WESTERN Dairy has gone back to the future with new chairman Peter Evans elected last Thursday.
Mr Evans was previously Western Dairy chairman in 2005-07.
He farms at Jindong with son Grant, milking 860 cows in a split-calving herd and has supplied Woolworths directly since 2014 for its Farmers' Own brand milk.
Mr Evans has long been involved with dairy industry politics and advocacy, having been WAFarmers dairy section president in 2011 when Coles and Woolworths introduced $1-a-litre milk and also Australian Dairy Farmers vice-chairman.
Mr Evans returned to the board at this year's election with Western Dairy losing two of its longest serving members, his son Grant who was first elected in 2014 and immediate past chairwoman Vicki Fitzpatrick.
Ms Fitzpatrick, who farms at Waroona with husband Luke, joined the board in 2016 but announced her reluctant resignation due to family commitments before the election.
Grant Evans, who was Western Dairy chairman prior to Ms Fitzpatrick, resigned with one year of his term left and previously co-opted board member Robin Lammie was formerly elected for one year to fill that vacancy.
Mr Lammie farms at Busselton with son Wes and hosted Western Dairy's 2017 Dairy Information Day.
He was appointed vice-chairman and is expected to seek re-election for a full term next year.
Specialist corporate governance director Brian Piesse, first elected in 2013 and Western Dairy's longest-serving director, was re-elected for another three-year term.
The election results were ratified at Western Dairy's annual general meeting held after its Spring Forum in Busselton last Thursday.
Mr Evans, Mr Lammie and Mr Piesse joined Yelverton and Denmark dairy farmer Andrew Jenkins, Hithergreen dairy farmer Scott Hamilton and Farmwest managing director and genetics and herd improvement specialist Nick Brasher, Bunbury, on the board.
They will be responsible for governing how the WA share of the dairy farmers' levy is spent and implementing the Australian Dairy Plan expected to be finalised in February.
Mr Evans and Mr Lammie were appointed chairman and vice-chairman at a board meeting immediately after the annual meeting.
The annual meeting also heard Western Dairy next year will lose its power-house executive officer Esther Jones after 20 years.
Ms Jones, whose dedication, drive and innovation was praised by former Western Dairy chairman and former WAFarmers dairy section president Phil Depiazzi among others at the meeting, will finish up in June after helping select her replacement.
Ms Jones stressed she was "definitely not retiring".
She said she planned to continue her consultancy work which involved teaching presentation skills.
"After 20 years I can't go on doing this job for ever and I guess there's the opportunity to be around to help the new person in the transition," she said.
Ms Jones is also WA Livestock Research Council executive officer, program producer for Australian Dairy Conference and next year will be program producer for LambEx and BeefEx conferences.