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Vasse Research Dairy to be Run Commercially

29 May 2012

AUSTRALIA - The Department of Agriculture and Food has leased its Vasse Research Dairy under a new management model representing the department’s commitment to the National Research, Development and Extension Strategy.

The department’s Director of Livestock Industries Innovation Bruce Mullan said the department will lease the dairy to young farmers Scott and Michelle Weldon.

“This new partnership allows us to run the research centre as close to a commercially operating dairy as possible, while still having it available for research that is relevant to the state and national industry,” Dr Mullan said.

The Weldons plan to double the output by increasing the herd size to 400 cows within two years. This will in part be achieved by them purchasing the bulk of the existing cows and heifers at Vasse.

“We are very pleased that the production and genetic records we have on the current herd will be maintained by the Weldon’s purchase of the herd,” Dr Mullan said.

“Scott and Michelle have indicated a strong interest in the adoption of new technology and to take an innovative approach to how they farm, and are looking forward to the opportunity to be involved at the forefront of dairy research with both the department, Dairy Australia and Western Dairy.”

The department worked with Western Dairy and WAFarmers to identify a new commercial model for the operation of the dairy unit at the Vasse Research Centre.

“Ultimately a lease proved the most attractive option for the successful applicant,” Dr Mullan said.

The Vasse Research Centre is recognised nationally for the high-quality dairy research undertaken by the department in conjunction with the WA dairy industry through projects such as Greener Pastures and the Vasse Milk Farmlets.

"Scott and I are passionate about the dairy industry and are excited about the opportunity that we now have to work closely with the department research group,” Ms Weldon said. “We enjoy testing out new ideas and we look forward to sharing our experiences with the WA dairy industry."

The announcement has been welcomed by Western Dairy chairman and Harvey dairy farmer Dale Hanks.

“The WA dairy industry is very proud of the achievements of the dairy science team in WA and the work that has been done at Vasse but with the ongoing rationalisation of research stations across Australia we knew it was vital to come up with a model that combined commercial reality with the capacity to retain a research component,” he said.

“We are fortunate in that the new lessees are exceptional candidates with a commitment to dairy best practice and to integrating their dairy farm business with WA dairy research activities.

“This model gives us the ability to ensure dairy research activities at Vasse are relevant and timely and will continue to directly serve the interests of the WA dairy industry.”

TheCattleSite News Desk



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