Australian dairy conference


Riding the back of one of the biggest gatherings in its 20-year history, attention turns back to Melbourne as host of Australia’s premier dairy event in 2024.

ADC 2024


The Australian Dairy Conference (ADC) will be held in the heart of the Victorian capital from the 14-16 February 2024 with Michael Rood from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales appointed as Programming Chair.

ADC President and Victorian dairy farmer Tom Acocks said that the growth and reputation of the Conference as Australia’s pinnacle dairy event has set a new standard and the popularity of ADC is testament to the value farmers place in the forum.

“We are bringing ADC back to Melbourne as the hub, to a magnificent Conference venue in Crown, and with a unanimous choice of 2024 Programming Chair in Michael Rood – or ‘Roody’ as he is affectionately known throughout the industry,” said Tom.

“Michael has a rich dairy background and has been involved in the industry in a variety of leadership roles over the years and has always been a very active member in progressing industry issues so we are delighted he has accepted the role to lead ADC in 2024,” he said.

Michael aka Roody, along with his partner Ashleigh operate and run Whitegold Holsteins and Jerseys based in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. In 2022 they joined forces with another couple to purchase their own farm after leasing and share farming for 10 years. They milk 300 head of Holstein and Jerseys all year round and have aspirations to continue to grow wealth through agriculture. Dairy farming is both Roody and Ash’s passion and working with great cows keeps them motivated and inspired even when things are challenging.

“Roody is a great example of how emerging dairy entrepreneurs can progress through the industry starting from a lease arrangement through to farm ownership bringing their ambitions to fruition,” said Tom

As a past attendee and supporter of ADC, Michael is critically aware of the role of the event in exploring new frontiers and in challenging the status quo for the dairy industry.

“One of the things I have always loved and appreciated about ADC is the diversity and exposure to an entirely different calibre of speaker along with the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers,” he said.

“It is an honour to lead an event of this magnitude and value as we look to continue to be innovative, forward thinking and topical in what we bring to the table in 2024,” said Roody.

“There is so much happening in our industry right now as we look towards the next decade and what that may bring – from measuring our carbon to further fluctuations in global milk and ongoing supply pressures – we are set for some really interesting times,” said Michael.

“I am really looking forward to bringing members of the ADC 2024 Programming Committee together in early July to start shaping and developing the program. We know we have a big job to do and deliver upon the next big issues facing the industry,” said Roody.

“We have some of the brightest minds in the dairy industry around the table with some fantastic young farmers so I am looking forward to the ideas and brainstorming to create a real point of difference for ADC 2024 Melbourne,” he said.

President Tom Acocks elaborated on the success of ADC on its return in 2023 and plans for the future evolution of the event.

“We witnessed our biggest ever delegation of more than 600+ dairy industry members in Hobart in February this year which really reinforces the position of the Conference as the pinnacle event across the country for the dairy sector,” said Tom.

“You could feel the energy and positivity emanating from the Conference Hall, trade floor and social functions and we are looking to capture this sentiment as we move forward planning future programs and events,” he said.

“Being back in Melbourne we also know is very attractive and accessible for all members of the dairy industry so expectations are that we will continue to see more growth which is fantastic for our delegates and the opportunities that come with that as well,” he said.