grants offered to young people

Grant applications are now open for the 2017 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The awards are open to people from 18-3 and off a grant of up to $22,000 to fund a project on an innovative or emerging scientific issue that will benefit Australia’s primary industries. Applications close Friday October 14. More?

Nominate an outstanding woman

If you know a standout woman who deserves recognition for her contribution, leadership and achievements, please nominate her for the 2017 Victorian Honour Roll of Women. Nominations are open to all women in Victoria. Nominations close at 5pm on Friday October 7. More? Click here

Looking for a grant?

The free government Grant Finder helps find grants and assistance programmes that are relevant to your own business. More?

New funding to support projects for women

The  Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship programme aims to encourage more women to take part in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education and careers. Funding will support outreach projects that target girls and women to:
  • foster interest in entrepreneurship
  • develop  innovation and entrepreneurial skills
  • build  professional networks.
First round applications close at 5pm October 6. More? 13 28 46 or click here

Move your business into the future

The Future Industries Manufacturing Program is a Victorian Government initiative offering grants of up to $500,000. Victorian businesses implementing new manufacturing technologies and processes that generate new jobs and provide a critical foundation for growth are eligible for the funding. There's a 3:1 funding requirement.

Government releases new funding opportunities

The Victorian Government has commenced a number of new funding programs including: the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund (RJIF) and Food Source Victoria (FSV). More? Graham Scott 5116 7300 or

Do you have a small to medium export business?

Federal Government Export Market Development Grants:
  • encourage small-medium businesses to develop export markets
  • reimburse up to 50% of eligible export promotion expenses above $5,000 provided that the total expenses are at least $15,000
  • provide up to eight grants to each eligible applicant.
More? Visit

Smoko read…

New evidence is emerging that increasing plant species diversity can protect soil in grasslands by improving soil structure, maintaining its overall health. More? Click here

Agritourism dossier available

What are the common factors that determine a successful agritourism venture? What do the failures always do wrong? Agribusiness Gippsland has completed a literature review as part of last year’s study of Gippsland’s agritourism sector. We have compiled the findings into a fascinating, easy-to-read dossier. Drawing on local, Australian and overseas studies, it presents the financials of agritourism, the trends in Gippsland, the challenges, and some early data on regional agritourism operations, along with ideas from existing successful operators. The cost is $30 plus GST. Email orders at or via

