AGRICULTURE needs the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria to take a leadership role in this debate on the future of dairying.
To achieve any lasting solution for the industry the UDV must work itself back into the game.
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The farm lobby has always been on guard against a splintered message. Its catch-cry has always quite rightly pointed to the truth - strength in unity.
It doesn't have the numbers to do anything else.
Victoria's dairy farmers are anything but united right now.
Farmer Power has had spectacular success in organising a series of protest rallies but are still babes in the woods in terms of grinding out a workable result.
This is where a body like the UDV, its parent VFF, the NFF, or even Dairy Australia, have the contacts, political acumen, expert staff and the time, to take this on.
The plight of the dairy industry is in the national spotlight and a string of meetings in coming weeks seems likely to keep it there.
Just days into a drawn-out federal election campaign, Senator Barnaby Joyce said the timing couldn't be better.
For two years farmers have watched the sweat of their brow exploited by the big two supermarkets.
While domestic prices may not be the game-changer, the brazen discounting war has revealed our traditional farm groups as being powerless to do anything about it.
There are ideas coming forward at these protest meetings on how to rescue the industry from crisis.
These need to be distilled into a campaign which is achievable, with long-lasting benefits and is, hopefully, immediate.
It must be something all dairy farmers can support.
The UDV will hold its annual conference in less than a month.
Many disgruntled farmers want better leadership from the UDV to win back their loyalty.
Like the Farmer Power meetings, the UDV conference will also provide farmers with a timely opportunity to have their say.