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25 May 2015

Edition 109

In this issue

• What is Gippsland's 
do-able renewable?
• Here's how you get staff to move to the country

• Half-price RASV forum
• Agribusiness Gippsland seeks new directors

• Gippy cheese legend aces it ... again
 Giving the local manufacturers a heads-up
• Silage wrap recycle days
• Bill Bulmer: pin-up boy

• SRW's carp crackdown
• PLUS: LOTS of job ads
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Gippy's bioenergy advantage: the do-able renewable

Discover Gippsland’s renewable fuel potential at an exciting bioenergy forum on June 18-19. Hear how Gippslanders are generating power from food-waste; heating greenhouses with bioenergy, using biochar to boost soil health and exploring fuel from forest residues. Meet the small Victorian town that is pioneering biomass for heating. Interstate speakers will explain how other regional communities can develop bioenergy projects. The first-day forum is at timber-town Heyfield (only 2.5 hours from Melbourne). It costs $150 includes GST and lunch/refreshments (Full-time students 50% discount). Book at The second day offers a first-ever visit to bioenergy installations in Latrobe and Wellington Shires including visits to biogas power generation and woody biomass thermal bioenergy facilities in Morwell, Maryvale and Yarragon. Cost including lunch/refreshments $80 includes GST. Book at And between them is the major forum dinner on June 18. ($70 inc GST). There are also opportunities for trade stands at $250 plus GST (includes a free forum day ticket). (Ph Sue 0402 267 802) Visit  Organised by the Victorian Bioenergy Network and Agribusiness Gippsland, supported by Regional Development Australia Gippsland, Sustainability Victoria, Latrobe City/Wellington Shire councils.

Farmers giving manufacturers the heads-up

What equipment does your business need? Where are the gaps in your technology? Local manufacturers want Gippsland farmers and food processors to explain what they need. Telemetry? Software? Switching systems? Irrigation hardware? Attenuation systems? Pumps? Heating? CIP systems? Pipes? Solar? Valves? Heat exchangers?  Logistics and stacking gear? Robotics? Sensors? Lifecycle systems?  Thursday June 25 sees a free cross-over forum at Pakenham.  Bring your ideas, your designs – even your prototypes … there’s free display space. But seats are limited. Get on the invitation list. Contact Ian Needham Supported by the Industry Capability Network, Cardinia Shire Council, RDA Gippsland, Regional Development Southern Melbourne and the Victorian Government and assisted by Agribusiness Gippsland. More? Ian Needham or 0403 195 512

Special Gippyagchat deal for RASV forum

The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) is extending a special deal for Gippyagchat readers working in the food/fibre supply chain. They can attend the AgriVictoria State of Opportunity Summit at the special ticket price of $220. The summit will forge vital domestic and international connections, demonstrate how to become investment-ready and to identify new market opportunities for Victorian farmers, producers and industry professionals from across the food and fibre value chains. It will be at the Park Hyatt Hotel, 1 Parliament Square, Melbourne from 8am-4pm on Thursday, June 11.
...PLUS: The Heart of Victoria dinner, jointly hosted by the RASV and the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF),  will be held on June 11 at Central Pier, Docklands. It offers some of Victoria’s finest seasonal produce and the opportunity to join key industry influencers including speaker Jeremy Haw. More? Sheryn Cooper 9982 4432 or


Agribusiness summit coming to Gippsland

The dining boom goes glam at Mornington Peninsula’s Lindenderry at Red Hill on July 30-31. The Victorian Agribusiness Council (of which Agribusiness Gippsland is a member) is staging the Victorian Agribusiness Summit with assistance from ANZ bank and the Victorian Government. More? Gillian Stewart 0459 177 363 or

Agribusiness leaders sought for our board

Agribusiness Gippsland is seeking directors for its board. People with capabilities in regional project management, food processing, farming/forestry, financial management and governance are sought. Ability to network within the agribusiness sector is an important component of the role. The skills-based board is chaired by Paul Ford, who explained: “Agribusiness includes all activities involved in production, processing and distribution of Gippsland’s food and fibre products”. The successful, industry-based not-for-profit group promotes a prosperous, sustainable agribusiness sector across a region from the NSW border to Dandenong/Mornington Peninsula. Initial expressions of interest are sought by June 5. More? Christine Holland 0418 574 446 or

Riverine Blue is a berry good cheese!

Barry and Cheryl of Berry's Creek Gourmet Cheese have aced it again with Riverine Blue, named Victoria’s top cheese at the DIAA awards in mid-May. The buffalo milk blue cheese has accumulated a clutch of accolades for its “soft, creamy mouth-feel with an almost savoury flavour profile that finishes with a lingering lactic sweetness."

