South Australian dairy farmer Rick Gladigau was elected to the Australian Dairy Farmers board on Thursday, thwarting a bid to get a Queensland representative onto the board.
Four candidates stood for the vacant director position - Mr Gladigau, Queenslanders Ross McInnes and Joe Bradley and NSW Riverina farmer Malcolm Holm.
Mr Gladigau, from Mt Torrens, was elected to the five-member board for a three-year term.
He joins Victorian dairy farmers Terry Richardson and John Versteden, former Fonterra executive and Tasmanian dairy farm owner Bruce Donnison and independent director Victoria Taylor, who was re-elected on Thursday for a two-year term.
Mr Gladigau has been a board member of state dairy farmer organisation South Australian Dairyfarmers Association since 2007 and is the organisation's treasurer.
He also sits on the National Farmers' Federation's trade committee and the ADF markets, trade and value chain policy advisory group.
Mr Gladigau was a SA representative on the Dairy Farmers Co-operative Board from 2013-2016 and was chair of the company's milk pricing committee during his tenure.
He told Stock Journal in his time in the dairy industry there had been many changes.
"My Dad always said to me, 'there's no point in whinging about things if you're not willing to be involved and make a difference' and that's why I nominated for this position," he said.
It was important to be part of the national policy leadership in the dairy industry.
"Dairy has certainly gone through a tough time, but I feel it is coming out the other side," he said.
"Strength in policy and direction is what we need as a business and we have one go with the Australian Dairy Plan, I see that as the base to grow the industry."
Queensland bid thwarted
The Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation campaigned for a Queenslander to be elected to the board, urging its members to join ADF so they could vote.
In weekly newsletters to QDO members in November, the organisation urged members to vote for a Queensland representative on the board.
QDO president Brian Tessmann in a column in Queensland Country Life said although he was a member of ADF's national council, "it needs the backbone of good strong people on the board to lead ADF".
"I believe our members need to see the election of a new board member who is looking for change and improvement in how things are done rather than someone who sees nothing wrong with the way things are currently operating," he said.
Mr Bradley has not previously been involved in the industry at a national level.
"For some, my previous lack of national representation within the dairy industry may be considered a negative to my election prospects," he said in his candidate statement.
"But I see it as a positive."
Mr McInnes, who had extensive experience with both the QDO and ADF's policy advisory groups, stepped down from the QDO State Council two weeks ago.
Outgoing director thanked
Mr Gladigau replaces retiring ADF board member and former ADF president Simone Jolliffe, who is stepping down after six years on the board of the dairy advocacy group.
Mr Richardson praised Mrs Jolliffe's contribution to the industry during her tenure on the ADF Board.
"I am grateful for Simone's dedication and commitment to ADF and the broader dairy industry over the past six years" Mr Richardson said.
"Simone has played an integral role in guiding ADF through a busy time in the Australian dairy industry."
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