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Barwon South-West Ag news
Wednesday 24 April 2024
In this edition:
Biosecurity Basics Episode 2 - Farm with a Difference
agvic talk listen now

Episode 2: Farm with a Difference with Jill Noble

Terms like Property Identification Code and National Livestock Identification System are important when it comes to livestock biosecurity.

Jill Noble from Hallston Valley Farm has this front of mind every single day as she farms with a difference.

Jill’s business not only holds and sells sheep, but also provides farm experiences for parties, disability providers, and tiny home cabins for romantic getaways.

🎧 🎧 Listen to Biosecurity Basics via the AgVic website.

Agriculture Victoria leader Julie Simons makes the Top 50
head shot of Dr Julie Simons

Recently Agriculture Victoria’s Director Biosecurity Strategy, Preparedness and Coordination Dr Julie Simons was recognised as one of Victoria’s Top 50 Public Sector Women.

Julie’s achievement acknowledges her significant contribution to policy, science, and operations within the Victorian Public Sector over the past 3 decades.

Most recently, Julie has been overseeing the Victorian Government’s Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) Preparedness program to rapidly boost the government’s readiness to respond to a major EAD event such as foot-and-mouth disease.

Agriculture Victoria Executive Director Biosecurity Dr Katherine Clift congratulated Julie on her achievements.

‘Julie is a compassionate, innovative, and impactful leader who dedicates herself to developing Victoria’s rural regions and our agriculture sector, with a focus on drought, natural disasters, and emergencies.

‘Her most recent leadership in the Emergency Animal Disease space has delivered solid outcomes for Victoria’s agricultural sector – making sure we are better prepared in the face of emerging biosecurity threats.’

‘Julie has passion in bringing people together across government, industry and community to tackle challenging issues and deliver positive solutions for Victoria’s agriculture sector,’ said Dr Clift.

Since its inception in 2017, IPAA Victoria’s Top 50 Public Sector Women awards program has acknowledged and celebrated the women leaders at all levels of government – Commonwealth, State and Local – who lead high-performing teams, groundbreaking policy and uphold values of integrity, diversity and inclusion, and transformation.

This year’s ceremony celebrated 50 women winners who comprise senior executives and leaders across many areas of the public sector.

The cohort of women leaders was selected through a rigorous judging and due diligence process.

For more information about the IPAA Victoria’s Top 50 Public Sector Women awards program, including a list of recipients, visit the IPAA website.

WorkSafe - telehandler licence survey
complete our telehandler survey to inform training locations

Use a non-slewing telehandler with capacity over 3 tonnes?

There's a new licence and tailored training coming.

Complete our survey and help us work out training locations.

Your responses will be kept confidential.


New Chair for Horse Traceability Taskforce
Dr Ron Glanville

Caption: Dr Ron Glanville

Victorian biosecurity specialist and former Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Ron Glanville will lead the National Horse Traceability Implementation Taskforce as its new Chair.

The newly established Taskforce will focus on implementing a national horse traceability system, continuing the work of the National Horse Traceability Working Group which provided final recommendations to Australia’s Agriculture Ministers in 2022. 

The proposed National Horse Traceability System will assist in responding to future biosecurity incidents and natural disasters involving horses, donkey and mules.

Endorsed as Chair by the National Biosecurity Committee, Dr Glanville will lead the Taskforce which includes a diverse committee of 17 members who have an interest or expertise in animal health, biosecurity or traceability.

Dr Glanville has extensive experience in responding to biosecurity incidents, including the 2007 equine influenza outbreak. He said a national horse traceability system would bring significant benefits, particularly during outbreak or emergency situations.

'I am looking forward to working with representatives of Australia’s horse industry to progress the introduction of the National Horse Traceability System,' he said. 

'Having seen the impact of diseases such as equine influenza and Hendra on the horse industry, I understand the important role that traceability plays in the containment of endemic and exotic diseases.

'Thanks go to the National Horse Traceability Working Group, under the exemplary leadership of Chair Stuart McLean, for developing a strong foundation that the Taskforce will work from.'

The National Horse Traceability Implementation Taskforce is being supported by Agriculture Victoria as it’s Secretariat.

The first meeting of the Taskforce will take place later this month.

For more information visit the Agriculture Victoria website.

After the Flood podcast series - episode 8
agriculture victoria agvic talk

Episode 8: Navigating flooded vineyards with Matt Partridge

Being hit with 6 floods in a single season is the unimaginable reality De Bortoli Wines faced in 2022.

