A Ukrainian farm leader will speak about the challenges of farming in a country at war at the Australian Dairy Conference (ADC) in Melbourne.
Andriy Dykun is head of the Ukrainian Agri Council and president of Association of Milk Producers of Ukraine.
His keynote presentation on February 13 will focus on how Ukrainian farmers have continued operations and maintained milk supply while the country remains under attack from neighbouring Russia.
ADC 2024 programming chair Michael Rood said the Ukrainian story promised to be poignant and powerful.
"Andriy brings a wealth of experience across the agriculture spectrum in the Ukraine, and the Australian Dairy Conference is privileged to bring Andriy to Australia to share his story and that of his compatriots," he said.
"We have heard from international keynotes on all sorts of topics and innovation at previous events, however, we feel that Andriy's attendance at ADC 2024 and shared experiences of Ukrainian farmers will be something special.
"Whilst every Australian dairy farmer has faced their own challenges and had to 'dig deep' to identify their purpose, the Ukrainian perspective is expected to add another layer to the already complex and challenging industry."
Mr Dykun will meet with representatives from some of Australia's leading dairy industry bodies and associations while in Melbourne.
He is also bringing a piece of artwork depicting agricultural scenes in war-torn Ukraine to be auctioned off at the conference.
The opening session will also feature NSW dairy farmer Paul Weir, who will tell how he managed against the odds during the 2022 Lismore floods.
Homegrown heroes to close conference
The conference will finish on February 14 with inspiring stories from three Australian dairy farmers.
Sarah Moore was an English backpacker who'd never been on a farm before she arrived in Australia.
At age 26, in a snap decision, she decided dairy farming in South Australia was for her.
She will tell what gave her the courage to make that change.
Teena Pearse is a dairy farmer and mother of paralympic swimmer Col Pearse.
She will talk about her juggle to meet the demands of farming and family as she supported her son.
Evan Nicholas lost 95 per cent of his farm in the Biggara Valley in the Black Summer fires and will tell why he is glad to be a farmer.
To find out more about the conference and register head to australiandairyconference.com.au/.
Carlene Dowie is a member of the 2024 ADC programming committee