Dairy farmer takes on new board role

ON THE BOARD: Glenore Grove dairy farmer Luke Stock is the new Subtropical Dairy Program Deputy Chairman.
ON THE BOARD: Glenore Grove dairy farmer Luke Stock is the new Subtropical Dairy Program Deputy Chairman. Ali Kuchel

GLENORE Grove dairy farmer Luke Stock has been appointed deputy chairman of the Subtropical Dairy Program.

Having been on the board for the past three years, Mr Stock said it was "very humbling" to be appointed to the deputy chair position.

"Particularly when you're appointed by your peers or fellow board members, (it's) something that I don't take lightly and comes across with a lot of responsibility," Mr Stock said.

Subtropical Dairy is one of eight regional development programs across Australia, with the Subtropical branch being by far the largest, running from Kempsey on the mid-north coast of New South Wales through to the Atherton Tablelands.

The region is almost the size of New Zealand.

Mr Stock said being on the board enabled him to make decisions at "grassroots" level, which would have a real impact for dairy farmers.

"For instance, this year Subtropical Dairy delivered 100 events to over 1600 participants and delivered 17 projects valued in excess of $900,000," he said.

"The responsibility to make the correct decisions that may have an impact on your peers is quite large."

After seven years on the board, Ross McInness stepped down as the chairman of the program.

Harrisville farmer Paul Roderick was elected as the new chairman.

Darling Downs farmer Rachael Parkes was appointed as interim director.

As well as being the new deputy chair, Mr Stock also sits on a number of other sub-committees, directly under the board, including the small projects committee, the sub-regional group committee and chairs the Natural Resources Management Committee.

Mr Stock said dairy farming was a close-knit community, with farmers always there to help each other out.

"It's not every man for himself and that is why we keep doing what we do," he said.

In 2000 there were 1500 dairy farms across Queensland, today, there are 430 left in operation.

"Despite this fact, milk production remains


roughly the same," Mr Stock said.

"We've seen hundreds of family farms and therefore jobs lost within the industry."

Topics:  dairy farming glenore grove lockyer valley milk

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