National dairy conference inspires confidence
Brie Bratfield loves to promote the dairy industry and her confidence about its future has been boosted after attending the Australian Dairy Conference in Melbourne recently.
The new Subtropical Dairy Young Dairy Network (YDN) coordinator says farmers need to look on the bright side and there’s plenty to feel good about.
“Based on what we saw at the conference, there is positivity in the industry; you’ve just got to be willing to change to reap the benefits,” Brie said.
Brie received a bursary from the Australian Legendairy Women’s Network (ALWN) to attend the conference and says it will help her to inspire young farmers to navigate a rapidly-changing dairy industry.
According to Dairy Australia project manager Natasha Busbridge, who coordinates ALWN, helping dairy women attend the Australian Dairy Conference provided an important professional development opportunity, with one bursary offered in each of the eight dairy regions.
“ADC offers a diverse range of industry highlights and technical topics to attract farmers,” she said. “But getting time off-farm, especially for women, can be challenging. All our farmers attending the conference took something away with them to help their business and enjoyed the opportunity to connect with other farmers.”
And Brie agrees, saying the conference has given her new insights to share with local young farmers.
“The best thing you can have is education and there are so many resources out there,” she said. “I hope to help people farm their best and live the best they can.”
Growing up on a family dairy farm near Gloucester in New South Wales cultivated Brie’s love of the industry. She now lives with her partner Owen Daley and their 18-month-old son Hugo on his family’s farm at Millaa Millaa in Far North Queensland. The dairy lifestyle runs in their veins – they met while showing their Holstein cows!
For Brie this was her first Australian Dairy Conference. “It’s such a good learning platform and it’s great to connect with different people,” she said.
Brie returned from the conference with important key messages to share; that farmers should be thinking about the ever-changing times and they should always farm as if someone else is watching them.
She also returned with an upbeat view of the future. “There hasn’t been a lot of confidence in the industry of late but that didn’t seem to be the case at the conference, especially on a global platform,” she said. “There are possibilities out there for the Australian dairy market that are really positive.
“It’s daunting for young people coming into the industry if there’s too much negativity. I think there will be a good future and everything will turn around at some point.
“In my position I aim to instil confidence in young farmers and help them to get into the best position to succeed.”
Brie’s role includes coordinating local Dairy Australia events and running other events and networking opportunities.
Australia’s Legendairy Women’s Network was established to connect and support Australian dairy women. It is an active on-line community and can be joined via Facebook.