QDO held the last of its biosecurity workshops in Malanda last week. In total, QDO ran 13 workshops across all dairy farming regions of Queensland from the Tablelands through to Beaudesert. Almost 60 per cent of QDO members attended the meetings which was a great effort from participants. An astonishing 91pc of members attended the workshops in the north in Malanda and Millaa Millaa, which is an astounding number, especially when 84pc of all dairy farmers in the north are QDO members.
While most farm businesses are not big fans of paperwork and meetings, most farmers who attended the workshops gained a much better appreciation of biosecurity. Most participants decided on clear activities to undertake on their farms which will be valuable to them in managing biosecurity risks.
I would like to thank all those people who help make these workshops happen. A special thanks to QDAF and specifically Lawrence Gavey and his team of local vets and stock inspectors for helping to organise and deliver the workshops. Without their assistance and expertise, these events would not have been possible. They created better links between dairy farmers and local Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) staff which is very helpful. It is great to see QDO and QDAF working in partnership to assist farmers to adjust their practices to meet their biosecurity obligations.
At this stage, QDO does not intend to run additional workshops. However, if there are QDO members who have missed out on attending, please contact QDO and we can try to organise further meetings if there is sufficient demand. Alternatively, QDO may be able to assist farmers develop biosecurity plans outside of a workshop.
The next step in the process for dairy farmers with biosecurity plans is to undertake slurry tests for Johnes Disease. Over the next month, QDO will decide on a pathway forward and contact its members to see if they would like tests to be undertaken on their farms.