Board of directors

Subtropical Dairy Programme Limited

Paul Weir

Chairman, Farmer Director

Far North Coast, New South Wales

 

Paul Weir

Paul Weir is a Dairy Farmer at Tuncester on the outskirts of Lismore NSW. Together with his wife Sharon, Paul is the fourth generation farming, returning to work on the current property 25 years ago. They have four sons. The couple bought the farm from Pauls father 14 years ago.

The property has autumn-based calving and milks 400 cows through an irrigated pasture based, PMR system. In addition to the dairy business, Paul and Sharon bought a fertiliser contracting business five years ago. They have grown this to double its original size and provide contracting services for all commodities across the north coast of NSW, employing five staff.

Paul has been on the Board of Subtropical Dairy since February 2014 and has been involved in industry advocacy for the last two decades, serving terms with the NSW Farmers, Dairy Committee and Dairy Connect. He is also the local coordinator for Cows Create Careers – now in its 11th year raising the awareness of dairy industry opportunities to primary school students across the local region.

Paul believes it is important for Subtropical Dairy to continuously improve services to dairy farmers including facilitating a change in extension delivery to ensure that the model is one that farmers most benefit from.

Innovation and precision in farming are key, something that he is pursuing through a new trial on variable rate fertiliser application that utilises technology and detailed soil tests to inform accurate and efficient distribution across paddocks.

When not farming, Paul enjoys playing soccer and attending the speedway. In his spare time he can be found in the shed working on the speedway cars with his sons.

Luke Stock

Vice Chairman, Farmer Director

Lockyer Valley, South East Queensland

 

Luke Stock

Ian hollindale

Independent Director

Gold Coast, Queensland

 

Ian Hollindale

Ian Hollindale has been employed in the dairy industry for over 50 years. His industry knowledge is vast and in 1998 he was awarded the John Bryant Medal for Service to the Dairy Industry by the Dairy Industry Association of Australia, the youngest ever recipient at that time.

Ian started his career with the South Coast Cooperative Dairy. After numerous amalgamations the Dairyfields Co-op based in South East Qld was created. He was Managing Director of this Co-op and its subsidiaries including Gold Coast Milk and Norco Paul’s Milk for 40 years. He spent 6 years in the senior management team at Parmalat and continued consulting for the group for four years after that. Ian was appointed to the board of Subtropical Dairy in October 2010.

Ian has held a number of representative roles within the industry, firstly chairing state industry bodies and then going on to preside over a number of national organisations including the Market Milk Federation of Australia and The Dairy Industry Association of Australia. While Chairman of the National Food Industry Training Council, Ian played a large part in the re-writing of industry awards converting them from time based to skills based awards, a role that required consultation with unions, government and a number of commodity food groups.

Ian has found his involvement with the co-operative movement really enjoyable throughout his career, including his input into the rewriting of the Queensland Cooperative Act.

Ian resides at Broadbeach on Queensland’s Gold Coast with his wife Judith. The couple still have 100 acres bordering the Tamborine National Park which was at one time the family dairy farm. Ian enjoys spending time with his 11 grandchildren and managing the 50 head of beef cattle he still has on the farm.

Bill Tranter is a Veterinarian and University Lecturer based at Malanda on the Atherton Tablelands in North Queensland. He has been on the Board of Subtropical Dairy for three years.

Bill has been practicing for 45 years and the Tableland Veterinary Service has grown to include six clinics across North Queensland with up to 60 staff. He is an adjunct professor at James Cook University, where he lectures regularly, while still providing veterinary clinical services to dairies.

Bill is most interested in cattle health and production as evidenced by his development and provision of herd health and management programs for the dairy industry. He is internationally recognised for his expertise and has lectured in New Zealand, the United States, and Vietnam.

What Bill enjoys most is working closely with dairy farmers and mentoring vet and university students. In 2015, Bill was awarded the Australian Cattle Veterinarian of the Year and he says that it was nice to be recognised by industry peers with this significant award.

When Bill is not working with farmers and students, he enjoys fattening young beef cattle for local butchers on his grazing property, he spends time gardening and enjoys amateur theatre.

Bill Tranter

Independent Director

Malanda, Far North Queensland

 

Bill Tranter

Cameron Whitson

Independent Director

Sunshine Coast, Queensland

 

Cameron Whitson

Cameron was elected to the Board in November 2019 and brings over 37 years of experience in the Australian dairy industry to the role.

After beginning his career as farm manager and researcher at the Ellinbank Research Institute in Victoria, Cameron has held various roles in government extension, research, farm management and processor advisory and management positions. He also has previous experience as a Management Committee member of Subtropical Dairy and as been the key driver behind the development of a number of industry benchmarking, nutritional and quality management programs.

With over 70% of his career based in Queensland, Cameron understands the complexities across the value chain of the northern dairy industry. He believes that for farmers, managing the implementation of sustainable practices while maintaining dairy business profitability is a challenge in the current operating environment. The adoption of best practice and implementing programs that target key profit drivers will assist in developing resilient businesses capable of adapting to change both short and long term.

Cameron has a keen interest in the continuing sustainability of the subtropical dairy industry and values the long term relationships he has developed with both farmers and service providers over the years.

Ruth has been involved in the dairy industry her entire life, growing up on the family farm at Harrisville in South East Queensland. She was elected to the Board of Subtropical Dairy in November 2019.

Together with her husband Geoffrey, they took over the Chalk family farm at Carney’s Creek after Cyclone Debbie in 2017. The farm has been operating since the 1960’s and they now milk 140 adults through a PMR system.

After completing her studies in Agribusiness and Applied Science in 2006, Ruth took a position with the Dairying Better ‘n Better Program, a joint partnership between Subtropical Dairy and the Qld Dairyfarmers Organisation. In 2008, she took over as Project Manager and continued this role through to 2018.

Ruth has a passion for dairy nutrition and business management and has been involved in a number of other industry programs including Leadin and the Young Dairy Network.

Ruth believes that the skills and strength required to have a successful dairy farm are far greater than any other industry, something that should be celebrated. She is optimistic about the future prospects for dairy farming and is continuously challenging her own business and looking for ways to improve.

When not juggling the dairy business and her young children Darcy and Lindsay, Ruth enjoys spending time with family and friends and playing team sports.

Ruth Chalk

Farmer Director

South East Queensland

 

Ruth Chalk

Rob Cooper

Independent Director

Mid North Coast, New South Wales

 

Rob Cooper

Mr Rob Cooper is an independent director from central NSW. He is a dairy farm adviser who was recently an equity partner and farm manager of a 1,500 cow dairy farm in Manilla NSW. 

Rob is also a director on the DairyBio and Dairy Feedbase boards.

Paul Judge is a farmer from the Darling Downs and also a previous director on the Subtropical Dairy board.

Paul and Jo Judge farm at Gowrie Junction on the northern outskirts of Toowoomba in Queensland.

Paul Judge

Farmer Director

Darling Downs

 

Paul Judge