Tips to attracting people to work in rural areas

How do you get young people into ag and rural Australia? Here’s the surprise … it isn’t just money. A 20-year review from one of our supporters Agricultural Appointments (see below) reveals trends in Australian ag-salaries. It also provides some valid suggestions on how to attract young people to the sector, and to rural areas. They include:

• Loosen the selection criteria and concentrate on training 
• Look for skills that are transferable
• Look at new migrants who are keen to gain work skills
• Use 457 visas to bring a skilled workers from overseas (regional 457 visas are often fast-tracked)
• Provide housing (an onsite manager’s residence is a big draw card)
• Include housing in work packages or subsidise it
• Include childcare/school fees/tutoring in the package
• Offer longer annual leave
• Consider flexible working arrangements
• Offer generous super
• Financial/business incentives for time spent at the business
• Attendance at national and international conferences
• Offer tuition reimbursement and professional development benefits
• Look into employment opportunities for the spouse/partner

“One of the barriers to attracting younger staff has been the perception that salaries are not great in agricultural industries. It’s something statistics back up: seven out of seven agricultural business jobs assessed by Agricultural Appointments for this report have not kept up with CPI over the past 20 years.” Read Dr Ray’s blog here…/agribusiness-wage-growth-lag…/ There’s a hyperlink to the full report at the bottom of the blog.

Mulgowie Fresh gets grant to grow

Congrats to Mulgowie Fresh. Operating through central and east Gippsland, the Queensland-based horticultural company has scored a $1.8m Canberra grant for a $7.1m equipment upgrade. The company will install automated processing to produce packaged ready-to-use vegetables, increasing production capacity and expanding product ranges. The grant was one of 19 announced through the Federal Government’s Manufacturing Transition Program.

State government investing in young farmers

The Young Farmers Ministerial Advisory Council and a Young Farmer Scholarship program have been announced by the Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, Jaala Pulford. The council will comprise up to 11 members, including a representative from each of the Victorian Farmers Federation Young Agribusiness Professionals and Victorian Young Farmers groups. The Young Farmers Scholarship Program received $760,000 in the 2015-16 Victorian Budget to help young farmers to grow skills and invest in new technologies and business efficiencies. Formal expressions of interest will open in June. More?

Recycle your silage wrap

Farmers can recycle used silage wrap via drop off at the Sale Saleyards on July 8-9 from 10am-3pm. Silage Wrap must be delivered using either of the two options.
  • Plasback for recycling silage wrap, baling twine, grain tubes and pit covers. Use green liners Plasback for silage wrap only and red liners for twine. Both are available from local agricultural supply stores.
  • Bulkabags  for recycling silage wrap - material needs to be shaken clean of silage and gravel. Bulkabags will be charged $10. Bale net wrap must be separated and cannot be included in the bulkabag. This cannot be recycled.
More? Mal Rogers 0407 531 052 or  Gippsdairy 5624 3900 or

Have your say on public land use

The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) is seeking submissions as part of a statewide investigation into public land, including crown land and land owned by Victorian government agencies, but not land owned by local councils. The review seeks to determine whether the current system of public land use categories is still appropriate. Deadline Monday, June 22. More? or 1800 134 803

Loans scheme extended for Victorian farmers

Victorian farmers have until June 30 to apply for the Farm Finance Concessional Loans scheme, offered over a five-year term with a 4.34% interest rate. More?

You heard what the Treasurer said…

Go on! Get out there and SPEND! Take an ad in Gippyagchat for smart, targeted advertising that helps our not-for-profit group. Visit Single insertions are only $50 plus GST and bulk insertions are as low as $33 plus GST. (Tell ‘em Joe sent ya!)

Gippsland’s grass makes good milk

Gippsland’s milk production rose 4.8% in April, according to the latest DA data.  The state’s east continues to show Victoria’s largest production increase at 5.9% year-to-date. The west was down 0.9% and the north up 2.2% YTD.

Look who’s the pick of the crop!

East Gippsland horticultural giant Bill Bulmer is the Ausveg pin-up boy for the March-April edition …

New planning strategy will simplify rural land rules

A new Rural Land Use Strategy is being developed by East Gippsland Shire to simplify development guidelines for planning applications, and to optimise use of rural land. The strategy will support new State Government policy allowing changed uses within farming zones. The shire will consult key stakeholders and the community before the strategy is completed by the end of 2015. More? East Gippsland Shire Council 5153 9500 or

‘Regular’ meetings set to be extraordinary!