JOBS: A free feature in GippyAGchat

Times being what they are, we are running free job ads. If you’re seeking work, or workers, please flick an email to and we’ll give you a free plug. No large files, no photos, no sales pitches and full contact details, please.
Experienced Tractor Driver sought by Australian Fresh Salads in Maffra for a permanent, full time role. Key tasks include all tractor work including discing, spraying, bed forming, slice hoe and slashing. Applicants require minimum five years experience in tractor and related operations; must by physically fit, reliable and a team player; able to work up to six days per week during harvest (September-April). Previous experience with baby leaf salads or related crops is highly desirable. Tickets including forklift, excavator and mechanical skills are a bonus. More?
Farm Hand Positions are available in Clyde/Devon Meadows. Casual rate of $22.13 per hour paid for ongoing casual workers (min. three months). Work includes, but is not limited to, planting, harvesting, cleaning, landscape maintenance. Approximately 40 hours per week available. Note: no sponsorship available. Second year working holiday visa applicants a possibility. More?
Experienced vine management staff sought on well established kiwifruit orchard located one hour South East of Melbourne for summer work with a minimum three months employment. Staff need to be experienced in tipping, leader work, pruning, etc. Own transport essential. More? 0408 056 875
Harvest Hay/Silage Tractor Operator/Truck Driver wanted for this the harvest season in the Baw Baw/ Drouin area. Applicants must have some experience, knowing most aspects of tractor and harvest equipment. Other duties include tip truck driving, semi trailers and general labour. More? Tim Marshall
Veterinarians are sought by the RSPCA in Burwood East. Three qualified veterinarians are wanted to join the team: one permanent full-time band one veterinarian, one permanent part-time band two veterinarian (19 hours per week) and one full-time fixed-term band two veterinarian (approx. 4-5 month maternity leave position). More? Dr Gabrielle Carter 0455 310 135 or
Veterinary Nurse sought by Healesville Sanctuary for on-going full time and casual positions. Weekend work required. Key responsibilities: undertake surgical, medical and diagnostic procedures; provide animal husbandry; capture and restraint of animals; provide general health and welfare to native animals. Applications close October 24. More? or Gerry Ross 5957 2830 or
Veterinarian sought in the RSPCA’s Pearcedale practice to work with a large and varied caseload, and have a strong interest in animal welfare, shelter medicine and small animal medicine and surgery. More? Dr Iain Mitchell 5978 9000 or
Lab technician/ specimen reception sought in parasite lab run by Allfarm Animal Health, a well-established business in the poultry animal health market. Major tasks and responsibilities include: collection, sorting and prioritisation of daily sample deliveries; writing sample accession forms; weighing faecal samples; equipment maintenance; general clean-up duties; and providing support for the laboratory manager. More? Grant
Farm Hand / Labourer sought on small poultry farm, initially as a one day trial job but could lead to three days per week. Duties include mucking out sheds, putting clean shavings in sheds, carting feed, feeding chickens, pressure washing fencing and equipment, manual washing of feed equipment plus general farm and upkeep inc whipper snipping mowing and clean up. An honest and hardworking person who has their own transport is required. The work is based on-farm and can be dirty, muddy, dusty (masks are provided), smelly, heavy and boring. Applicant cannot own or have regular contact with birds and chickens. Days to be negotiated. Approximately five hours per day. Call between 9am-6pm. Position ineligible for visa extension. More? Zac 0412 643 253
Development Officers are sought for the Stock Feed Manufacturers’ Council of Australia to cover branches in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. These are part time contract positions ideally suit to someone with other employment work. More? Agricultural Appointments 9866 6899 or
Truck driver wanted for work in the Bayside and south east regions. The work, from Monday to Friday, involves delivering animal feed and supplies, assisting in warehousing, loading/unloading trucks as part of a team. Applicants must be fit, healthy and reliable, have a heavy combination drivers licence, and a forklift licence would be beneficial. Some heavy lifting is required in the job. Salary negotiable. More? Dean Holzer 5976 8880
Nursery Apprentice sought in the Mornington Peninsula and Bass Coast region by the Diggers Club, Australia's largest gardening club. The incumbent will assist the team in all aspects of nursery production and plant growing. Applicants will either be enrolled in a formal apprenticeship program or have work experience or show a commitment to a career in the horticultural/nursery trade. The Diggers Club will pay for course fees for a Certificate III in Horticulture for the duration of the course and allow time to complete studies. More? Elizabeth 5984 7933
Greenhouse Controls Technician sought by Powerplants Australia in Hallam, Victoria. Established in 1994, the company has grown from strength to strength over the last 22 years to become Australia's premier Greenhouse Technology provider. The position is responsible for performing maintenance, repairs, improvements and technical fault finding and ensuring the safe operation of equipment and systems. More?