Matthew Partridge, Operations Manager, talks about turning this adversity into an opportunity.

The business implemented new strategies to adapt to the changing climate whilst ensuring the wellbeing of its most important asset, their staff.

🎧 🎧 Listen via the AgVic website

Anthrax outbreak in the Goulburn Valley has concluded

Dr Jeff Cave, Agriculture Victoria Senior Veterinary Officer

There was recently a small outbreak of anthrax on 2 properties east of Shepparton. You may be asking, ‘what made this a small outbreak rather than a large one?’

The first reason was the property owner realised something unusual had happened in the form of the sudden death of one of their cattle and promptly called their veterinarian.

The veterinarian was quick to realise anthrax was a possibility and had access to a pen side test known as an immunochromatographic test (ICT) which gave a rapid preliminary diagnosis.

From there the carcass was secured and the remainder of the herd was moved to another paddock to reduce their risk of contracting anthrax.

The herd was also vaccinated with an anthrax vaccine as quickly as possible.

The anthrax bacterium has the feature of being hardy and resistant to most disinfectants.

The only way of destroying the bacterium in a carcass is to incinerate it, which was carried out by Agriculture Victoria using a specialised incinerator.

Decontamination of the death site was carried out using the chemical glutaraldehyde.

A small number of additional deaths occurred on the same property before the cattle had developed immunity through the vaccination and these deaths were dealt with in the same way.

A death due to anthrax also occurred on a neighbouring property which necessitated the need to vaccinate susceptible livestock on other neighbouring properties and properties that were seen to be at risk.

So where did it come from?

Several properties in the affected area have a history of anthrax dating back to the 1960s and 1980s.

The anthrax bacterium can lie dormant in the soil for decades until environmental conditions are favourable for it to become infective and create a new outbreak.

Anthrax was introduced to Australia in the 1800s in infective meat and bone meal from India.

The countryside was seeded with anthrax through deaths that occurred due to anthrax along travelling stock routes.

In those days rapid response through, pen side testing, vaccination, disposal through incineration, disinfection, and isolation were not an option and anthrax outbreaks became mass mortality events.

This helps answer the question of what made this a small outbreak rather than a large one.

The cherry traceability journey!

Watch our creative animation video and join us on the journey of our Cherries Traceability Pilot.

Witness the route of your cherries from the farm, via the supply chain, to your shopping cart.

It's an eye-opening look at how our Cherries Traceability Pilot has made Australian cherries traceable.

With RFID systems in Year 1, we automated cherry tracking from orchard to packing shed, ensuring efficiency and accuracy at every step.

In Year 2, we introduced the GS1 Digital Link enabled QR code revolution, allowing you to scan, trace, and experience the full story of your cherries, all the way from farm to consumer.

We’ve supported all of this with global GS1 standards, to help harmonise supply chains digitally all around the world.

But that's not all!

We've added an exciting cherry-picking game so the fun doesn't stop at the checkout.

Your cherries, your story, your experience – all thanks to the Cherries Traceability Pilot.

Watch the video here.

AgTech podcast - AgTech Innovators Season 2 Episode 6
agtech innovators collaring investment with darren wolchyn

Episode 6: From golf carts to cattle with Darren Wolchyn

Using a solar-powered GPS fleet management system is a pretty novel way to keep track of cattle. 

Hear from Darren Wolchyn, CEO of Smart Paddock, as he describes how this AgTech start-up raised funds and sought investment to support this innovation.

🎧🎧Listen online via the AgVic website

Applications open for Livestock Advisory Committees
applications open for Livestock Advisory Committees, Agriculture Victoria

Are you a skilled sheep, goat or cattle industry professional looking to grow your networks?

The Sheep and Goat and Cattle Compensation Advisory Committees are recruiting!

We’re looking for applicants with knowledge across a range of expertise including:

  • the sheep, goat or cattle allied industries, including across the supply chain
  • biosecurity or market access
  • quality assurance and food safety
  • finance, legal practice or business management
  • agricultural, animal or veterinary science
  • public policy.

Click here to apply and for more information.

Recording: Victoria's seasonal climate outlook and soil moisture update for autumn
agriculture victoria climate webinars

In this webinar recording, Seasonal Risk Agronomist Dale Grey provides an update on Victoria's climate outlook for autumn.

Dale focuses on the current seasonal climate outlook and climate driver activity.

