Young Victorian dairy farmer takes the helm for ADC 2020

Victorian dairy farmer Brendan Hehir from Wyuna, near Kyabram has been appointed Chair of the Australian Dairy Conference Programming Committee for 2020.

Mr Hehir, who is a business partner with his parents in an organically certified dairy operation milking 550 cows, will oversee a team of dairy farmers, scientists and industry representatives to shape and form the issues most pertinent to the country’s dairy industry. 

A Nuffield Scholar, Brendan is no stranger to the ADC format and agenda, with dairy debate and forward thinking in his bloodline with his father Terry Hehir a founding Director and visionary of ADC, more than 17 years ago. 

In 2020, ADC heads back to the Victorian heartland of Melbourne (20 & 21 February 2020), providing the most centric and accessible location for approximately 500 dairy industry delegates. As a Conference for farmers, by farmers, Mr Hehir said his challenge is to deliver the most topical issues the industry needs to confront.

“ADC is never backwards in addressing the issues that are most relevant and confronting and so we have a big responsibility to keep pushing the envelope and bring topics that both resonate and spark some good debate,” said Mr Hehir.

“The Australian dairy industry at the moment really is in a climate of change. There are many exiting the industry as pressures mount up and as dairy farmers we need to be more adaptable, more innovative and more sustainable in order to operate successfully”.

“ADC is a valued forum for both practical on-farm applications but essentially is most recognised for challenging the status quo and having an eye on the horizon to explore what is looming ahead,” he said.

“Bringing together some of the brightest dairy minds I believe is what sets ADC apart. Representation from every spectrum of the industry from farmers, CEOs, scientists, processors and service providers creates such a poignant gathering of people looking to make a difference,” said Mr Hehir. 

 “ADC has always been a big part of my life, particularly with Dad (Terry) being involved in its inception so to be offered the opportunity to Chair is very humbling,” he said. 

The 2020 ADC Melbourne program will be released in November with planning already well under way and the program outline taking shape. 

“Without giving anything away from early discussions, as ADC always manages to do, expect the unexpected,” said Mr Hehir. 

Members of the ADC 2020 Programming Committee:

  • Brendan Hehir (Chair) – dairy farmer, Kyabram, north-east Victoria
  • Susan Wearden– dairy farmer, Kyabram, north-east Victoria
  • Rose Phillipzen – dairy farmer, Moxey Farms, New South Wales 
  • Owen Daley– dairy farmer, Milla Milla, far north Queensland 
  • Paul Stammers– dairy farmer, Katunga, north-east Victoria
  • Carlene Dowie– Editor, The Australian Dairyfarmer
  • Laurie Hickey– Regional Extension Officer, Westvic Dairy
  • Tom Newton– National Manager, Maxum Animal Nutrition
  • Dr Sarah Bolton – district vet & ADC Nuffield Scholar, NSW north coast
  • Alison Hall– research scientist & winner 2018 ADC Young Scientist Award
  • Terry McMahon– Senior Rural Manager (Warnambool), Rabobank

Hear more from ADC 2020 Programming Chair Brendan Hehir below: