The collective voice of dairy farmers in Victoria has a new face in the south-west.
Alison Lee was recently announced as one of three, new regional coordinators for the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV).
South western coordinator Ms Lee said she would help support and enhance the collective voice of dairy farmers in the region.
“We’ve can have that person-to-person contact first hand,” she said.
“With a regional coordinator, there’s someone who knows the people and knows the area well.”
Born and bred in the south-west, Ms Lee grew up in Cobden, a member of a dairy farming family and later worked in artificial insemination for dairy cattle. Before taking on her new, full-time role, she also worked as an agronomist.
“I’ve had a lot of contact with dairy farms for a variety of different roles,” she said. “I’ve always had a strong interest to make sure farmers are looked after.”
Ms Lee said she would help build and maintain relationships with existing UDV members, welcome new members and work to coordinate informational and social events in the area.
Ms Lee said she had always respected the work of the UDV.
“It has a strong reputation for providing a voice for farmers, so if someone is a member, they have someone in their corner, looking after them from an industry point of view,” she said.
Ms Lee said despite a “stressful” year in dairy, there was a strong sense of unity across the region.
“There’s a strength there among farmers,” she said.
“I’m here to make sure that’s facilitated to come back to farmers in the long term.”
UDV policy councillor Oonagh Kilpatrick welcomed Ms Lee as a dairy leader in the district.
“What Alison brings is youth, enthusiasm and a dairying background,” she said.
“Hopefully, having someone like Alison on the ground, she will be able to attract people on the periphery (of the dairy-farming industry).”
UDV president Adam Jenkins said it was great to have Ms Lee as a regional coordinator.
“The role is to reinvigorate the network and be a support person for dairy farmers,” he said.
“It’s what we can do to keep driving change for our farmers.”