Farm Production Manager sought in Newry by Hussey and Co, leading producer of gourmet salad mixes. Applicants require proven ability to lead production. The incumbent will be accountable for all aspects of production management on our farm. A salary package, commensurate with experience, of $70,000 + 9.5% superannuation is offered. More?
Experienced horticulturalists sought in Melbourne’s South East Suburbs for work in a range of environments within the horticulture department including ornamental gardens, parks and gardens, sporting fields and mowing crews. Applicants require certificate three or above in horticulture, a current chemical ticket, MR or above drivers licence and a chainsaw certificate is desirable but not essential. More? Hayley 9554 4200
Nursery sales and quoting position exists for an enthusiastic person to prepare phone sales and quotations at a busy indoor wholesale sales office in Dingley. Applicants require good typing, communication skills and plant knowledge. More? 9540 5200 or
Land Management Technician sought by Keysborough based Ten Rivers to ensure the efficient delivery of the works and maintenance program covering land management, horticulture and arboriculture. Main roles and responsibilities include: day to day execution of programmed land management, horticulture and arboriculture works; assistance in data collection and report writing including targeted recommendations; implementation of the delivery of environmental and bushfire management plans; assistance in the upkeep of high profile garden / landscaped areas across clients Estates. More? 1300 133 031 or
Assistant Farm Manager (2IC) Berry Fruits sought by Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farms at Seville East. Experience in either strawberry, blackberry and/or raspberry production is required. The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate a depth of skill and experience in berry farming; have a hands-on approach and a determination to see things through and a formal agricultural/ horticultural qualification is desirable. This is not a desk job. It will suit a manager who is able to lead by example and turn a hand to whatever needs doing. More?
Machine operator sought by Gippsland based Austimber Harvesting Gippsland within its harvesting operations. The company has a fleet of 11 harvesters and eight forwarders operating primarily in HVP plantations throughout the Gippsland region. Applicants must have experience in driving wheeled harvesters and forwarders in a safe and efficient manner; current forestry accreditations and environmental training; self starter and team player; softwood grade and optimisation knowledge; leadership qualities and experience in training new operators; Victorian or equivalent driving licence. Attractive salary package will be negotiated. More?
Inspectorate Veterinarian sought to support the work of RSPCA Inspectors in a veterinary capacity in a part-time role, based at Burwood East. Salary: approximately $76,000 p.a. (pro-rata) including super (9.5%). The successful candidate will work closely with the RSPCA's Inspectorate business unit, providing in depth medical and behavioural assessments, reports and advice in addition to high quality veterinary care to animals within the Inspectorate's care. More? Dr Gabrielle Carter 0455 310 135 or visit
Veterinary Nurse sought for role in Pakenham. Key responsibilities include: assisting Veterinarians during consultations, examinations and treatments; assisting with surgery preparations and monitoring anaesthesia; nursing hospitalised animals; administering treatments such as injections, medication, fluid therapy, dressing and first aid, providing clients with general health and nutritional advice especially with regards to promoting wellness programs and products; clinic reception duties, etc. Applications close October 20. More? and enter reference code: 3059822
Regional Sales Manager sought by Reid Stockfeeds the largest family-owned manufacturer and supplier of dairy and intensive animal stockfeed in Victoria. This is a new position aimed at driving the sales capability and enhancing productivity in animal production systems and strategically advancing the company's presence in the animal supplement market. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record with more than five years experience in relevant markets or industries. Salary is negotiable depending on experience. More? Reid Stockfeed 5633 2222
Land Management Technician sought by Ten Rivers in Keysborough. Ten Rivers is part of the Broadspectrum, an operations, maintenance and services organisation operating globally in the resources, energy, industrial, infrastructure, rail, property and defence sectors. A qualified, experienced Land Management will ensure the efficient delivery of the day to day works and maintenance program covering Land management, horticulture and arboriculture, whilst having a thorough understanding of the environmental needs of the business and our clients. More? Click here
Agricultural opportunities exist in diverse roles across Victoria in multiple short term and long term opportunities, with on-site and Head Office positions available through recruitment provider Rimfire Resources. Candidates with agricultural backgrounds, or who have worked in agricultural environments, are sought in:
  • administration/reception
  • customer service
  • accounts administration
  • sales and business development
  • marketing
  • logistics - international and domestic
  • inventory
  • supply chain
  • procurement and purchasing.
More? Ryan Hoiberg 9645 5200 or
Retail Assistant - Nursery sought by the Diggers Club to work in their retail store based in the beautiful Cloudehill Gardens in Olinda. The casual role will work business hours on a rotating roster, as required. There must be flexibility to work both weekdays and weekends. More? Elizabeth 5984 7933
Spray Operator/ Tractor Driver / Farm Hand wanted by Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm in Seville East in Yarra Valley. The successful applicant will be an experienced tractor driver/ spray operator with knowledge of handling, mixing and applying a range of farm chemicals. Applicants must have a tractor driver licence and chemical user licence. More?
Tractor Operator wanted by the Mulgowie Farming Company, leading grower, packer and marketer of fresh vegetables. A diligent person with previous experience in the farming industry is sought to confidently perform discing, ripping and tyning. More?
Experienced Farm Hand wanted for fulltime farm assistant role on busy 600 cow dairy farm just outside Traralgon. The farm uses a fifty bale rotary with A.C.Rs and retention bars. Main duties include milking and animal welfare, feeding out silage and hay, general farm work. Salary is negotiable around $52k and super and package. Please no backpackers. More? 0457 777 162 or
Farm Hand sought in dairy business that operates two dairies milking 900 cows in Maffra. This is a casual position, paid on an hourly rate and suitable for holders of a second year visa. The role involves a minimum of 40 hours per week. The main duties include: milking, calf rearing, working with cattle, work carried using quad bikes, etc. Immediate start. Experience is not essential. Must have own car. More? 0439 451 277
Tractor and Equipment Operator sought by Australian Fresh Salads in Maffra for a permanent full time role to start in September. Key tasks include all tractor work including discing, spraying, bed forming, slice hoe and slashing. Applicants will have a minimum five years experience in tractor operations, be physically fit, reliable and a team player and able to work up to six days per week during the harvest season (September-May). Salary: $60,000 - $65,000 p.a. plus super. Email resume and with cover letter to
Farmer worker sought on vegetable farm in Pakenham. Tractor experience essential. Understanding of Vietnamese, Chinese and Cambodian preferred. More? Sam 0404 030 011
Welding work wanted: A Gippslander is starting a mobile welding business and seeking rural work welding or fabrication More?
Work sought in the cattle or dairy industry. Tammie Burns writes: “I have a current ACUP permit, AI certificate and first aid certificate. I can pregnancy test and look after animal health. I am studying Certificate 4 Agriculture through TAFE. I am looking for relief, part time and casual work until I finish my course.” More? Tammie Burns 0499 776 022 or at
Chemical/Process Engineer - Waste, Water, and Bioenergy: Laurent Pochat-Pochatoux is an experienced chemical/process engineer specialised in water treatment, waste recovery and bioenergy, focussing on the bioremediation of industrial effluents using algae, as well as the subsequent production of algae-based biofuels and bioproducts. More? Laurent Pochat-Pochatoux 0432 159 853 or
Students are now available for work: Federation University Australia offers direct access to Gippsland’s students for part-time, casual, full-time/graduate, vacation and volunteer opportunities. Motivated and committed staff are available from accounting, nursing, sciences, engineering, marketing, HR and PR/comms/media courses. More? Liana 5122 6245 or
Employers wanted for agricultural graduates: Employers sought for well-trained, job-ready agricultural and horticultural graduates with nationally recognised post-diploma qualifications, Australian work experience, certifications, permits and licenses. Prospective employers can trial graduates for three to six months.
Environmental planning and vegetation design: Springbank Ecosystems offers flora and fauna surveys, EMPs for sub-division applications, weed/animal management, revegetation plans for extraction companies, specialised native orchid ID and staff training.
More? Libby Lambert 5657 2387 or
Market your business more effectively: Award-winning marketer/business consultant with strong agricultural background can offer strategies to place your business in the public eye.  More? John 0457 065 425
Need staff? Try 12 or six months of cost-effective undergraduate recruits from accounting, sciences, marketing, HR and PR/comms/media. Candidates available for paid full-time or half-time placements. More? Annette or 9214 8753 or Karen or 9215 7136
Fire management planning: Consultant to prepare sustainable fire management plans for your property or small reserve. More? Helen Bull 0400 310 188 or
Seeking admin/clerical work: For any type of administrative/clerical type work (consulting, part time or job share – even if it is only a few hours per week). I have a current ABN and tertiary qualifications in business studies, taxation and financial planning. More? Greg Lewis on 0439 523 871 or

