Wimmera farmers prepare for next week's Victorian Farmers Federation conference

ELECTION TIME: Murra Warra farmer and Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke will have his role contested at next week's VFF conference. File photo.

ELECTION TIME: Murra Warra farmer and Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke will have his role contested at next week's VFF conference. File photo.

FARMERS from across the state are gearing up for the Victorian Farmers Federation’s 2018 conference next week. The event will be held at Ballarat Hotel & Convention Centre over July 19 and 20.

Notable guest speakers at the conference will be Premier Daniel Andrews, Leader of the Opposition Matthew Guy, Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford, the Victorian Nationals leader Peter Walsh and Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam.

Other guest speakers will include Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Dr Lynette Bettio on planning for the Long Term Forecast and VFF Grains manager Alister Boyd on Chain of Responsibility.

VFF president and Murra Warra farmer David Jochinke said he was pleased with the lineup of speakers.

“With only five months until the 2018 Victorian election, we are pleased to announce that all major political parties will present at the conference,” he said.

“We will be asking each Member of Parliament to detail how they will deliver for agriculture – both their short term promises and their long term vision. “

One of the major issues that will be discussed at the conference will be the ongoing developments of the rural rates burden, with Mr Jochinke set to give a keynote speech on local government and rates.

Elections to decide the federation’s president and vice president will also be held during the conference, with results announced on Friday. 

Mr Jochinke is once again nominated for the role alongside Echuca dairy farmer Craig Ash.

Nominees for VFF vice president are Mr Ash, Emma Germano, and current vice president, Brett Hosking. 

Speaking to the Wimmera Mail-Times last month, Mr Jochinke said he was looking forward to the election.

“It gives our members an opportunity to voice their views and let us know if they think we’re doing a good job,” he said.

“I’ve always just wanted to represent farmers and I want to know whether they think I’ve done a good job.

“I hope my legacy will be that I’ve played a part in getting members more involved in the organisation and giving them a chance voice their views more.”