JUNE 2021

Welcome to our first staff newsletter!

We plan to make these a regular monthly communication for our staff with news about what is happening in the company, staff movements and key things to be aware of.

In our first edition we would like to introduce you to a few key people in our business and summarise what has been happening over the past few months.

We believe it is important for all of us to be fully informed and to know where to go and who to talk to for any issues on your farm or in your role.

We look forward to building our relationships and sharing our successes.

Did you know?

Van Dairy is Tasmania’s largest dairy with 15 farms and around 25000 cattle.

Ownership and farm sales

Van Dairy owner is businessman Xianfeng Lu.

Mr Lu bought the dairy business in 2016.

Recently the sale of 12 farms has been finalised to Australian company Prime Value for $62.5 million. This amounts to 2200 hectares and 5000 cows.

The sale is part of Van Dairy’s commitment to have 10 percent Australian ownership of the land.

Want to know more?

Contact Tristan: 0451 432 508

van dairy staff newsletter JUNE 2021

Agricultural consultant Wolfie Wagner with Grant Hills, farm manager on our Newlands farm. They are standing on one of his well-managed laneways leading into his dairy. Grant is currently milking approx. 1,200 cows.

Introducing our new consultant:
Wolfie Wagner

Wolfie has had more than 30 years’ experience in dairy, including 15 as a dairy farmer milking up to 930 cows. Six of the thirty years were spent in Tasmania where I managed 4 dairy farms milking around 2,900 cows in total.

“My experience spans from the paddock to the board room table. I am the Managing Director of agCap Pty Ltd, a company which provides asset management solutions to owners of large scale aggregated dairy farms,” Wolfie said.

Wolfie has been brought to Van Dairy to assist the organisation to create a sustainable business plan for the business, while also working with the regulators.

“I believe that an important step will be to firstly create the vison for the business that we can all share and strive towards.

“We need to develop an organisational structure right through the business from the office to the paddock that ensures everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities and how that contributes to our overall goals.

“As part of this bigger plan our first step is to create farm operational plans for each farm for the next 100 days.”

KEY ISSUE: Laneways

As part of Van Dairy’s commitment to high standards it is important to review our processes.
The TDIA has reminded us of the need to make sure that cows are moved along our laneways efficiently and we do not hold cows on laneways for extended periods. If we use laneways to hold cows, then the laneway becomes part of our effluent system that we need to manage.

Tips and tricks to better manage stock flow and keep our laneways free of excessive amounts of effluent:

  • Ensure that cow flow is unrestricted and that all gates etc are set up to allow the cows to move to and from the dairy un-obstructed.
  • Let cows walk at their own pace in an unstressed manner.
  • Never feed hay or silage on laneways which can stop cow flow and also changes the definition of a cow lane to a feed pad meaning that again we need to deal with the effluent coming off that area.
  • Encourage cows to walk away from the dairy immediately after milking. Do not let them congregate for extendedperiods.
  • Clean sections of laneways that do become muddy or covered in excess effluent.
  • Saving the Tasmanian Devil

    As part of Van Dairy’s commitment to its local environment and wildlife, it has set aside more than ten percent of its total farm area (1800 hectares) to provide habitat for Tasmania’s most iconic animal. Setting aside this land which was previously ear-marked for development is a significant financial investment for the company in the order of tens of millions of dollars. The land is the equivalent of five dairy farms, and 5000 cows.

    Van Dairy is not only conserving land, but it is also replanting trees and other fauna to improve habitat for the Tasmanian Devils.

    “Our goal is to ensure that the working dairy farm blends perfectly with the natural environment. We are working hard to ensure we can protect the iconic Tasmanian Devil while also providing economic benefits and job opportunities to the region,” a Van Dairy spokesperson said.

    “Van Dairy has some of the last Devil Facial Tumour Disease-free populations in the world and, as the custodians of the land we respect that immensely.

    “We have also put in place protocols to ensure that farm workers avoid contact with the devils, including while driving.”

    Want to know more?

    Contact Tristan: 0451 432 508

    Van Dairy Limited
    PO BOX 418 Smithton
    TAS 7330

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