The Holstein-Friesian Association of Australia Inc. held its second virtual Annual General Meeting on Thursday 14 October with members and industry partners attending online Australia wide and from overseas.
Despite the impact of COVID-19 on Holstein Australia day-to-day operations during the last financial year, President Garry Carpenter reported an increase in numbers for all core member services. Registrations increased by 7% year-on-year, classification 29% and genomic testing 31%.
Strong financial performance
Audit and Finance Committee representative, Phil Hall, reported on a profitable year for the Association with the audited accounts showing a total surplus of $961,892 with the operating surplus of $547,481 up 16%.
As was the case last year the result reflected revenue growth from services and export activity coupled with ongoing COVID-19 related financial support from government.
Holstein Australia’s investment portfolio saw an unrealised gain of $414,411, up 139% on last year. Member equity stands at $4.2 million, up nearly $1.0 million or 23% from the previous year.
Breed development focus
Breed Development and Conformation Committee Chair (BDCC), Gino Pacitti, reported on a number of initiatives progressed by the Committee during the year, including steps towards developing an Australian genetics led bull breeding program, exploring opportunities for exporting Australian dairy genetics to Europe and other markets, review of the Animal Awards program and wider industry access of Automated Milking System (AMS) data to ensure it enters the data processing network.
The appointment of Beth Scott, Project Officer at Dairy Australia, as the BDCC resident scientist, replacing Dr Mary Abdelsayed who held the position for a number of years, was also announced.
The appointment of new and returning Board and Committee members was announced during the AGM.
National Board Member, Jenny Grey, Kiama NSW, having served for three years retired by rotation and was eligible for re-election. Following re-nomination, Mrs Grey was elected to the Board for a further three year term.
BDCC member, Marcus Young, having served for three years retired by rotation and was eligible for re-election, but did not re-nominate. A nomination was received from Scott Somerville, Timmering VIC, who was duly elected to the BDCC for a three year term.
Strong position for future growth
Holstein Australia CEO, Rohan Butler, reported that despite the operational challenges of operating under COVID-19 restrictions the strong upward trends in most areas of the business resulted in an outstanding bottom-line result, placing the Association in a very good position to build into the future.
Strong progress was also reported against the Association’s current five-year strategic business plan along with increases in delivery of all core services and continued strong contribution to the business from the export of Holstein heifers to China.
The 2021 Annual General Meeting was attended by members from every dairy state in the country. While moving the last two AGMs online was necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board is assessing the feasibility of a hybrid in-person / online AGM format for future years to increase access to attend the meetings to as many members and industry stakeholders as possible.