DAIRY farmer representation is being challenged as a grassroots group gains momentum.
The new Farmer Power organisation, founded by two concerned Western Victorian dairy farmers over the future of the industry, will today meet Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh.
It will talk to the Victorian Farmers Federation later this week.
Dairy farmer and service provider support for the group is growing, with action planned in northern Victoria in the coming weeks.
This followed a 600-plus meeting at Noorat this month and a protest in Warrnambool recently.
Farmer Power representative Chris Gleeson said traditional representative organisations failed to recognise the crisis that was turning young people from the industry, while older generations struggled to sell their farms.
VFF president Peter Tuohey said there was "some concern" within the federation about the rise of Farmer Power, but denied it was an insult to the organisation.
"I think it is probably a gap in communication," Mr Tuohey said.
"A lot of people don't see, or fully appreciate, a lot of the policy work we do behind the scenes."
He said Farmer Power and the VFF could work together on issues.
Mr Tuohey said some individuals could be driven by long-term concerns over operations of the United Dairyfarmers' of Victoria.
"There may be a few hidden agendas in the Farmer Power group, but their concerns about the industry are real," he said.
Australian Dairy Farmers president Noel Campbell said the rise of Farmer Power showed "(ADF) has got to be in more contact with grassroots, (and find) ways to be more visible".