The end of Terang’s DemoDairy is drawing closer with the 159-hectare property sold and a clearing sale to be held on Saturday.
The cooperative that runs the applied research and demonstration farm decided to close it down in 2016 after an ongoing shift in the focus of government and industry funding away from DemoDairy.
DemoDairy chairman Ian Teese said the current focus for dairy industry extension activities was on privately owned “focus farms.”
DemoDairy was bought in 1996 by a cooperative-owned company to giving dairy farmers hands-on training and undertake dairy industry research.
It has operated as a dairy with a 240-cow herd and the sale includes a herringbone dairy on the property.
Mr Teese said the property had been sold through an expression of interest process to local buyers.
The new owners would take possession on January 30, he said.
Mr Teese did not disclose the price paid for the property.
He said the DemoDairy cooperative’s board was investigating ways in which the cooperative’s residual funds could be spent.
“At the moment the preference is to set up a foundation to support further dairy industry vocational training and extension activities in western Victoria,” Mr Teese said.
He said the cooperative would hold a ballot with its shareholders, who numbered about 200, to get their views about how the money should be spent and on a proposal to wind up the cooperative.
The ballot would be held in the next three to four weeks, Mr Teese said.
The National Centre for Dairy Education (NCDE), which provided dairy industry training at DemoDairy, last year ended its training services at the facility.
The move followed the decision by Dairy Australia, which backed the NCDE, to move to a new way of providing dairy industry training.