Two south-west farmers are trying to oust Australian Dairy Farmers' incumbent president from the board.
Cobden's Ian Morris and Woolsthorpe area farmer Glenn Britnell are challenging South Australian farmer Rick Gladigau for one spot on the five-member board.
The three candidates want to turn around declining milk production in Australia.
But they have vastly different priorities for making this happen.
The three faced a Victorian Farmers Federation online forum last week to outline their case for election at the ADF's annual general meeting on November 24.
Ian Morris, Cobden, is fresh off having won a court case against the VFF in July.
Mr Morris launched legal action after the VFF terminated his membership while he was running for the presidency of its commodity group, the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria.
He wants to see a complete overhaul of ADF and Dairy Australia's structure.
The former World Bank economist said the industry needed to have the right framework to deal with the extensive range of issues facing it.
"The dairy industry is at a major tipping point, as the national milk pool collapses by 3 per cent per year," he said.
"Paradoxically, in recent times, we have had relatively good milk prices, reasonable seasons, except for fires and patches of drought and floods, but farmers are leaving in significant numbers with many farms being converted to alternate uses.
"This is simply not good for the industry."
He said ADF had done some good work in addressing some of the issues facing the industry, but more needed to be done, particularly around supermarket power over processors and issues such as the commitment to net zero and social licence to operate.
Mr Britnell also wants to address the decline in the industry - but he wants to do this by bringing the views of grassroots farmers to the table.
"What we see now is an industry that's in decline and we need to be able to put a put the brakes on it," he said.
Mr Gladigau staked his bid on his track record with ADF and on the need to have stability at a board level.
He pointed to the Australian Dairy Plan, the mandatory Code of Conduct and advocating for dairy to be an essential service during the COVID crisis as some of these achievements.
He said one of the biggest issues facing the organisation was ongoing funding, something he had been working on with the past chief executive officer and the current one too.
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