The board of Agribusiness Gippsland has set the calendar for its regular meetings for 2015. On June 15 we've been invited to meet at Burra Foods in Korumburra, on August 10 we’ll meet in East Gippsland, on October 12 we’ll be meeting in Mornington Peninsula Shire and on December 10 in Latrobe City.  Normally we meet at the council offices … but if you are an agribusiness with a large-ish room (seating 10-12) and able to offer the hard-working board members some lunch, we’d love to visit you! We’ve held previous board meetings at Dutson Downs, MG Leongatha, Corvinos and Longwarry Food Park … among others. More? Sue or 0402 267 802

Boutique food firms seek investors

Some Gippsland boutique food firms are looking to expand and are seeking investors/joint venture deals. They include an olive oil business and a snack-manufacturer. All contacts confidential. Send an email to and we’ll put you in contact.

Learn about crisis management from the best

Craig Lapsley, Victoria's Emergency Management Commissioner, will discuss collaboration in crisis, innovative and community-focused outcomes before during and after emergencies from 7-9am on Friday, May 29 at the Warragul Reception and Conference Centre, 41 Sutton St, Warragul. A hot breakfast will be served to guests. The cost is $35. RSVP essential. More? Gippsland Community Network Events 0428 746 207 or

Protect your paddock trees

The Port Phillip and Westernport CMA are currently looking for landholders in their region to trial protection and rehabilitation of either Isolated or stands of scattered paddock trees. Expression of Interest form can be found at More?Sarah Halligan

Landcare group looking for planting projects

Phillip Island Landcare group has received funding from the Victorian and Australian Governments for four new projects, including tree planting and fencing subsidies for landholders. The group is looking for landholders interested in planting shelterbelts, improving degraded property or linking vegetation patches. More? Lisa Wangman  5951 3329 or

Agribusiness Gippsland is going to Sydney

Agribusiness Gippsland has been asked to address a major national conference in Sydney in July. Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Agriculture and Joel Fitzgibbon , Shadow Minister for Agriculture are major speakers. You can view the programme here: and you can register here

Seeking carp hotspots

Southern Rural Water is seeking the assistance of locals to find infestations of carp in irrigation channels. Carp can cause significant damage to channels and SRW's winter maintenance program aims to clean channels and reduce the numbers of this pest. If you know where carp are congregating over winter, SRW would love to hear from you. More? SRW 1300 139 510

Thinking of starting beehives but unsure how?

Apiarists are looking for suitable sites to host hives … and that gives landholders a chance to see first-hand what is involved. If you have a bit of land that is not close to spraying and has access and some water nearby, why not offer to host hives. You can post at our free matchmaking Facebook page

Milk prices remain strong for Burra

Burra Foods expects to finish with a closing step up, taking this year’s milk payments to more than $6kgMS. CEO Grant Crothers said Burra is forecasting 2016 prices will hit $6.20. Mr Crothers said that while dairy commodity prices dropped 45%, farm gate prices held strong, with only a relatively small drop of 12%.

Warm up with winter wines

More than 50 Mornington Peninsula wineries will showcase current and new release wines at the launch event of the Winter Wine Weekend on Saturday, June 6 from 11am-4pm at Red Hill Recreation Reserve, 180 Arthurs Seat Rd, Red Hill South. Fine food will be provided by chefs from some of the peninsula’s leading restaurants. The cost is $55 pre-booked tickets and $60 on the day. More? Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association 5989 2377 or or visit

Soil expo videos are now on Youtube

Click on the links below for some soil management videos with speakers from the soil amendment expo including Declan Mcdonald and Chris Alenson:

Are you interested in robotic milking?

Dr Maria Rose of Maffra DEDJTR (ex DEPI, ex DPI) has formed a cluster of Gippydairy farmers who have, or are considering, installing AMS (robotic milking). If you’re interested, give her a call 0438 282 205. In the meantime … NSW DPI will soon launch the NSW DPI Dairy Automatic Milking Systems Newsletter. Subscribe using the following link:

Get your guide to dairy services

GippsDairy has released a new guide to showcase opportunities offered to Gippsland dairy farmers, dairy farm employees and those interested in joining the industry to develop their skills. The guide was developed by GippsDairy, DEDJTR and National Centre for Dairy Education. Visit:

Rural farmers reckon they’ve got it bad …

But pity the growing band of urban food growers. Imagine having to check out your proximity to playing fields to model your soil cadmium levels, or reporting your comparative arsenic levels to the local city council. More?

