VICTORIA’S livestock producers will next week get their say on what their peak farmer group should be doing at two policy forums in the state’s north east.
The Victorian Farmers Federation will hold policy forums at Tallangatta on Tuesday and Mansfield on Wednesday — the first in a series of 17 events to be held.
VFF Livestock president Leonard Vallance will chair next week’s forums and said the events were designed to give the farmer group grassroots advice on its policy development. The first two events will take a heavy livestock focus, which will be replicated for other commodities across the different regions as the forums unfold.
“This is a great opportunity to engage rural communities in a discussion about vital issues in their regions – issues that aren’t always the focus of in depth analysis, but are still important.
“The purpose of these forums is to encourage members to take a more active role in policy formation, because we really are here to be your representatives, so we need to know what’s important to you,” Mr Vallance said.
The VFF said the events will be brainstorming sessions in a dinner setting, with farmers invited to share with each other their issues, with the ideas then being discussed with the rest of the audience, along with VFF executive members and staff.
“We decided at our annual conference last year that the best way to engage rural communities in policy formation is to take our team to them and not expect them to come to Melbourne,” Mr Vallance said.
“The VFF’s policy is still driven by its heartland members and we haven’t lost sight of that, so these regional policy forums will now take the place of the annual conference.”
The Tallangatta forum will be at the Tallangatta Hotel, 77 Towong St, Tallangatta. The Mansfield forum will be at the Delatite Hotel, 95 High St, Mansfield. Both events will start at 6pm.
Entry is $20 for members (including free drink) and $30 for non-members. All farmers are welcome to attend.