Dale Boyd provides a seasonal update of the cropping and soil moisture conditions as measured by the Agriculture Victoria moisture probe network.

This includes a review of the distribution of summer rain and how the season is tracking compared to last year and other years in the monitoring period of the probes.

View the recording

Password: Climate

This webinar was originally presented on Wednesday 17 April 2024.

All climate webinar recordings can be found on our website.

Fresh insights on food safety: A research survey of fresh produce stakeholders in Australia and New Zealand

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre (FPSC) - ANZ invites you to participate in our research survey aimed at improving food safety standards within the Australian and New Zealand Fresh Produce Industry.

Your participation will help us to better understand Industry needs, gather insights, and identify opportunities for outreach, support and research.

By sharing your experiences and perspectives, you can help us in tailoring food safety engagement strategies to meet the specific needs of growers, food safety managers, supply chain stakeholders, researchers, and experts.

Together, we can strengthen collaboration, elevate industry standards, and ensure the safety and quality of fresh produce for consumers.

Help us to help you by sharing your insights – we are eager to hear from you.

Thank you for your participation and commitment to building a safe future for our industry.

The research survey includes 25 questions and will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Calf breeding survey
a brown calf with an ear tag

This survey about the Australian genetic evaluation system will help Data Gene plan for the delivery of breeding values (ABVs) that improve calf health.

Calf ABVs are still in the research stage but early results suggest that it is possible and practical to breed for healthier calves.

This survey asks questions about your operation, your breeding trait priorities and how you would like calf breeding values to be presented. It will take 10-15 minutes to complete.

Complete the survey here.

Fox and wild dog bounty
fox and wild dog bounty has resumed

Victoria’s bounty collections resumed on 4 March.

Please continue to check our website for the latest information, collection centres and dates. CLICK HERE

For any assistance, please speak to our bounty collection staff on collection days or call our Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

In case you missed it

Mentor program helping to cultivate futures in farming

Young farmers in western Victoria are encouraged to register for Agriculture Victoria’s ‘Cultivating Futures in Farming’ Mentor Program.

Agriculture Recovery Officer Tanya Dobrijevic said the free program will provide young farmers in grains or mixed farming enterprises with the tools and resources to enhance their farm business management.


Biosecurity basics covered in new podcast season

We all play a role in keeping Victoria safe from biosecurity risks.

To help all Victorians play their role, Agriculture Victoria’s new podcast season Biosecurity Basics takes a deep dive into the fundamentals of biosecurity, including practical things listeners can put in place to play their part in protecting our animals and environment.


Interstate used grain machinery must meet Victorian biosecurity laws

Importing second hand farm machinery such as tractors, seeders, sprayers, harvesters, baling or storage equipment from interstate can provide an alternative to buying brand new.

However, there are a few matters to consider before you buy.


2024 crop disease guides available online

Farmers can now download the 2024 editions of the cereal and pulse disease guides to help make informed decisions around disease management.


EOI for on-farm demonstration opportunity – now open

Is there a technology, innovation or research finding that your producer group is keen to test on-farm?

Agriculture Victoria, in partnership with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), is conducting a new producer demonstration program with the opportunity to establish five new on-farm demonstration projects.


What's on?

Details about Agriculture Victoria events can now be found in one spot on our website. Log on to to find out what's on.

Farm Business Success Workshop Series - Ararat, Colac and Hamilton
Learn from Pinion Advisory's Clinton and Esmee

Understanding finance can be overwhelming and this workshop will help farm businesses have a better understanding of their financial position.

The workshop will support farmers to build skills, knowledge, and confidence to manage their farm business finances.

The workshop will be co-delivered by Pinion Advisory’s Clinton Emslie and Esmée de Looff who have significant agricultural and agri-finance experience.


  • WHEN: Tuesday 30 April
  • TIME: 9:30 am - 3 pm
  • WHERE: Ararat, Agriculture Victoria Office, 233-239 Barkly Street.


  • WHEN: Wednesday 1 May
  • TIME: 9:30 am - 3 pm
  • WHERE: Colac Bowls Club 35 Moore Street, Colac.


  • WHEN: Thursday 2 May
  • TIME: 9:30 am - 3 pm
  • WHERE: Agriculture Victoria, Hamilton Centre, 915 Mount Napier Road, Hamilton.


Places are limited. This is the 3rd workshop of a 4-part series, and all are welcome.

If you have attended 3 or more workshops you are eligible for a 1-on-1 chat with a farm business consultant.

Find out more at the Agriculture Victoria events page.

Register now for the Dairy Innovation Open Day
two people looking at black and white cows eating in a feed lot

Discover the future of farming at the Dairy Innovation Open Day, hosted at Agriculture Victoria's Ellinbank SmartFarm on Thursday 9 May from 8:30 am to 3 pm.

This event is hosted by Agriculture Victoria, Dairy Australia, and the Gardiner Foundation as part of the $42.5 million DairyFeedbase program.

Immerse yourself in the latest state-of-the-art research focused on farmers, and learn about animal feeding and nutrition, soil and pasture management, and on-farm climate adaptation from the experts themselves.

Not only will you gain invaluable knowledge, but you'll also have the opportunity to connect with other farmers, industry professionals, and suppliers.

This is a free event, but registrations are essential.

Visit the Dairy Australia website to register now.

Women and Leadership scholarships
women in farming and agriculture, development scholarships availabe

Advance your career with a Farming and Agriculture Sector women’s leadership scholarship.

Partial scholarships of $1,000 - $5,000 are available to help women in select industries participate in our world-class leadership courses.

Courses are available for women at all levels.

Apply by Friday 26 April.

Enquire at Farming and Agriculture - Women & Leadership Australia  or call 1300 938 571.

Hamilton - stock handling workshop

Join us for a day in the yards with Byron O’Keefe discussing the key principles of how improving your stockman handling has a positive influence on animal performance, health and grazing management.

There will be practical demonstrations of best practice cattle handling and an interactive discussion throughout the day.

This is the 4th workshop in the Farm Business Success workshop series.

If you have attended 3 of these sessions, you are eligible for a 1 on 1 session with a farm business consultant.

DATE: Tuesday 14 May

TIME: 9:30 am - 3 pm


Animal health plans for sheep - Timboon

Join us and sheep veterinarian Dr Ben Blomfield from the Mackinnon Project for a free workshop.

At this interactive workshop you will identify local health issues and learn about their prevention and treatment option solutions to create an animal health plan for your flock.

An animal health plan is an important tool for farmers to minimise biosecurity risks and increase animal performance.

The workshop will discuss local animal health issues, solutions, prevention and treatment.

Each farmer will create their own animal health plan.

Participants will also learn more about the legal requirements of record keeping.

DATE: Wednesday 15 May

TIME: 10 am - 2 pm


Landcare grants closing soon

There’s $3.55 million on offer for volunteers working to protect our state's landscapes and biodiversity.

Landcare and other environmental volunteer groups and networks can apply for:

  •  $500 grants to help with group running costs 
  •  $20k grants for projects that help protect and restore the natural environment.

Last year, these grants funded more than 240 projects, from planting pollinator corridors for bees in the Mount Alexander region to restoring rainforest in the Yarra Ranges.

Apply here by 5 pm April 30.

Emerging Leader in Victorian Agriculture Award

Nominations for the 2024 Melbourne Royal Emerging Leaders in Victoria Award are now open!

Please download the nomination form here.

Send your application to

Applications will close on Thursday 1 August.

The recipient will work, volunteer or significantly contribute within the agricultural industry, and must demonstrate how they will use prize money to further their development.

This award is only available to those within Victoria between the ages of 18 and 35.

BestWool/Best Lamb and BetterBeef Conference - save the date
save the dates bestwoolbestlamb and betterbeef conferences

Plans are underway for the Agriculture Victoria BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef Conference and dinner to be held in a new location this year in Ballarat on 19-20 June.

The conference will be held over 2 days, 19 June BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef on 20 June.

Watch our events page for more details.

SAVE THE DATE: Livestock Conference 2024
Livestock 2024 Conference banner image

The Southern Australia Livestock Research Council (SALRC) is excited to announce their third biennial Livestock Conference with the overarching theme of Environmental challenges and opportunities for Australian livestock industries.

Sessions will include keynote speakers and group workshop activities and cover the following:

  • improving land, air and water
  • solutions for human capacity
  • economic considerations and market impacts.

Click here for more information about the upcoming conference.

If you would like to register for conference updates you can join the mailing list here

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Contacting Agriculture Victoria

Call 136 186 from anywhere in Australia for the cost of a local call (except for mobiles and public telephones).

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment contact the National Relay Service on 133 677 or

All contact points can be found at:

Don't forget to check out Agriculture Victoria's social media sites for up-to-date information and news.



'Like' our Agriculture Victoria Facebook page.


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