Ellinbank plans a year of seminars

Ellinbank seminars provide a free forum for scientists, extension staff and external stakeholders to discuss current research and extension activities. The seminars are held at the Dairy Centre of Excellence, 1301 Hazeldean Rd, Ellinbank, usually Wednesdays between 12:30-1:30 pm. All welcome. Please bring lunch. The seminars will be held on:
  • June 17 with Kerry Stott, Farms System Economics, Parkville on nitrogen use efficiency
  • July 22 with Dr Peter Moate, Ellinbank on  methane mitigation
  • August 19 with Dr Abdur Rab, DEDJTR on understanding dairy soil water properties
  • September 16 with Dr Matthew Deighton, DEDJTR Ellinbank  on forage species
  • October 21 with Natalie Nelson DEDJTR Leongatha on the Dairy Farm Monitor results
  • November 18 with Dr Alice Melland, University of Southern Queensland on links between dairy land management and catchment water quality – Australian and Irish perspectives.
More? Sharon Aarons 5624 2339 or

Group takes swift action on biodiversity

SWIFFT is a network of natural resource management (NRM) organisations, community groups and members of the public who share an interest in nature conservation. SWIFFT is hosting biodiversity video conferences at Bairnsdale, Traralgon and Yarram DEJTR offices from 9.45am:
  • Thursday July 30 on moths and butterflies
  • Thursday October 29 on mapping technology.
More? Kylie Singleton 5172 2123 or or visit

Plan for a better breakfast

The Casey Cardinia Business Breakfast series offers breakfast food with bite on Wednesdays:
  • June 24 with Bernie Brookes, ex-CEO Myer Limited Find out more
  • September 9 with Peter Jackson, CEO Melbourne Football Club. Find out more
  • November 25 with Megan Quinn, Founder of Net-A-Porter. Find out more
More? Raylene Wilson 9705 5200 or

Have your say on predation by feral cats

Comment is sought on proposed plans to protect native animals from feral cats. Deadline July 8. More? Visit

What’s living in your cows’ guts?

Maffra vet Steph Bullen will lead a YDDP drench discussion night from 7pm on Tuesday May 26 at Footy Club Rooms, 173 Nambrok Hall Rd, Nambrok on topics including:
  • ‘ideal’ annual drenching program/calendar
  • stock to be drenched (milkers, dry cows, yearlings and calves)
  • faecal egg count
  • drench resistance
  • testing the effectiveness of the drenching program
  • best types of drenches, white/clear etc., and when to change types.
RSVP. More? Irene Baker 0428 889 337 or

Get down and dirty!

The Southern Gippsland Climate Resilience Project Farm Walk will be held on Wednesday May 27 from 10am-2pm (lunch provided) at Graeme and Jenny Cope’s dairy farm, 95 Kerrs Rd, Fish Creek.  The farmwalk will focus on developing healthy soils to maximise pasture growth. RSVP to More? Jill Vella 0408 208 350

Input sought on forestry paper

Submissions are sought on the forestry industry's strategic directions issues paper. Visit Deadline June 5.

Get more from your pastures and crops

A field day at Ellinbank, 1301 Hazeldean Rd, from 10.15am-2.30 pm on Tuesday, May 26 will look at improving production in pastures and crops, and whether seed treatment and sowing rate can help. Lunch supplied. RSVP. The day will cover:
  • seed enhancements and weed control
  • pasture/crop establishment
  • the Pasture Improvement Initiative
  • alternative species plots
  • inspection of demonstration plots.
More? Frank Mickan 5624 2259 or

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:

Climate Change Café offers a vast menu

The Climate Change Café offers a three-course meal and chats with experts in animal breeding, pasture species, farmer health, financial planning and risk management. It runs from 6.30pm on:
  • June 23 at Foster Golf Club, Foster
  • August 26 in Loch
  • September 14 in Dalyston
More? Jill Vella 0408 208 350

Latrobe welcomes extension to rebuild permits

Latrobe City Council has welcomed a recent  Victorian Government decision to allow landowners left homeless in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires to remain in temporary accommodation. Affected landowners now have until the end of September 2017 to submit their site plan. Latrobe City Council had sought the extension. More? Latrobe City Council 1300 367 700 or

Have your say on waste and resource recovery

Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Draft Municipal Waste and Resource Recovery Services Strategy is now available for public comment. The draft strategy sets a roadmap for the future direction of the Shire’s waste and resource recovery activities, and maintains the Shire’s commitment to moving towards zero waste. View the draft strategy at

Seeking Gippsland's most Legendairy town

Dairy Australia has launched the inaugural search for Australia's LEGENDAIRY capital. People in Australia's eight dairying regions including Gippsland (natch) are invited to nominate their town as Australia's LEGENDAIRY capital to receive a $2500 grant to invest in a community project. One town will receive a further grant of $7500 for its community project. Deadline: 5pm, June 12. More?

Got deer?

