Far North Queensland farmers were very happy to welcome the QDO State Council and southern farmers to the Tablelands last week for the QDO AGM and Forum held in Malanda.
Farm visits were held allowing our guests to get a handle on the differences of farming here to farming in the south. A visit to Greg and Bronwyn English's farm allowed them to meet Eachamvale Precious 7, the Supreme Champion of the Ekka, and visit their old walk-through dairy which is still in working condition but not used in favour of the herringbone. David and Tonia Daley showed their new silage pits and the lay down crush that will facilitate much easier foot work on lame cows and for drying cows off.
A dinner was held in Millaa Millaa on the first night and Malanda on the second night, open to all farmers. About 30 attendees were at each event. Both were great nights for council members and visitors to get to know other farmers.
The forum held after the AGM was packed with intel that was highly relevant to our farmers. Guest speakers explained the unannounced audits being done by Workplace Health and Safety auditors and the rules the auditors work under, explained simply what signage is required and about the records that need to be kept. QDO has a series of WHS workshops coming up and this presentation made the necessity to attend the workshops clear to all.
Also presented were the changes in rules for biosecurity plans and signage and the need the re-register as a biosecurity entity.
Part of the enjoyment in showing people around who are not from up here is that we can explain we have kangaroos that climb trees, Lumholtz tree kangaroos and green (that is correct) possums. While we had trouble convincing visitors that these do exist, they were very happy to see platypus and turtles just on the edge of Malanda.
Visitors enjoyed factory tours of both Mungalli Creek and the Dairy Farmers' Malanda facility. The Malanda factory tour showcased the start of the Malanda factory some 101 years ago and how farms, processing and freighting has changed. Many of the farmers and factory workers in the photo alleyway are still around, as are some of the tanker drivers photographed back in the 50s.
A great few days were had by all involved. Please come back again. We would love to see you and show you our region.