Forward this email | View in web browser
Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday 9 May, 2024
In this edition:
Private vets are part of the puzzle
matt boon in a cattle yard

When Dr Matt Boon from Prime Livestock Veterinary Services put his hand up to work on emergency animal disease outbreaks, he did it with the bigger picture in mind.

‘As advocates for the Australian livestock industry, livestock vets like me have a moral obligation to step up and give a hand’.

Matt operates a mobile livestock service in the north-east and signed up to join Agriculture Victoria’s Emergency Veterinary Response Team last year.

In February, Matt was deployed to support an emergency anthrax response and worked alongside a team of animal health and welfare staff to vaccinate livestock for anthrax in the Shepparton region.

‘I came away from the experience with a deeper insight into what goes into an emergency disease response and the challenges that come with managing an outbreak’.

‘It was very different work to what private vets are usually doing day-to-day on farms. It was rewarding to work alongside government vets and to better understand the role they play for the industry,’ Matt said.

To respond to the challenges of future emergency animal disease outbreaks, we need more private vets like Matt to be part of the puzzle.

‘I’d encourage other private vets out there to get involved! If you can spare the time, there’s nothing to lose and so much to gain. I’m certainly glad I put my hand up to be involved’.

Share your expertise, learn new skills and help protect our agricultural sector and communities.

Casual employment is available as an emergency response veterinary officer and veterinary businesses can sign up via service level agreements.

To find out more, visit

Building Victoria’s preparedness for emergency animal diseases

Dr Jeff Cave, Agriculture Victoria Senior Veterinary Officer

During March, Agriculture Victoria delivered 4 Animal Disease Investigation (ADI) courses.

These regionally based courses were held at Ellinbank, Rutherglen, Bendigo and Hamilton.

The 2-day intensive course focused on up-skilling livestock veterinarians across Victoria to conduct disease investigations, and to be especially on the lookout for exotic diseases such as Foot and mouth disease.

Each course hosted 12 private livestock veterinarians.

Most of the participants came from local veterinary clinics in each of the regions.

The courses were presented by a combination of local Agriculture Victoria district veterinary officers, alongside a pathologist from Agriculture Victoria’s state laboratory Agribio, which is located in Bundoora, Melbourne.

The courses have a strong practical theme, with veterinarians getting hands on experience in learning new techniques and procedures, as well as a refresher on some of their existing skills and knowledge. 

Agriculture Victoria has been running ADI courses for over 10 years, training upwards of 50 private veterinarians a year, and in doing so strengthening the skills of Victoria’s veterinary profession and overall biosecurity preparedness for emergency animal diseases.

Report any unusual signs or suspected cases of emergency animal disease immediately to the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888.

Click here to learn more about Emergency Animal Diseases.

Cherries Traceability Pilot
trace the origin of your cherries

Trace the origin of your cherries from tree to table.

In our Cherries Traceability Pilot, a partnership between Agriculture Victoria and Cherry Growers Australia, we’re applying unique GS1 Digital Link enabled QR codes to individual cherry boxes consumers and supply chain partners can scan, verify and get information at their fingertips.

You can be confident knowing you are buying Australian and the best cherries our growers have to offer.

Discover more by scanning the QR code or via this link.

Play the game and see if you can beat our current top score of 117!

Book early for Ballarat sheep and beef conferences
ballarat bestwool/bestlamb and betterbeef conferences 19/20 june

Early bird tickets are now available for BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef conferences to be held on 19 and 20 June in Ballarat, at The Goods Shed.

Agriculture Victoria Senior Specialist, Lyndon Kubeil said this was the first time since 2019 that the 2 conferences would be held together and in the new location of Ballarat.

‘We are holding everything under the 1 roof this year - the sheep and the beef industry conferences, the dinner and the trade displays will all be at The Goods Shed, an exciting new venue near Ballarat Railway Station,’ said Mr Kubeil.

‘The event will start on Wednesday 19 June at 9 am with registrations for the BestWool/BestLamb conference, followed by a combined dinner for the beef and sheep industries at 6 pm that night.

‘The BetterBeef conference will be held the following day on Thursday 20 June.’

The program will include keynote addresses and concurrent sessions, giving participants the ability to tailor their time to suit their needs and interests.

Mr Kubeil said there will be an excellent line up of presenters, including agribusiness professionals John Francis from Agrista and Cam Nicholson from Nicon Rural Services, who are presenting on both days and are sure to draw a crowd.

‘John Francis’ session ‘Thriving under pressure – are you ready for the next challenge?’ will help producers make more informed decisions when faced with obstacles impacting their farm business.

‘Cam Nicholson’s presentation on “Grazing Management – balancing the compromise” will show us how to make better decisions and find the right strategic balance between the plant and the animal in a grazing enterprise.

Ticket sales will be capped this year to accommodate the size of the new venue.

