Over the last few weeks as the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit home I’ve heard from many members, Sub-Branch officers and representatives of industry bodies.
Reflecting on these conversations I think back to this year’s International Dairy Week where many Holstein Australia members and indeed all the other breed societies came together. Our theme at IDW was the Holstein community, the importance of that social connection and the strength created by the shared passion we have for the breed and our industry. It is this strength and depth of connection, respect for your fellow farmer, that will help carry many through this current crisis.
What is clear is that Australia’s dairy industry is very much open for business, and this is a story I am keen for Holstein Australia to share with the wider world. We may be doing business in a slightly different way, but the milk supply chain is still flowing. Share your stories with us via social media or just pick up the phone to HA.
One thing we are all feeling however is the impact on Sub-Branch activities, with local shows cancelled and restrictions on getting together for meetings or social activities. While technology will never replace face-to-face social interactions, HA facilitated a Zoom Sub-Branch meeting for the Western District earlier this week. This is a service we are more than happy to provide for all Sub-Branches and by all accounts Wednesday night’s meeting was a great success.
In the same way that our members are continuing with their day-to-day life on farm, Holstein Australia is very much open for business. Our office based staff have adapted well to working from home. Genomic samples are being processed and sent to the lab, many members have been in touch with Simon to catch up on registrations, and transfers and ET are continuing in the usual way.
And while you won’t be seeing the smiling face of one of our classifiers at your farm gate for a few weeks yet following the temporary suspension of our on-farm services, you may well be hearing from them on the phone. It’s an important way of maintaining that connection. Towards the end of this month we’ll be reviewing resumption of on-farm services and hope to have our team back on the road as soon as we can. I’d like to thank members for their patience and understanding.
For any enquiries you can get hold of Julie and Celia in the usual way on 03 9835 7600 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Simon is on 0438 505 746 for registration catch-up or assistance, Miranda on 0407 456 489 and Rohan on 0428 135 361 for all things genomics and if you have news to share call Adam on 0401 096 507.
As many have said these are unprecedented times. If the last few weeks are anything to go by, the way that our staff are pulling together and members and their families are rising to new challenges, I think we will come out of it all the stronger and perhaps with a new found sense of respect and understanding of the importance of the many communities and producers that make up the Australian dairy industry.
I wish you and your family well and look forward to seeing you all again soon.