A deer management forum will be held on Friday June 12 at Stony Creek Recreation Reserve. The night will include dinner and speakers including local landholders and hunters. More? South Gippsland Landcare Network 5662 5759 or

Estuaries unmasked in Powlett River tour

The Estuaries Unmasked “Off The Hook” tour from 10am-3pm on Saturday May 30 will introduce fish species in the Powlett River. The tour features estuarine and freshwater electrofishing demonstrations, fish experts, and discussion of local fish habitat improvement projects. The tour leaves from carpark (opp the Powlett River Caravan Park). RSVP by May 25. Hosted by the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, Arthur Rylah Institute and the Bass Coast Landcare Network. More? Matt Khoury 1300 094 262 or

Don’t forget to duck!

Theduck hunting season closes half an hour after sunset on Monday June 8. Below average rainfall for the past two years has reduced duck numbers and habitat. As a result, the Game Management Authority recommended that a reduced bag limit. More?

Land management think tank seeks participants

A think tank on June 30 at Morwell will advise Federation University Australia, the University of Melbourne and participating VET /higher education providers on skills and knowledge needed by land managers. People from the following sectors are invited to the free Waratah restaurant breakfast from 7.30am: soil health and science, forestry, water health and security, mineral and geology, agriculture, renewable energy, environment/conservation groups, climate change, higher education/VET staff and indigenous leaders. More? Jessica Sautner 5327 9356 or

Learn innovations and cost savings for trees

The use of direct seeding, hico cell plants and fencing techniques to save you time and money will be discussed at Mark Walters’ Loch property on Friday June 5. Further details TBC. More? South Gippsland Landcare Network 5662 5759 or

Mentoring sessions to support small business

Bass Coast Shire Council, in conjunction with the Small Business Mentoring Service, is offering free mentoring sessions for businesses in the shire. They will be held at the Wonthaggi Customer Service Centre, 76 McBride Ave and are limited to one session/business/year. Sessions will be held on August 11 and October 13 and will run: 10.30-11.15am; 11.30am-12.15pm; 1-1.45pm; and 2-2.45pm. More?  Bass Coast Shire Council’s Business Development Officer 1300 226 278 or

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 1st 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 20 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

Country racing is off and … well … racing

Meetings in May: 26-Pakenham; 28-Sale. Meetings in June: 1-Moe; 4-Pakenham; 9-Pakenham; 14-Sale; 25-Sale; 26-Pakenham; 28-Moe. More? 1300 139 402 or visit

Do you care for the land?

The 2015 State and Territory Landcare Awards are now open. Visit entry requirements and entry rules and conditions. Deadline June 21. More? Visit

F2T if UR MT

A local F2T (farm-to-table) wine and produce degustation dinner will be held at the Wonthaggi Club on June 20 with eight wines and eight courses showcasing 20+ local producers. Cost $130/head or $800 for a table of eight. More? 5672 1007. 

Planning a trip?

Do us a BIG favour and book online through Quickbeds … they make a donation to keep Gippyagchat going and it costs you nothing. Zilch. Nada. Zero  … you can hum the rest … HOW TO DO IT: Click on this link:, then find the hotel you want and book it. That's it. They charge no booking fees and no credit card fees. (Hooray!) Quickbeds is an accommodation search and booking website owned by the Flight Centre Travel Group. They offer a price beat guarantee - if you find a cheaper price they'll beat it. They have a HUGE range of hotels, apartments, resorts and B&B's in Australia and around the world. There’s also a 24/7 Australian customer support centre. Click on the link now and see for yourself. And please forward the booking code to your friends and family. If they click on the link and book, a donation goes to Agribusiness Gippsland. (double hooray)

Gippsland Business Awards seek nominations

Nominations for the 2015 Bendigo Bank Gippsland Business Awards close on May 29. Two new categories have been added to the awards, a food and wine category and a franchises category. The previous manufacturing category has been broadened slightly to become manufacturing and/or export. Nominations can be submitted at website at

Schools to get creative for gardening grants

The 2015 Yates Junior Landcare Creative Gardening Grants are open to schools and youth groups. Grants of up to $1000 will be awarded to the most innovative, sustainable and environmentally conscious entries. Deadline July 3. More? Click here

Country women gather in Pakenham

The Country Women's Association Pakenham branch will meet at the Guide Hall, Henry St, from 9.30am-2.30pm on June 3. More? Vicky 5940 4651 or

Grow your business

Victorian businesses with $500,000+ annual turnover can apply for Grow Your Business grants. Visit

Nuffield Scholarships are now available online

Nuffield Australia awards scholarships to farmers annually. Applications close June 30. To download the brochure click here. To view scholarships on the website click here
...ALSO: The GRDC is supporting three Nuffield Scholarships for 2016, including one for a grower from the southern region. More? Click here