Country racing is off and … well … racing

Meetings in October: 2-Bairnsdale, 7-Cranbourne, 9-Cranbourne, 13-Moe, 14-Cranbourne, 23-Sale, 25-Cranbourne, 29-Traralgon; in November:  1-Bairnsdale; 4-Cranbourne; 4-Sale; 11-Moe; 15-Sale; 19-Cranbourne; 22-Moe; 25-Cranbourne; 26-Yarra Valley; 26-Woolamai; 27-Traralgon More? 1300 139 402 or visit

Quote of the week

Victor Borge: “I don’t mind going back to daylight saving time. With inflation, the hour will be the only thing I've saved all year.”

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Other than Agribusiness Gippsland’s events/surveys, all other events/surveys are user-submitted and we cannot vouch for the information provided. Please contact the organiser to confirm details. Nor can we endorse any agenda, product, process or techniques that might be based on information in GippyAgchat.

Gippy Diary

Oct 2 Country Race Meet Bairnsdale Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Oct 4 Small Business Mentoring Service Mornington Kerry Polites 5950 1842
Oct 4 ABARES Traralgon Regional Outreach Conference Traralgon 1800 900 090
Oct 4 Sheep and Potato Producer Information Session Thorpdale Catherine James 0418 360 470
Oct 4 Artificial Insemination (AI) and Semen Options Night Maffra Irene Baker 0428 889 337
Oct 4 Gippsland Business Breakfast with Hon Michael McCormack MP Leongatha Meg Edwards 0429 841 555
Oct 4-5 Mental health First Aid Course Kooweerup Sharron Anderson 0422 459 733
Oct 4, 11, 18 Young Dairy Farmers Boot Camp Ellinbank Greg O’Brien 0427 522 909
Oct 5 ABARES Traralgon Regional Outlook Conference Traralgon Salindra Rasmy 02 6272 2303
Oct 5 DELWP Community Information Session Rawson Sandi Bowles 9210 9381
Oct 5 Coles Industry Briefing Dandenong Helen Beekmans 8571 5373
Oct 5 CWA Meeting Pakenham Heather Kleesh 5940 4481
Oct 6-7 Living with Bushfire Community Conference Lilydale
Oct 6, 13, 20 Young Dairy Farmers Boot Camp Leongatha Greg O’Brien 0427 522 909
Oct 7 Black Spur Creek Wetland Project Introductory Meeting Koonwarra Jill Vella 0419 382 379
Oct 7 Country Race Meet Cranbourne Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Oct 7, 14 Farm Chemical Users Course Yarram Tony Seymour 0429 000 301
Oct 8 South Gippsland Landcare Network Annual Dinner and AGM Leongatha Kate McKenzie 5662 5759
Oct 8-9 Gippsland Home and Garden Expo Lardner 5626 1373
Oct 9 Country Race Meet Cranbourne Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Oct 9 10th anniversary of the Restoration Project at the Heart Morass Wetland Morass Wetland WGCMA 1300 094 262
Oct 10-14 AusVeg Women’s Industry Leadership and Development Mission to Canada and USA   AusVeg 9882 0277
Oct 11 Small Business Mentoring Service Wonthaggi Emilie Barkley 5671 2211
Oct 11 Direct Seeding for Climate Change West Creek Rob Gray 0448 386 724
Oct 12 Gippsland Food Growers and Makers – Inspire, Share and Connect Warragul
Oct 12 Chemical Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) and Microbial testing Workshop for QA Managers Epping 02 8627 1058
Oct 12 Dairy Food Safety AGM Melbourne Karen Hill 9810 5900
Oct 12, 19, 26 Young Dairy Farmers Boot Camp Maffra Greg O’Brien 0427 522 909
Oct 13 Country Race Meet Moe Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Oct 13, 20 Cups On Cups Off Maffra Donna Gibson 5624 3900
Oct 14 Casey Cardinia Annual Charity Dinner Pakenham  
Oct 14 Women’s Health and Wellbeing Discussion Leongatha Leah Maslen 0448 681 373
Oct 14 AUSVEG AgriBio Tour Dep. Thorpdale and Warragul AUSVEG 9882 0277
Oct 14 Baw Baw Big Blokes BBQ Lardner 5626 1373
Oct 14 Business and Technology Bootcamp Mornington Peninsula Mornington Customer Service Centre 1300 850 600
Oct 14-15 Wandin Silvan Field Days Wandin East Nan Cleven 0429 428 537
Oct 14, 21 Cups On Cups Off Warragul Donna Gibson 5624 3900
Oct 15 Country Race Meet Cranbourne Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Oct 16 Family Fishing Clinic Meetung Mick Douthat 0447 504 609
Oct 16 Family Fishing Clinic Nicholson Mick Douthat 0447 504 609
Oct 16 Spring into Nature event on the Cryptic Crayfish of West Gippsland nature walk and talk Trafalgar John Hick 0437 589 317
Oct 16 Craft Markets Australia Lardner 5626 1373
Oct 17-23 Australian Backyard Bird Count
Oct 17, 18 and 24 Managing Change and Succession Bairnsdale Tony Seymour 5624 1402
Oct 17, 24 Cups On Cups Off Leongatha Donna Gibson 5624 3900