‘We encourage people to book early and be rewarded with early bird discounts on tickets, with a 1-day conference ticket only $80 and a full package 2-day conference and dinner ticket for $200.’

Early bird tickets close on Friday 31 May.

Secure an early bird ticket discount here.

Contact Lyndon Kubeil on 0418 532 085 or visit the Agriculture Victoria events page to learn more.

This event is delivered in partnership with Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and is supported by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and Farm Business Resilience program.

Biosecurity Basics - Episode 4
three white alpacas in a trailer

Episode 4: Buying and selling livestock 101 with Ben Fahy

There are many things for small landholders to consider when buying and selling livestock that can be a little confusing.

Terms like PICS, NLIS and records are new for people stepping into the world of small landholding.

In this episode, Ben Fahy, Livestock Traceability Manager with Agriculture Victoria, helps simplify the requirements for buying and selling livestock in Victoria

 🎧 🎧 Listen to Biosecurity Basics via the AgVic website.

Get into AgSTEM program in full swing for school year

Caption: Horsham College Year 12 Biology students with Agriculture Victoria Community Education Officer Casey Hamilton-Bayly

Agriculture Victoria’s free Get into AgSTEM education program is underway with schools across the state participating.

Agriculture Victoria Community Education Manager, Anna-Leisa Vietz, said the suite of practical and hands-on free workshops is popular with schools because it links directly to the Victorian school curriculum.

‘Our Get into AgSTEM workshops are suitable for students from Grade 5 through to VCE and our delivery model is very flexible,’ said Anna-Leisa.

‘We can deliver them from AgriBio, our main research centre in Bundoora, or any of our regional SmartFarms with some select workshops available online.’

Students visiting our research centres gain firsthand experience in a professional research facility where science and technology are applied to agricultural scenarios.

‘Our workshops can also be incorporated into events such as the Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN) events, STEM Idols in Mildura, or the upcoming Food and Fibre Day in Dookie.

‘The feedback is always excellent as students enjoy using hi-tech tools and discovering how our scientists conduct research.

‘At our Horsham SmartFarm recently, we ran “Get into Digital Agriculture” for Murtoa College’s Year 11 Agriculture Science class and a “Get into Genes – PCR” workshop for Horsham College’s Year 12 Biology class,’ said Anna-Leisa.

Get into Digital Agriculture explores how remote sensing technology can be used to collect, upload and analyse farm related data.

Students assemble soil moisture sensors and use python programming language to access and analyse data.

Get into Genes – PCR is a Year 12 level workshop where students learn how on-farm efficiency is improved using DNA related techniques and applications.

Students practise pipetting for DNA replication and interpretation of DNA profiles.

For more information on the Get into AgSTEM programs, visit or email

Celebrate the vital role bees play in global food systems
world bee day 20 May Australia

May 20 marks the seventh annual World Bee Day, and this year’s focus is on the vital role bees play in global food production.

Wheen Bee Foundation CEO Fiona Chambers says while many people have some understanding of the importance of bees, most don’t know the true extent to which we depend on bees for the food we eat every day.

'Most people know bees play a role in food production, but few know the sheer scale of their contribution,' Ms Chambers said.

'Here in Australia, at least 53 crops rely to some extent on bees. These include almonds, avocados, apples, berries, stone fruit and carrot, but also oilseeds such as canola, and legumes like clover and lucerne that feed farm livestock.

'Often when you sit down for dinner, the whole plate will have some link to bees.'

This year World Bee Day will see a host of events and activities taking place in communities across Australia, focused on the 2024 theme – Celebrating bees and their vital role in global food production systems.

There are lots of ways to get involved, whether it’s joining a webinar, visiting a farmers’ market, taking part in a community gardening session or simply talking to friends and family about the importance of bees,' Ms Chambers said.

A first for this year’s calendar is the Great Bee Morning Tea. Communities, schools and businesses are encouraged to show their support for Australia’s beekeepers by hosting a morning tea with cakes, cookies and other sweet treats all made with 100 % pure Australian honey.

'Beyond the honey they produce, beekeepers deliver vital pollination services to some of our biggest crops,' Ms Chambers said.

'By buying 100 % Australian honey you are not only supporting Australian beekeepers but the many Australian businesses that rely upon them.'

As part of the World Bee Day festivities, The Wheen Bee Foundation has again partnered with the Australian Farmers’ Markets Association for the Bring Your Buzz campaign, which encourages people to wear yellow to their local farmers’ markets and buy food from producers who value the role bees play in their production.

Celebrations at farmers’ markets run from Saturday 18 May to Sunday 26 May.

Anyone interested in hosting an event for World Bee Day is encouraged to register their event for free online at the World Bee Day website.

For more information visit

After the Flood podcast series - episode 10
agvic talk agriculture victoria

Episode 10: What does recovery look like? with Sally Cunningham, Brett Davison and Brad Costin

The effects of a disaster are felt long after the event.