Opportunities abound in the field of agronomy

The Australian Society of Agronomy is calling for nominations for the CM Donald Medal for Agronomy; Fellowships; Young Agronomist of the Year Award; and 2015 Conference Bursary. Applications close June 30. More? Click here

Government invests in manufacturing technology

The Investing in Manufacturing Technology (IMT) program offers grants of up to $250,000 for eligible firms to purchase and integrate new technologies into manufacturing operations to improve business productivity and competitiveness. Expressions of Interest are now open. More? Business Victoria 13 22 15 visit

Grants aim to strengthen value chain

The Food and Fibre Marketing Cooperatives Initiative is providing grants to encourage co-operation between Victorian farmers and value chain members. Grants of up to $50,000 are available. The program is open until June 30. More? Mark Hincksman 5954 4004 or Melly Pandher 5833 5358 or visit

Baw Baw celebrates business excellence

The Baw Baw Business Awards Gala Night will be held from 6pm on Friday June 12 at Lardner Park Exhibition Centre, Lardner. Tickets are $85 per person. Book through the West Gippsland Arts Centre or 5624 2456 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

Your wish might be granted…

A range of grants are available for food and fibre industries including:

Employment is easy!

Employment Made Easy (eME) connects dairy farm businesses with willing workers and is free to use. More? Jeanette White 03 5624 3900 or visit

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.
Food manufacturing manager (salary $180,000-$220,000) sought to lead large manufacturing team producing iconic Australian product. Applicants will be tertiary qualified in manufacturing, engineering or a related discipline with a successful track record, preferably in unionised food manufacturing with at least five years’ experience leading large cross-functional teams. The right candidate will be a strong, collaborative, hands-on team player and leader with the ability to step back and let the team thrive. Excellent communication, presentation and reporting skills at all levels required. More? 9090 7651 or
Capability Co-ordinator – Training and Development sought by Murray Goulburn at Leongatha. Applicants will hold a Certificate IV Training and Assessment and an undergraduate degree and be confident with IT/training systems capability – Sharepoint, Learning Management systems; and have have strong research capabilities, excellent organisational/time-management skills, communications skills and 3+ years in a similar role. Applications close May 31. More?
Cultural co-ordinator sought by Mulgowie Farming Company.  Based in Boisdale, the co-ordinator will monitor and ensure teams are compliant with quality and safety systems, particularly relating to food safety; monitor, audit and improve all aspects of business processes and support HR best practice. Relevant experience in food safety and the fresh produce sector is highly regarded. Applications close June 7. More?

Team leader sought for Buchan Caves. Applicants need a certificate or diploma in Natural Resource Management or equivalent or higher. Applications close Friday June 5. More?

Winter season jobs are on offer at Mt Baw Baw. Visit

Farm labourer sought in the Leongatha area, accommodation provided. The position will begin on a casual basis, five days/week, with the potential for a permanent role working year-round to pick and pack product and assist in sowing. Flexible working hours. This work involves bending and lengthy standing. Own, reliable transport preferred. Award wages and entitlements including overtime. More?
Rationalisation coordinator sought by Southern Rural Water for a contract to June 30, 2017 to manage the integration of the outlet rationalisation and regulator program. The position is based in Maffra. The salary $78,475.02-$90,842.64 plus employer superannuation. Application deadline Friday  May 29. More? Visit
Full-time trainee administrator sought by rural merchandiser BrownWigg for the head office in Sale. The role will require intermediate-advanced computer skills organisational and time management skills and a current drivers licence. Application deadline Friday May 29. More?
Environmental team leader sought for Traralgon firm, responsible for the full management of up to five field officers including work scheduling and appraisals. The successful candidate will have a proven background of managing people, hold a scientific, environmental or engineering based qualification, be highly analytical and have high level of experience dealing with environmental compliance. A full driver’s licence is essential. More? Matthew 9642 4066 or
Regional environmental manager sought be Fonterra for the Bayswater and Darnum plants and adjoining farmland to provide innovation and technical assistance in loss reduction, environmental best practice, waste treatment and resource management to ensure optimum plant performance and sustainable operations. The position requires a degree in Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, Applied Science, Chemical Engineering or similar with experience in water and waste water management, hazardous waste management and cleaner production and contaminated land. More?
Tanker drivers/washers sought by Murray Goulburn to work on a seasonal basis at Leongatha and Maffra. A current Victorian heavy vehicle licence required (MC preferred) and 12 months minimum heavy vehicle driving experience. Applications close June 6. Applications should include all contact details and the location where work is sought. More?
Experienced events manager sought by Belgravia Events, a partnership with the management company of Lake Mountain and Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resorts. Previous experience in event management is essential while experience delivering events in the alpine industry would be a significant advantage. Applications close 5pm Friday June 5. More?
Inventory controller sought by ag-retailer BrownWigg head office at Sale. Applicants must have previous experience with computerised inventory. $60,000-$70,000. Applications close Friday May 29. More?
Full-time salesperson sought by ag-retailer BrownWigg at Sale. Applicants need the ability to negotiate and build strong relationships with clients, demonstrated sales ability and immaculate personal presentation. Applications close Friday May 29. More?
Landscape labourers needed for ongoing work at Yering, The position is Monday-Friday with a 7am start. Applicants should be fit, have labouring experience and have current White Card. $22.53/hour. More?
Full-time community and social planner with relevant tertiary qualifications and work experience sought by Baw Baw Shire Council to prepare research data and help develop funding applications, presentations, advocacy and lobby campaigns and drive the sustainable community planning program. $30.51/ hour.  More?
Senior Environmental Coordinator sought by Gippswater to provide leadership and deliver accurate technical and strategic advice. Applicants will have significant experience with environmental management systems and applied risk management principles in relation to environmental management. More? Simon Aquilina 5177 4688
Farm supplies sales representative sought by Elders Bairnsdale. Applicants should have a successful sales record in the agricultural industry and extensive knowledge of livestock, horticulture and pasture products. More? Colin Lane 0427 428 708
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

