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Newsletter: Vic State Report

By David Drage, 2009 Scholar and Chair


November 2016

The past few months have been challenging for Victorian agriculture. Much of Victoria experienced its wettest September on record, with many farmers suffering from the resultant flooding. Waterlogged pastures, flooded crops and fences destroyed by runoff were the immediate problems, but the extended wetness has caused harvesting delays and disease problems across many agricultural sectors as the rain refused to stop. The photo below shows a photo of my shed at Warracknabeal after 200mm of rain.

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Back in June a small group of Scholars met at the Melbourne Club to meet Jodie Dean, our new CEO. It was a great opportunity to meet her and hopefully more of the alumni will be able to catch up with Jodie at future events. Unfortunately, the event was overshadowed by the funeral of Max Jelbart (1991 Sch) the following day. Max was a great stalwart for Nuffield, and the number of Scholars who attended his memorial service from all corners of Australia is indicative of how well he was respected.

In September, we welcomed the three, newly selected 2017 Scholars from Victoria to the Nuffield family. The photo below, (L-R) includes myself, Daniel Meade, Chris Monnier and Brendan Hehir. We wish them well in their studies next year, and will be holding farewell functions for them early in 2017.

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Also in September, 2015 Scholars Michael Craig, Jonathan Dyer, Nathan Free and James Terry presented at the National Conference in Adelaide. Unfortunately, fellow 2015 Scholar Andrew Clarke wasn’t able to attend due to an illness in his family. Our thoughts are with Andrew and his family as they tackle the challenge they face and we look forward to seeing him again in 2017.

David Jochinke (2007 Sch) was elected President of the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) at their AGM in July. Unfortunately, a full Nuffield management team didn’t eventuate, as Emma Germano (2014 Sch) was unsuccessful in her attempt to be elected vice-president. But Emma, and a number of additional Scholars, continue to hold important roles on the executives of most VFF industry groups so Nuffield continues to have considerable influence on the shape of Victorian agriculture.

Victorian Scholars also continue to appear in the media. Emma Germano produced an outstanding performance as a panellist on the ABC’s Q&A program on 31st October. Jan Vydra (2016 Sch) has also made a couple of appearances on Landline and the Country Hour discussing his business and the future shape of agriculture.

A couple of Scholars have also welcomed additions to their families. Rowan (2010 Sch) and Renee Paulet welcomed Ella in July, and Evan (2009 Sch) and Therese Ryan welcomed Arthur in September.

Ben Morris (2009 Sch) has moved to New South Wales to take on the role of assistant farm manager on a property at Tocumwal. Ben looks forward to continuing his connection with Nuffield with the Scholars in the Riverina.

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