DFMC Chair since November 2017, Andrew joined the board with the belief that industry benefits when dairy farmers are involved beyond the farm gate.
“We have a very complex supply chain and it works best when we have farmers working together and working closely with industry,” Andrew said.
Andrew, his wife Fiona and their two sons run a dairy farm in Gympie in South East Queensland.
During his Associate Diploma in Applied Science at University of Queensland Gatton, Andrew had a particular interest in agronomy – specifically, in field crops and pastures. With a reliable water source nearby the dairy farm in the Mary River, Andrew has developed an annual rye grass pasture for feeding in the winter months and a maize-based silage system for feeding in summer. Andrew says his background in agronomy has been beneficial in helping him research how to get the best out of his pastures to aid milk production.
“Whether you’ve studied or not, I think it’s good to be able to research further into things that you could or shouldn’t be doing in your management,” Andrew said.
Following his diploma, Andrew spent a year working in the cotton industry. However, the pull of dairy was too strong, and it wasn’t long before he had returned to work alongside his parents on their dairy farm, before buying it from them in 2004.
His favourite aspect of dairy farming is the diversity of skills that are required to maintain the operation.
“In intensive agriculture there’s a lot involved, so you need to be an agronomist to establish good pastures, an animal husbandry expert to maintain the health of your herd, a mechanic to get the best out of your machinery and infrastructure, and be able to manage business finance and, if you have staff, human resources. I don’t think there’s ever a dull day.”
Andrew spends his Saturdays playing for his local soccer team, Columbia, and coaching his son’s junior team. While he doesn’t play anymore, Andrew is a keen cricketer and formidable left-arm quick in the backyard.