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


Hay for sale: Approximately 40 round rolls of dry cow hay for sale at $40 each plus GST in Phillip Island. Delivery can be arranged. More? 5956 9318 (AH)

Do you have land but no time? Seeking good, underused land in west and south Gippsland for a pilot profit-share cattle consortium. If you have a lifestyle /hobby farm of 50+acres with good water, yards/ramp and fencing, but insufficient time/expertise to run cattle, please contact Paul 0428 102 608

Quote of the week

Gary Delaney: "I can give you the cause of anaphylactic shock in a nutshell."

Can we crack the 10K? Say cheese!

The popularity of Gippyagchat has seen phenomenal growth in our recipients' list over the past six years. We want to crack five digits soon. So, we are shamelessly offering a bribe ...  (alright, an inducement) to recruit more readers. The 10,000th person to join the Gippyagchat list will receive a waxed block of Maffra Cheese's award-winning cheddar. It's 1.2kg of multi-award winning cheese craftsmanship from the Maffra Cheese Company, who are exceptionally generous to us. We thank the legendairy Ferial, Sam and the dogged Rebecca for their donations of cheese.

Anyone we’ve forgotten?

Gippy Agchat is sworn at and sweated over by Sue Webster (0402 267 802 or 9456 9791) and Madeline Toner for Agribusiness Gippsland Inc and circulated to subscribers and supporters. GOT NEWS? Ph/email news to
COPYRIGHT-FREE: Resources of Gippy Agchat, either in full or in part, can be copied, quoted, reprinted, given away or circulated. All resources are public property and we would be honoured if they were used to build skills and understanding to help sustain profitable farming, build healthier communities and support vibrant local economies.

And another thing ...

