Supporting businesses in dairy communities
A $11.4 million package, including $5.2 million of industry funding, to support dairy farmers.
Objectives of Program
The Victorian Government is supporting the Victorian dairy industry’s challenging economic and seasonal conditions with a comprehensive $13.5 million package led by Agriculture Victoria.
The package includes the following measures:
- Rural Skills Connect Program,
- Mental health and wellbeing support
- Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS)
- Dedicated small business counsellors for the RFCS
- Targeted dairy technical support
- Back to Work scheme subsidies.
Industry partners, including the Gardiner Foundation, Dairy Australia and Murray Goulburn, committed $5.2 million to support initiatives including Dairy Australia’s Taking Stock Program.
For further details about a range of government and industry support for dairy farmers, please visit Dairy Farmer Central.
Rural Skills Connect Program
The Rural Skills Connect Program worked with impacted dairy farmers, their workers and dairy service providers who needed assistance with employment and training opportunities.
Three program managers were appointed in each of the Gippsland, Northern Victoria and South West dairy areas for a 12-month period from January 2017 to January 2018. They were located in Regional Development Victoria offices in Shepparton, Traralgon and Warrnambool.
The objectives of the program were as follows:
- assist farmers with opportunities to supplement farm business income with off-farm income
- assist farmers to support their workers who may have lost their job or had reduced hours
- assist with appropriate training opportunities which will lead to employment
- increase the accredited skills base across the industry
- assist farm businesses to become more resilient against future economic or environmental stresses.
Supporting small businesses in dairy communities
Small Business Victoria and Regional Development Victoria worked with Councils in 2016 to provide free Small Business Workshops and confidential Small Business Mentoring support for businesses in dairy communities. While the immediate focus remains on supporting dairy farmers, the dairy farm supply chain businesses had access to Workshops and Mentoring from June to December 2016:
- Small Business Resilience Workshops – two-hour workshop focused on creating business resilience and how to conduct a financial health check
- Individual Small Business Mentoring – access to individual and confidential mentoring from an experienced small business mentor in a private session, following the workshops
Other locations and additional workshops and mentoring may be scheduled based on demand.
To contact Small Business Victoria, call 13 22 15 or visit the Business Victoria website.