Alpine Valleys Dairy Pathways Project

The Alpine Valleys Dairy Pathways Project evolved from a shared interest in the potential for milk growth in the Alpine region. The project was driven by the North East Agribusiness Forum, North East Murray Dairy, Dairy Australia, the Murray Goulburn Co-operative and the four primary rural municipalities in the region (Towong Shire Council, Indigo Shire Council, Alpine Shire Council and the Rural City of Wangaratta).

The project has identified successful farm transitions and farm succession as one of the key components for securing the future of the dairy industry in the region.

With the support of Murray Dairy the project is exploring how to improve support for farming families who are making the complex decisions about retirement and farm succession. The project has commenced with a survey of all dairy farm owners in the Alpine Valleys to determine the current position regarding succession planning.

Initial analysis is indicating that:

• Around 50% of farms are yet to decide how they would like to see succession occurring on their farm
• Over 70% of farm owners do not have a succession plan which is written down, and agreed to by family members
• Over 60% of farm owners do not have a plan for retirement

Given their age we can expect that many farm owners will be confronting retirement and succession decisions over the next 5 years.

The next step of the project is to work with a number of farm owners who have indicated they would like to review their arrangements for succession. The goal is to ensure these farm owners are clear what is involved in a sound succession planning process and are connected to the appropriate professionals to ensure the best outcome possible.

If you have not done so already, and would like to register your interest in the project, you can contact Patten Bridge on 0418308414 or by email on