Oct 18 Small Business Mentoring Service Mornington Kerry Polites 5950 1842
Oct 19 Nielsen Data Presentation Maffra
Oct 19 Dairy farm Monitor Project Results Discussion Ellinbank Natalie Nelson 5624 2235
Oct 19 Ellinbank Seminar Ellinbank Sharon Aarons 5624 2339
Oct 20 Maffra and Districts Landcare Network Sale Darren Williams 0457 786 582
Oct 21 Indigenous Agriculture Prior to European Settlement Traralgon WGCMA 1300 094 262
Oct 22 Healthy and Sustainable Home Program – water and waste Koo Wee Rup Brian Harlow 5997 9687
Oct 22 Balanced Equine Nutrition Session Fish Creek
Oct 22 Warragul High Tea – McGrath Foundation Pre-Cup Carnival Frock-Up Lardner 5626 1373
Oct 22 Maffra Show Maffra Jen McDavitt 5147 2444
Oct 22 Identify and Cook Edible Weeds Foster Manna Gum Community House 5682 1101
Oct 23 The Last of the Chrome Bumpers Lardner 5626 1373
Oct 23 Country Race Meet Sale Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Oct 23 Beekeeping for Beginners field day Mirboo North Bronwyn Barton 0433 035 143
Oct 25 Climate Resilience Project Wind-up Event   Jill Vella 5662 9200
Oct 25 Introduction to Social Media for Community Groups Foster Sophie Dixon 5662 9202
Oct 25 C4G Business Breakfast Bairnsdale Committee for Gippsland 5623 3219
Oct 25 Country Race Meet Cranbourne Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Oct 27-28 Mental Health First Aid Course Inverloch Kris 5672 2494
Oct 28 SFS Spring Field Day   Janice Dowe
Oct 29 Country Race Meet Traralgon Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Nov 1 Country Race Meet Bairnsdale Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Nov 4 Country Race Meet Cranbourne Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Nov 4 Country Race Meet Sale Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Nov 5 Casey food and Wine Festival Berwick Old Cheese Factory 9702 1919
Nov 6 Butterflies Field Day Loch
Nov 7-9 Food and Hotel China Shanghai, China
Nov 8 Small Business Mentoring Service Cowes Emilie Barkley 5671 2211
Nov 8 Farm Biosecurity 2016 Lilydale Mick Blake 8892 2530
Nov 9 Stepping Up Stepping Back Succession Pilot Program Traralgon GippsDairy 5624 3900
Nov 11 Country Race Meet Moe Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Nov 13-15 World of Perishables Tradeshow Dubai AusVeg 9882 0277
Nov 15 Country Race Meet Sale Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Nov 16 Ellinbank Seminar Ellinbank Sharon Aarons 5624 2339
Nov 17 Gippsland Regional Assembly
Nov 19 Healthy and Sustainable Home Program – garden sustainability Koo Wee Rup Brian Harlow 5997 9687
Nov 19 Country Race Meet Cranbourne Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Nov 22 Country Race Meet Moe Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Nov 23 Casey-Cardinia Business Breakfast Cranbourne Raylene Wilson 9705 5200
Nov 24 Sharefarming and leasing program Warragul GippsDairy 5624 3900
Nov 25 Country Race Meet Cranbourne Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Nov 26 Country Race Meet Yarra Valley Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Nov 26 Country Race Meet Woolamai Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Nov 27 Country Race Meet Traralgon Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Nov 29 Introduction to Social Media for Community Groups Leongatha Sophie Dixon 5662 9202
Dec 4-8 7th International Nitrogen Initiative Conference (INI2016) Melbourne
Jan 3-8 National All Breeds Dairy Youth Camp Tatura Lucy Galt 0488 144 999
March 8-10 Economic Development Australia Victorian State Conference Warragul Baw Baw Shire Economic Development 5624 2411
Mar 15 Gippsland Irrigation Expo Sale
Sep 26-27 Science Protecting Plant Health 2017 conference (#SciPlant17) Brisbane
This regular news digest comes from Agribusiness Gippsland Inc which works with farmers, local councils, state and federal government, catchment management authorities, community groups and others to support regional agribusiness and work in partnership with existing regional organisations. Visit or
Disclaimer:  The board of Agribusiness Gippsland Inc and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying solely on any information contained within this publication. Readers are advised to investigate each of the articles by following the links and or contacts as provided.

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