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Thursday, 2 November 2023
In this edition:


Free financial counselling with RFCS
RFCS banner image

Have you been impacted by recent floods, fires or dry seasonal conditions?

The Rural Financial Counselling Service provides a free and confidential financial counselling service to eligible farmers and small related enterprises who are experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship.

They can help you to access available support, analyse your business situation, negotiate with lenders and develop strategies to improve your financial position.

To find your closest service click here or call 1300 771 741.

23 March hailstorm support – applications closing soon
Hailstorm assistance support image

Applications close 4pm on 14 November for Concessional Loans available to support producers impacted by the 23 March hailstorm event.

Primary producers in the City of Greater Shepparton and the Yarra Ranges local government areas are eligible to apply for a Hailstorm Primary Producer Concessional Loan of up to $250,000.

For more information, visit the Rural Finance website HERE or call 1800 260 425.

For assistance in applying contact the Rural Financial Counselling Service on 1300 771 741.

Watch now - webinars on managing seasonal variability
climate update and tools, spring and summer climate update

Missed our recent webinar series or want to rewatch a session?
Click below to catch up on best preparing your farm for the changing seasons.

Managing Seasonal Variability – A Farmer’s Perspective

Central Victorian farmer Mr Ben Greene will explain how he and his wife Jodie manage seasonal variability while still running a profitable and sustainable farming operation.

Climate Update and Tools

Confused about the climate predictions for spring and summer?
Join renowned Agriculture Victoria Seasonal Risk Agronomist Dale Grey for the low down on the season ahead.

Fodder Conservation

Hay, silage or straw? Join Agriculture Victoria Dairy Extension Officer Michelle Jolliffe to hear the latest information on fodder conservation.

Siting and Design of a Stock Containment Area

Do stock containment areas really work?

How big should I make the pens? How much do they cost?

Presented by Agriculture Victoria Land Management Extension Officer Clem Sturmfels.

Clem’s detailed presentation is based on more than 30 years experience working in this field.

Animal nutrition and feeding during dry times

A session on animal considerations as we move into possibly dryer/hotter spring and summer conditions. Includes the use of Stock Containment Areas.

Covering some of the basics and principles involved in feeding your stock through summer.

Presented by Nick Linden, Agriculture Victoria Livestock Industry Development Officer.

Is Your Farm Water Supply Up To Scratch?

Presented by Agriculture Victoria Land Management Extension Officer Clem Sturmfels.

Clem has spent much of his career helping farmers with the design, construction and repair of farm dams.

He is also experienced in the design and construction of farm pipelines.

Beekeepers – know how to do an alcohol wash
Alcohol wash image

There are 3 tests commonly used to detect Varroa mite and other pests, including alcohol wash, sugar shake and drone uncapping.

While sugar shake and drone uncapping are useful detection methods, alcohol washing has been found to be more effective at detecting Varroa mite.

Make sure you understand safe handling techniques before opening a hive. It's essential that you wear protective clothing when collecting bees for testing.

Learn more about alcohol testing for Varroa mite HERE.

Livestock committee recruitment drive now open

The Victorian Government is calling for a wide range of industry professionals to apply for positions on Livestock Advisory Committees to improve animal health, strengthen the state’s biosecurity and support business management.

Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence recently announced applications are now open for 2 Livestock Advisory Committees – the honey bee and swine industries – while recruitment for the remaining committees will begin in early 2024.

Livestock Advisory Committee members oversee their respective Livestock Compensation Fund and help to deliver a wide range of projects that benefit their specific industries.

The latest round of the Fund delivered a total of $8.1 million across 21 projects.

Applicants will no longer need to be nominated by prescribed bodies – ensuring committees are more accessible and have a diverse membership.

Specific skills, expertise and industry experience will all be considered during the recruitment process.

Recruitment for the Sheep and Goat Compensation Advisory Committee and Cattle Compensation Advisory Committee will open in early 2024.

Click here for more information.

Download your bushfire farm fire preparedness toolkit today
now is the time to prepare your farm for the fire season

Download a copy of Ag Vic’s Farm Fire Preparedness Toolkit today and use it to review or develop your fire preparedness plan.

The characteristics of every farm and farming business are different and require a unique approach to fire preparedness.

Developing and implementing a fire preparedness plan can help you better prepare, minimise losses and recover faster, should your property be affected by fire.

Find and use our Farm Fire Preparedness Toolkit here.

Australian Women in Agriculture 2023 Conference
Women in ag conference banner image

The Australian Women in Agriculture National Conference is coming to Bendigo in November.

Please join us to celebrate the role of women in the agricultural industry. The conference provides a platform for women to connect, learn, and grow.

A variety of speakers that will inform, influence, innovate and inspire.

  • Friday 24 November gala dinner
  • Friday afternoon we will kick off with drinks and canapes from 5 pm and then roll into a gala dinner from 6 pm
  • Saturday 25 November conference 9:30 am to 2:30 pm.

The conference features inspiring speakers, informative workshops, and networking opportunities, fostering a sense of community and support among women in agriculture.

It addresses important topics such as leadership, sustainable farming practices, and personal growth.

Ultimately, the Women in Agriculture Conference is a testament to the resilience, innovation, and influence of women in shaping the future of agriculture.


  • Full package (Friday and Saturday) $180
  • Networking evening and gala dinner (Friday 24) $85
  • Conference (Saturday 25) $110
  • AWiA members - 10% discount on ticket prices!

Tickets at:

For more information visit

A taste you can trace – episode 6
a taste you can trace episode 6

Discover the world of traceability and how it is ensuring brand Australia is top of mind.

Hear from Michael Dosser, Group General Manager at Results Group, about the many benefits of introducing traceability into your business using a recent pilot with the Australian Table Grape Association as evidence.

Listen online via the AgVic website:

EOI – Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Council

Expressions of interest are now open for the next term of the Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Council (the Council).

Those interested in being considered for the Council can apply through the Join a Board website.

The Council is a ministerial advisory council that provides advice to the Minister for Agriculture on how the agriculture sector can prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change and be part of the transition to a net zero emissions economy.

The Council plays a key role in supporting the Victorian Government to deliver strong and lasting action on climate change for the agriculture sector, which is already experiencing the impacts of an increasingly variable and extreme climate.

This includes working with industry to build on the action already being taken.

Key info:

  • How to apply: Go to the Join a Board website to read more about the role and to submit an application
  • Applications close 5 pm, 12 November 2023.
Stuck on how to build a farm safety plan?
free national farm safety online short course

We all recognise the need to keep our farming families and businesses safe during busy work periods, especially when there are young and old family members working alongside short-term employees.

While we are often told about what we need to have in place for a safe workplace, it is how to implement a farm safety plan that is the hardest step in the whole process!

Rural Edge has developed an online Farm Safety Short Course for farm business owners, managers, and workers to support the early steps of developing a farm safety plan.

The Farm Safety Short Course currently enjoys a 100% satisfaction rating. All participants in this short course would recommend it to others, and their understanding and attitude towards farm safety has increased through joining this short 2-hour safety conversation.

Participants will be guided through the core ingredients of a farm safety plan, including a brief overview of the laws and regulations, the need for an induction checklist, and how to develop your Farm Risk Register.

As a bonus, time spent talking to others during the course will help to pick up some tips and tricks to make your farm business that little bit safer.

A large range of tools and templates are also available to all participants through the Rural Edge information portal.

The next National Online Farm Safety Short Course will be held for Victoria on Thursday 9 November. Join over lunch: 12 – 2 pm.

Register now to secure your place and join like-minded peers to support each other in identifying risks/hazards and work towards developing your own farm risk register.

This course is normally offered at $149 per person but is being offered for free through support from the National Farm Safety Education Fund.

The session will be facilitated by ProcessWorx who are experienced in supporting agricultural businesses in developing and implementing their health and safety plans.

This Short Course is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry through the National Farm Safety Education Fund. Healthier farms begin with safer practices.

In case you missed it

Prevent parasite impacts on your pig herd health

Agriculture Victoria has found roundworm (Ascaris suum) in one-third of pig herds tested as part of a free new animal health program.


Biosecurity matters for contractors

As the winter crop ripens rapidly in the southern state’s grain belt, thoughts of managing the harvest are front of mind for grain growers.


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.

Exploring exports sessions

Ready to grow your agri-food business by exploring export opportunities but not sure where to start?

Or have you had a bit of export experience but want to take it further?

Agriculture Victoria is delivering a series of in-person workshops to support agri-food and beverage SMEs to navigate the pathway to export.

By the end of the workshop, you can expect to:

  • Understand the key steps of the export process
  • Have identified relevant export risks and ways to protect your business
  • Know how to approach enquiries from international buyers
  • Have heard from experienced agri-food exporters about how they identified demand and have built sustainable international partnerships
  • Have a plan for your next steps on the pathway to export.

Agriculture Victoria is partnering with Shirley Ng from the Australian Industry (Ai) Group to provide tailored, agri-food and beverage specific export information to support your exporting journey.

The workshops are free to attend for one attendee per business, and places are limited. A light lunch will be provided.
Dates and locations, click to register:

For more information, contact Alice Ritchie at or call 0429 386 781.

Webinar - commercial feasibility of gasification and pyrolysis on-farm
commercial feasibility of gasification and pyrolysis onfarm

Agriculture Victoria invites you to the launch of its Advanced Thermal Treatment of Agricultural Residues commercial feasibility assessment tool.

Agricultural and woody biomass residues are generated all across rural and regional Victoria which can be converted into renewable power and thermal energy, also producing biochar and wood vinegar.

Join this webinar to hear a practical discussion behind the commercial case for investing in pyrolysis or gasification for your farm with topic experts and farm businesses.

Date: Monday 13 November

Time: 11:30 am to 1 pm


Key areas of discussion include:

  • Investment case for pyrolysis/ gasification
  • Live projects: an operational unit and one under development
  • Introduction the feasibility assessment tool.

Speakers include:

  • Kelly Wickham – Agriculture Victoria
  • Kane Ravenscroft – Optimal Group
  • Dominic Murphy – Meredith Dairy.
Workshops – Want to build a stronger more productive farm business?

Agriculture Victoria has the workshop series to help you build more resilience in your farm business.

You will leave each workshop with new skills and an action plan to achieve your business goals.

As a bonus, if you attend all 3 workshops (or workshop 3 and one of workshop 1 or 2) you will secure a business planning one-on-one session with Senior Agribusiness Consultant Jane Foster at the end of the workshop series.

The workshops are free and include lunch.

All 3 workshops will be held at: Pine Grove Fire Station, 2691 Whinfield Road, Lockington

Workshop 1 – Planning for Success
Time: 9 am – 1 pm Date: Friday 3 November

Join Senior Agribusiness Consultant Jane Foster, ORM Pty Ltd for a face-to-face workshop on identifying and managing risks, strategic planning and setting business goals.

Workshop 2 – Business Success
Time: 9 am – 4 pm Date: Wednesday 8 November

Join Farm Business Economist Sam Henty for a face-to-face workshop on financial management, budgeting and profitable decision making.

Workshop 3 – People Success, Climate and Natural Resource Management

Time: 9 am – 4 pm Date: Tuesday 14 November

Extension Officer Michele Joliffe will deliver a face-to-face workshop in the morning on managing people on farm, succession planning and farm safety.

Seasonal Risk Agronomist Dale Grey and Land Management Extension Officer Martin Hamilton will deliver a face-to-face workshop in the afternoon on understanding and identifying
climate risk and natural resource management on farm.

To secure your place, complete the registration form by clicking on the link HERE

Please register for catering purposes.

For more information about the workshop series, contact Elizabeth Alsop on 0457 838 537 or

Yea – Carbon, emissions and ag forum

Globally, as countries commit to carbon neutral targets, agriculture is in the spotlight as both a contributor to emissions, and a solution for carbon drawdown.

This free forum, being held on Thursday 16 November in Yea, will present information about the global scene, market pull, opportunities for productivity improvements and practical insights into what local farmers are doing.

Come along and hear from:

  • Simon Quilty, Global AgriTrends and Churchill Fellow. Keynote presentation: Carbon in agriculture - Case studies from around the globe focussed on agricultural emissions reduction schemes
  • Chris Taarnby, Elders. Carbon farming inside the farm gate
  • Greg Ferrier, Agriculture Victoria. On-farm Emissions Action Plan Pilot - how farmers are taking action locally and how you can participate
  • Declan McDonald, Regen Soils. Carbon management on-farm - practices and priorities
  • Plus a farmer discussion panel.

Thursday, 16 November, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm

Oliver’s Upstairs at Country Club Hotel, 18 High Street, Yea

Morning tea on arrival, proceedings start at 10 am. Lunch is provided.

This is a free event but bookings are essential. Bookings will close 5 pm, 9 November. 


Workshop – Creating an animal health plan for sheep
Sheep yards image

Join Agriculture Victoria and sheep specialist and veterinarian Dr Frankie Collett from Rochy Vet Clinic 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.

Date: 16 November
Time: 10 am – 1 pm
Where: Rochester Shire Hall, 45 Mackay Street, Rochester.

Light refreshments will be provided, please note dietary needs at registration.

Workshop topics

  • identify local animal health issues and solutions to prevent and treat them
  • create an animal health plan
  • find out how your animal health plan is part of your biosecurity plan
  • learn about what records you need to keep and the systems you can use to comply with regulation and the Livestock Production Assurance program.

To register please click HERE

Workshop numbers are limited so please register to attend.

For more information, please contact Kirstie Anderson, Project Leader, Innovative Sheep and Beef Networks, on 0437 990 967 or at

EAD Preparedness webinar 2: waste disposal

WHEN: Monday 20 November

TIME: 10 – 11 am


Agriculture service providers, industry bodies, agencies, and councils are invited to Agriculture Victoria’s webinar series on Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) Preparedness.

During the webinar series, expert speakers from Agriculture Victoria will present important topics, including current risk outlook for an EAD incursion, key response activities following an EAD detection and the importance of farm biosecurity planning.

You are encouraged to attend the webinars to learn what you can do to help protect Victoria’s livestock industries and raise awareness within your organisation and support your community.

Please extend this invitation to other relevant people in your organisation.

Webinar 2 – Waste Disposal

If an EAD outbreak is declared, Agriculture Victoria is responsible for the destruction and disposal of animal carcasses as required, including those that can be buried on-farm.

To eradicate an EAD, it is important to quickly dispose of carcasses after they are destroyed, as well as dispose any infected animal products, materials and wastes, as soon as possible, to reduce the risk of the disease spreading.

It is important that disposal is done in a way that minimises the spread of disease and any adverse effects on the environment, public health and the community.

On-farm burial is the first preference where possible, as it removes the risk of spreading the disease that may occur if carcasses and other products were taken off-farm for disposal.

The extent to which on-farm burial can be used will depend on the size, location and characteristics of the farm and the number of carcasses that need to be buried.

Topics include:

  • Waste generated in an EAD emergency - amounts and distribution
  • Overview of waste disposal strategy
  • On-farm carcass burial guidance
  • Planning ahead for on-farm waste disposal sites using the Navigating Farm Development tool.


  • Bronwyn Green, Project Director, EAD Waste Disposal
  • Ann McDowell, Agriculture Victoria, Agriculture Sector Development Officer.
MLA updates – Bendigo, 23 November
MLA banner image

Agriculture Victoria will be at the MLA Update in Bendigo.

WHEN: Thursday 23 November

WHERE: Fosterville Gold Exhibition Centre at the Bendigo Showgrounds, 42 – 72 Holmes Road, Bendigo.

The MLA Annual General Meeting will also take place at this venue on 23 November.

For more information click HERE and to register click HERE

Full day workshop - Equiculture - Healthy Horses, Healthy Pastures
Horse image

Horse owners are invited to attend a full-day Equiculture workshop with internationally acclaimed author and presenter on best practice ‘equine lifestyle’, Stuart Myers, on Sunday 26 November. 

The workshop focuses on how to manage horses and the land they live on. Learn how to make decisions that will improve your life and the life of your horse/s.

In the workshop horse owners will learn how to use their horse's natural and domesticated behaviours, combined with good pasture management principles to improve and maintain their properties.

This includes how to manage pasture to encourage biodiversity and ground cover and manage horse health issues such as laminitis and obesity. 

It will also cover how to best design your property to maximise outcomes for your horses and the natural environment, including soil health and water quality.

Furthermore, by understanding best practice horse management you will learn about the aesthetic and financial benefits you can gain for your property – i.e. improved ground cover, reduced feed bills, lower parasitic (worm) burdens, and fewer weeds to control.

When: Sunday 26 November, 10:30 am – 4:30 pm

Where: Latrobe University, Wodonga 

To register for the workshop please click HERE

For further information please contact Gervaise Gaunt on 0409 027 115 or

For more information on Stuart Myers, click HERE

How good is this year’s fodder?

How does this year's fodder stack up for energy and protein?

Will it meet your livestock’s need?

Agriculture Victoria and Riverine Plains are offering 2 free feed quality tests for Towong farmers to check the quality of their feed sources.

There are a limited number of tests available, so we’re encouraging farmers to register now.  

After the results have been returned, Agriculture Victoria will host a webinar to discuss options to keep your stock as productive as possible.

To register for the free feed tests:

  • Scan the QR code, follow the link or fill out the accompanying paper form
  • The registration form will include the process of sample collection and submission.

Webinar:  Thursday 7 December 12:30 pm

Applicants for the free feed tests will be automatically invited to the webinar. For webinar invite only, please contact Toni Dakis.

Learn about:

  • Feed test result interpretation  
  • Feeding Livestock website  
  • Basic feed budgeting
  • Flood recovery support.

For more information contact Agricultural Recovery Officer, Toni Dakis on 0428 975 728 or at

Raising the roof 2024 - Save the date!
Raise the roof banner image

Raising the Roof, the Australian dairy industry’s only major event which focuses specifically on intensive farm systems, will be held in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales from 27–29 February 2024.

Hear from international experts who are at the forefront of cutting-edge dairy farming.

Find out about global best practice, and the latest industry breakthroughs that are reshaping the future of dairy.

Learn about the tools and resources you’ll need to thrive in the ever-evolving dairy industry.

Gain invaluable insights that will empower you to make informed decisions about feedpad or contained housing infrastructure.

The line-up of international expert speakers is currently being finalised and tickets will be on sale soon.

Save the date, spread the word, and get ready to elevate your dairy game at Raising the Roof 2024!

  • Learn from international experts about the latest thinking in dairy farming
  • Hear from farmers who have already transitioned to intensive systems
  • Find out about the latest feeding and housing infrastructure resources
  • Forge strong connections with other farmers and industry stakeholders through networking.

EVENT DETAILS 27-29 February, Hunter Valley, NSW

SAVE THE DATE Tickets on sale soon.

For more information email

Australian Dairy Conference in February 2024

Australia’s premier dairy event will return to the Victorian capital of Melbourne from 12-14 February 2024.

Program details and more information to be released throughout 2023.

Find out more here.

2023/2024 State and Territory Landcare Award

Nominations for the 2023/2024 State and Territory Landcare Awards are now open!

Now in its 32nd year, the State and Territory Landcare Awards stand as a prestigious biennial national Landcare Awards program.

Find out more from the Landcare Australia website.

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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.



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