Partridge touts another presidency stint

Partridge touts another presidency stint

Dairy
WAFarmers' then newly elected dairy section president Michael Partridge (right), supporting former Harvey dairy farmer Graham Manning who was forced out of the industry in 2016 when his milk supply contract was cancelled. Mr Partridge has said he may seek a fourth term as president.

WAFarmers' then newly elected dairy section president Michael Partridge (right), supporting former Harvey dairy farmer Graham Manning who was forced out of the industry in 2016 when his milk supply contract was cancelled. Mr Partridge has said he may seek a fourth term as president.

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Changes to the WAFarmers constitution approved by members at the March annual general meeting which elected president Rhys Turton and vice president Steve McGuire as part of moves to streamline the organisation, also apply to the commodity sections.

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WAFARMERS' dairy section president Mike Partridge is likely to seek a fourth term at the annual conference in July, but one of three dairy executive positions will be dropped.

Changes to the WAFarmers constitution approved by members at the March annual general meeting which elected president Rhys Turton and vice president Steve McGuire as part of moves to streamline the organisation, also apply to the commodity sections.

The dairy section currently has Mr Partridge as president, Ian Noakes as senior vice president and Paul Ieraci as vice president for its executive.

Nominations for a dairy section president and vice president to serve one-year terms have been called for and the nomination period closes at 5pm on Monday, June 3.

The change will put the dairy section into line with the grains, livestock and beekeepers sections which now only have a president and vice president.

Although the grains section elected a three-member executive at its annual general meeting in March - the grains section meeting was held before the constitutional changes were voted on at WAFarmers' annual meeting - its executive has been trimmed to president Duncan Young and vice president Mic Fels to put it in line with the new constitutional rules.

The vote for dairy section president and vice president will take place at the section's annual meeting held as part of the dairy section annual conference at Abbey Beach Resort, Busselton, on Thursday, July 4.

On Tuesday Mr Partridge confirmed he is likely to try for a fourth year as president.

"I'll probably nominate again," Mr Partridge said.

"Another year would make it four years and that would be enough."

Mr Partridge, who farms at White Rocks dairy farm, Benger, with his parents, wife Leanne and two teenage children, served four years as dairy section senior vice president before stepping up to the president's role.

Previous dairy section president Phil Depiazzi served four years in the role.

Mr Partridge, who is also a member of Australian Dairy Farmers' national council, took over the dairy section at a turbulent time when Brownes Dairy had dropped five of its best suppliers.

One of his first actions as president was a show of support for milk quality award-winning dairy farmer Graham Manning who was forced out of the industry when his contract was not renewed.

Mr Partridge was involved in negotiations with a succession of State agriculture ministers and with Brownes and Parmalat-owned Harvey Fresh, which also wanted to drop suppliers, during a period of milk oversupply in 2016-17.

One of Mr Partridge's longest running and most successful battles was in getting Coles and Woolworths supermarkets to drop their $1-a-litre own-brand milk marketing and to pass a price increase back to farmers.

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