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

May 26 Crops and pasture workshop Ellinbank Frank Mickan 5624 2259
May 26 YDDP Drench Discussion Night Nambrok Irene Baker 0428 889 337
May 26 Country Race Meet Pakenham Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
May 27 Southern Gippsland Climate Resilience Project Farm Walk Fish Creek Jill Vella 0408 208 350
May 27, Jun 3, 10, 17 Soil and Fertiliser Course Sale Robin Bell 5667 4505
May 28 Country Race Meet Sale Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
May 28, Jun 4, 11,18 Know your Milk Harvesting System Warragul Robin Bell 5667 4505
May 29 Collaboration in Crisis – Innovative and Community-Focussed Outcomes Warragul Gippsland Community Network Events 0428 746 207
May 30 Estuaries Unmasked “Off The Hook” tour Powlett River Matt Khoury 1300 094 262
Jun 1 Country Race Meet Moe Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Jun 1, 15, 22, July 13, 20 Manage Human Resources Warragul Robin Bell 5667 4505
Jun 2, 9, 16, 23 Animal Health and Welfare course Warragul Robin Bell 5667 4505
Jun 3 Country Women’s Association Pakenham branch meeting Pakenham Vicky 5940 4651
Jun 4 Country Race Meet Pakenham Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Jun 5 Innovations and Cost Savings for Planting Trees Loch South Gippsland Landcare Network 5662 5759
Jun 6 Bellbird Corner Working Bee Maffra Christine 5141 1198
Jun 6 Backyard Bee Keeping Course Doveton Casey Council 9706 9944
Jun 6 Winter Wines Weekend Red Hill South Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association 5989 2377
Jun 9 Small Business Mentoring Service Cowes Bass Coast Shire Council’s Business Development Officer 1300 226 278
Jun 9 Country Race Meet Pakenham Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Jun 11 AgriVictoria State of Opportunity Summit Melbourne Sheryn Cooper 9982 4432
Jun 12 Deer Forum Stony Creek South Gippsland Landcare Network 5662 5759
Jun 14 Country Race Meet Sale Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Jun 15 Agribusiness Gippsland Regular Meeting South Gippsland Sue 0402 267 802
Jun 17 Ellinbank Seminar- nitrogen use efficiency on Victorian dairy farms Ellinbank Sharon Aarons 5624 2339
Jun 18-19 Bioenergy Forum and Tour Heyfield, Latrobe, Wellington, Morwell, Maryvale and Yarragon Liz Hamilton 5235 8324
Jun 19 Smarter Farm Planning session Fish Creek South Gippsland Landcare Network 5662 5759
Jun 24 Casey Cardinia Business Breakfast
Raylene Wilson 9705 5200
Jun 25 Dining is the New Mining Pakenham Ian Needham 9864 6710
Jun 25 On Farm QA Warragul Robin Bell 5667 4505
Jun 25 Country Race Meet Sale Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Jun 25-27 National Horticulture Convention Gold Coast 9882 0277
Jun 26 Country Race Meet Pakenham Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Jun 28 Country Race Meet Moe Country Racing Victoria 1300 139 402
Jul 4 Bellbird Corner Working Bee Maffra Christine 5141 1198
Jul 8-9 Silage Wrap Drop Off Day Sale GippsDairy 5624 3900
Jul 22 Ellinbank Seminar- methane mitigation Ellinbank Sharon Aarons 5624 2339
Jun 23 Climate Change Café Foster Jill Vella 0408 208 350
Jul 30 Biodiversity Video Conference – Moths and Butterflies   Kylie Singleton 5172 2123
Jul 30-31 Victorian Agribusiness Summit Red Hill Gillian Stewart 0459 177 363
Aug 1 Bellbird Corner Working Bee Maffra Christine 5141 1198
Aug 10 Agribusiness Gippsland Regular Meeting East Gippsland Sue 0402 267 802
Aug 11 Small Business Mentoring Sessions Wonthaggi Bass Coast Shire Council’s Business Development Officer 1300 226 278 
Aug 19 Ellinbank Seminar- understanding dairy soil water properties Ellinbank Sharon Aarons 5624 2339
Aug 24-24 Youth Ag-Summit Canberra
Aug 26 Climate Change Café Loch Jill Vella 0408 208 350
Sep 5 Bellbird Corner Working Bee Maffra Christine 5141 1198
Sep 8 Small Business Mentoring Service Cowes Bass Coast Shire Council 1300 226 278
Sep 9 Casey Cardinia Business Breakfast Cranbourne Raylene Wilson 9705 5200
Sep 14 Climate Change Café Dalyston Jill Vella 0408 208 350
Sep 16 Ellinbank Seminar- new and traditional forage species Ellinbank Sharon Aarons 5624 2339
Oct 3 Bellbird Corner Working Bee Maffra Christine 5141 1198
Oct 12 Agribusiness Gippsland Regular Meeting Mornington Peninsula Sue 0402 267 802
Oct 13 Small Business Mentoring Sessions Wonthaggi Bass Coast Shire Council’s Business Development Officer 1300 226 278
Oct 21 Ellinbank Seminar- Dairy Farm Monitor results Ellinbank Sharon Aarons 5624 2339
Oct 29 Biodiversity Video Conference – Mapping Technology and its Application   Kylie Singleton 5172 2123
Nov 7 Bellbird Corner Working Bee Maffra Christine 5141 1198
Nov 10 Small Business Mentoring Service Cowes Bass Coast Shire Council 1300 226 278
Nov 18 Ellinbank Seminar- links between dairy land management and catchment water quality – Australian and Irish perspectives Ellinbank Sharon Aarons 5624 2339
Nov 25 Casey Cardinia Business Breakfast Pakenham Raylene Wilson 9705 5200
Dec 5 Bellbird Corner Working Bee Maffra Christine 5141 1198
Dec 10 Agribusiness Gippsland Regular Meeting Latrobe City Sue 0402 267 802
Apr 11-16 AusTimber 2016 Latrobe City 9533 4250
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.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 1312 Warragul, VIC 3820
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