+ Welcome function + Trade show

+ Day 1 Speakers + Gala dinner

+ Day 2 Speakers + Final drinks

Australian Dairy Conference cow


Theme: The Power of purpose

Crown Promenade Conference Centre, Melbourne


Monday 12 February 2023

Welcome Events


Young farmers networking function sponsored by GEA 

An exclusive social gathering before the official welcome for those here for the first time to give you the inside running on the VIP speaker list and provide the 101 of making the most of ADC.


Welcome function sponsored by Fonterra 

The Fonterra Welcome Function is renowned for its high energy and buzz, with dairy farmers and industry supporters from across the country and around the world.

Tuesday 13 February

Session 1 Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable 



Tom Newton has been part of the ADC team for many years. We bring him back for his final year as our much-loved MC to guide you through the next two days.


Welcome to ADC 2024

Programming committee chair and Muswellbrook, NSW, dairy farmer Michael Rood explains our why … why we have brought the dairying globe to Melbourne and why you will get just so much out of this event.


Farming on the front line

Andriy Dykun, Head of Agri Council Ukraine & President Milk Processor Association of Ukraine. Imagine dairy farming under constant shelling, your young workforce called up to fight, their elders replacing them at the dairy in order to keep farming. Imagine having to deal with the reality of possible death every day, of checking for grenades prior to milking, while stoically producing milk for the region. This is the reality that Andriy Dykun oversees, from his position as president of the Milk Producers of Ukraine and chair of the Ukrainian Agri Council, representing some 1100 farmers, 150 of which are dairy farmers. The Australian Dairy Conference is privileged to bring Andriy to Australia to share the story of his people’s remarkable resilience.


Finding hope in the aftermath

Paul Weir, dairy farmer NSW. Many will have seen the horrific social media images of Paul Weir’s dairy herd being washed away in the 2022 Lismore, NSW, floods. Hear how this farmer found purpose in his journey of recovery.


Break sponsored by Saputo Australia

Session 2 What’s coming and what are we going to do about it? 


Getting comfortable with what’s coming – and the opportunity it presents

Dr David Nation, Managing Director, Dairy Australia. Responsible for ensuring the country’s dairy industry is ready for the future. We ask David to set the scene for this session and challenge our preparedness for what’s coming.


What happens when governments take charge of dairy’s future

Mike Brady, Irish Farm Consultant. European restrictions have prompted the Dutch government to mandate herd reductions and the Irish government to impose nitrate limits – all in response to climate change. Is the farmer rage in Europe warranted? Irish dairy farm consultant Mike Brady tells us what’s really happening in Europe.


Connecting with the public

Dr Amy Jacksonspecialist crisis communications consultant A passion for understanding what the UK public thinks about farming, Amy shares insight into public views that have influenced northern hemisphere government policies that are changing the face of farming.


Embracing the challenge of meeting what the public wants

Chris Falconer, dairy farmer New Zealand. Chris’s farm adjoins Whangamarino, a wetland of international importance in New Zealand’s North Island. He takes on all that Amy knows and doesn’t let what Mike’s seen worry him too much – as he goes about building a farming model based on his values.


Q&A with the speakers 


Coles Luncheon Message 


Lunch sponsored by Coles

Session 3 Artificial intelligence: ag’s next big revolution 


Session sponsor Coopers Animal Health introduces this session 


Get ready for where AI can take you

Conference MC Tom Newton tests his dog training skills as he introduces you to Roger, the Robotic Kelpie.


The mind-blowing potential of artificial intelligence

Professor Ben Hayes, University of Queensland The good, the bad and the just plain exciting – and how this may transform agriculture. from University Queensland, provides the lowdown.


The AI revolution in ag:

A rapid-fire look at some AI applications putting agriculture on the cusp of a revolution.  

NZ-based sheep consultant Mark Ferguson is using AI to revolutionise sheep breeding and management. What he is doing is remarkable. How it could be applied to dairy is limited only by the imagination of those in the room.

Crazy-clever genetics student at the University of New England Zhi Kang Loh has created what he calls ‘Cinder for Cows’. He demonstrates the quantum leap AI can enable in breeding decisions.


Break sponsored by Bega Group

Session 4 The Young Dairy Scientists.


This year’s finalists

ADC Scientific Director & Fonterra R&D Lead for Sustainable Dairy Dr Richard Rawnsley is joined by guest speaker and communications expert Dr Amy Jackson to introduce this year’s finalists as they vie for this award for excellence in dairy science communication.

Award sponsored by Gardiner Foundation 


Day 1 close


ADC Gala Dinner sponsored by Rabobank

Wednesday 14 February 2023

Session 5 Dairying beyond the comfort zone 


Welcome to day 2

Master MC Tom Newton refocuses our attention on the stage after a wonderful night of celebration.


