Australia’s premier dairy forum the Australian Dairy Conference (ADC) has confirmed the next planned gathering of dairy farmers will be rescheduled to February 2022 in Hobart, Tasmania.
ADC President and Tasmanian dairy farmer Ben Geard said that given the current COVID climate and the recent escalation of cases across Victoria the annual event would need to be postponed, the first time this has occurred in its 18-year history.
“The Board has been adamant all along that we would only proceed if there was absolute confidence that we could deliver ADC in full scale as one of the most notable forums on the dairy calendar,” he said.
“Farmers and networking lie at the heart of our annual gathering and we know how important it is for them to interact and engage with industry members.
“Whilst unfortunate, the health and safety of Australians and our dairy farming community is the priority and we do not wish to undertake any activities that will compromise or jeopardise this position,” said Mr Geard.
“The Board had been holding out with optimism that things would improve and some normality prevail. However, the most recent circumstances and serious lockdown measures and restrictions has meant that we are quite realistic in that activities will not return to normal resumption for some time,” he said.
“Travel restrictions are obviously the most impacting on the ability to host ADC with approximately 500 farmers converging each February at locations across the country. It is with much reluctance that we reschedule but the only option at this given time.”
“However, despite the current climate, we remain optimistic that things will improve over the course of the next 18 months and we can host Australia’s dairy farming community here in Tasmania with a particular emphasis on bringing our dairy community together,” he concluded.
“In the meantime, our thoughts are with industry members and farmers across the country as we face new challenges and restrictions within the COVID-19 environment. We hope they remain vigilant and safe as we all seek to re-prioritise activities in the coming months.”