Agriculture Victoria along with other agencies are there at the start of emergencies and in for the long haul to help farmers with recovery for months after the event.

This has been the case for Agriculture Victoria Recovery Managers Brad Costin and Brett Davidson, and National Centre for Farmer Health Flood Recovery Manager Sally Cunningham.

Hear their stories of recovery and resilience in working to support farmers in ag recovery.

🎧 🎧 Listen via the AgVic website.

Victorian Biosecurity Matters e-newsletter
victorian biosecurity matters subscribe

The latest edition of our Victorian Biosecurity Matters e-newsletter is out now.

In this edition:

  • our new podcast season
  • Timor Leste visit highlights
  • find out more about avian influenza
  • new pest partnership grant recipients
  • bee pest blitz
  • biosecurity in the news.

Sound good? Read it now and subscribe.

Applications closing soon 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.

Fox and wild dog bounty

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

New Chair for Horse Traceability Taskforce

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


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.


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.

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


Export Development Programme
export development programme, export pricing webinar, 21 may 2024

Ready to grow your agri-food and beverage business by exploring export opportunities but not sure where to start? Join us for a free Export Development Programme!

Agriculture Victoria's Pathways to Export is partnering with Export Connect to deliver a series of in-person Masterclass Workshops in Gippsland and Melbourne and online Export Strategy Webinars.

In-person sessions:

  • Friday 17 May – 9 am – 4 pm, Morwell Innovation Centre, 1 Monash Way, Morwell
  • Friday 24 May – 9 am – 4 pm, Agriculture Victoria Attwood Centre, 475-485 Mickleham Rd.


  • Market Entry Strategy: Tuesday 14 May – 2 pm – 4 pm
  • Export Pricing: Tuesday 21 May – 2 pm – 4 pm
  • Pitch Development: Tuesday 28 May – 2 pm – 4 pm 
  • International Buyer and Exporter Panel: Tuesday 4 June – 2 pm – 4 pm.

Register here for one or more sessions.

Pyrenees Shire Connectivity Roadshow
pyrenees shire connectivity roadshow

Residents are invited to community drop-in sessions where you can engage directly with representatives from Agriculture Victoria, Telstra, NBNCo and the Regional Tech Hub. 

Let's discuss how we can enhance internet connectivity in our community and make the most out of technology!

Topics for discussion:

  • Could your internet connectivity be better?
  • Want to know how to maximise your mobile signal?
  • With 3G closing, what does it mean for you?
  • Interested in on-farm technology?
  • Discover the potential of the ‘internet of things’ for agriculture!

Dates and venues:

  • Tuesday 21 May - Crossroads CFA Shed – 5:30 pm - 7 pm
  • Wednesday 22 May - Summerfield Winery – 2 pm - 3:30 pm
  • Wednesday 22 May - Lexton Hub - 5:30 pm - 7 pm.

Find out more at Pyrenees Shire Connectivity Roadshow - Pyrenees Shire Council.

Elmhurst stock feeding workshop
jess revell standing in a paddock

Date: Wednesday 29 May
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Where: Elmhurst Bush Nursing Centre 36 Green Street, Elmhurst
Cost: Free, lunch will be provided.

Presenter: Jess Revell, Principal Nutritionist and Animal Production Consultant, Rumenate Livestock Services.

Jess will share her extensive knowledge about ration formulation, intensive animal nutrition, extensive livestock production, reducing metabolic disease and seasonal management.

Jess is passionate about providing independent animal nutrition and health advice to achieve profitable outcomes.

Workshop topics include:

  • Livestock feeding requirements
  • Feeding a total ration
  • Feeding after fire for pasture recovery.

Register here.

Stock Handling Workshop - Camperdown

DATE: Friday 7 June

TIME: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Join us for a hands-on session led by the Stock Sense team and expert Stock Handler, Jack Briscoe.

Learn invaluable techniques to care for your cattle with minimal stress and maximum safety.

Experience Stress-Free Stock Handling at Camperdown Saleyards.

Topics include:

  • Stockmanship: Understand livestock behaviour for reduced stress and improved handling
  • Low-Stress Handling Demonstrations: Witness safe handling practices for enhanced yard safety
  • Practical Sessions: Gain special techniques for drenching, vaccination, and ear tagging
  • Biosecurity Insights: Explore vital biosecurity practices and the importance of quarantine.

Find out more at -

For further inquiries, please contact Stock Sense on

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.

Subscribe to Barwon South West Ag News

Enjoying the Barwon South West Ag News? Then why not forward to a friend or subscribe yourself.

It's easy – simply click this link.

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.


Follow us on X (formerly Twitter) @VicGovAg


Subscribe to the Agriculture Victoria YouTube channel. 


Email -