Forging great change to create a legacy

Dr John Penry, Dairy Australia . ADC mounted a global search to find three people who dared to go beyond their comfort zone to forge great change. Dairy Australia principal scientist introduces and hosts this session as we meet these remarkable entrepreneurs who were prepared to try something different and have fundamentally changed the way our industry thinks and operates.


How Halter became a game-changer

Craig Piggott, Founder Halter Mechanical engineer and the son of a NZ dairy farmer, Craig was just 22 when he established Halter in 2016. Eight years later he has 150 staff and a technology changing the way dairy farmers think and operate.


The moment sexed semen became the real game changer

Juan Moreno, Sexing Technologies, Colombia Former Colombian Brown Swiss dairy farmer turned entrepreneur explains what he saw would be the legacy of converting the science of flow cytometry into the world wide commercial adoption of sexed semen technology through his company Sexing Technologies.


How to earn and keep a social licence with your community

Ben Loewith, Summit Station Dairy & Creamery, Canada. Located 40 minutes from the heart of Toronto, Ben, his family and their herd of 500 Holsteins are surrounded by nearly 3 million people. Ben shares how he has earned and kept the respect of his city neighbours and what we can take from this legacy and mindset.



This panel session brings Dr John Penry and our three international guests together to draw out a little more on what gave them the courage to forge legacy-creating change.


Break sponsored by Alltech Lienert

Session 6 Supply chain evolution - what’s the future hold? 


Session introduction

Session sponsor Kemin introduces our session


What’s the future of Australia’s milk supply?

Rabobank’s Michael Harvey, hosts this session to explore a range of views on what our future milk supply will look like and where Australian dairy might fit in 2030.


The analyst

The FreshAgenda (now Ever.Ag) team was recently commissioned to examine Australia’s future milk supply and the changes to milk supply arrangements that might follow. Principal Jo Bills provides the top line summary.


The processor

Lactalis, a French multinational owned by the Besnier family, is the world’s largest dairy company. Its Australian business has a presence in every dairy region with a focus on high-value, fresh products and high-profile brands. Lactalis Australia CEO Mal Carseldine explains where Australia fits for this leading global dairy company, now and into the future.


When your processor is a game-changer

UK dairy farmer and ALrA shareholder Tom Rawson, dairy farmer, UK co-owns or leases nine dairy farms. One night, after a solid sales pitch and on the last possible day to join, he signed up his first two farms to supply the ARLA cooperative.  His ARLA milk supply journey has taken him to places he never thought possible, including an attitudinal change from the days of farmers protesting the power of the processor.


The investor

NZ expat and current advocate for and investor in Australian dairy farming Chris Procter is more than positive about our future milk supply arrangements. He has built a portfolio of eight dairy farms from Mt Gambier, SA, to Gippsland, Victoria. As a savvy investor, he’s spread his risk with four free-range poultry farms north of Adelaide.


Panel discussion hosted by Mick Harvey



Session 7 That moment in time 


Climbing Everest – it’s not always a straight line to the top

Trent Thorne, Lawyer & adventurer. Trent embarked upon the adventure of a lifetime last year with the goal of conquering Everest. He came close – but missed the small window of opportunity. Trent shares how he felt in the moment he realised the summit was beyond him – and how that has spurred him on.


A moment in dairying time 

We have asked three home-grown dairy heroes to share with us their ‘moment in time’ – to inspire us all as we head home to our farms.

Sarah Moore was an English backpacker who’d never been on a farm before she arrived in Australia. At age 26, in a snap decision, she decided dairy farming in South Australia was for her.  What gave her the courage and inspiration in that sliding-door moment?

Teena Pearse is a dairy farmer and mother of Paralympic swimmer Col Pearse. Teena’s ‘moment’ in dairy farming sees her juggling the farm and travelling the world to cheer Col on as he swims on the international stage. But it wasn’t always this glamorous.  As with everything, there was a lot of hard work before the reward.

Evan Nicholas lost 95 per cent of his farm in the Biggara Valley in the Black Summer fires. At the moment he was standing trying to protect his farm he said ‘thank God I’m a dairy farmer’.  What made him express that thought at that time – and why as he worked to restore his farm, was he so happy he was a dairy farmer?


Have you been paying attention?

So we go out with a laugh, we have prepared a hilarious take-off of the hit show ‘Have you been Paying Attention’. Stand by as our MC Tom Newton does his best to channel his name-sake and hero Tom Gleisner as he puts some everyday delegates to the test with buzzer in hand.




Farewell drinks sponsored by DeLaval.