Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : February 21, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2017 - PAGE 45
PROOF WITH COSTING
Celebrating the launch of ‘The Hico Story’
- The history of dairy herd improvement in
Gippsland and Colac by Ann Andrew.
“ The aim of the book is to record the history of the various
organisations that have evolved to become Hico Australia...
These co-ops were unique in this country because dairy
farmers clearly saw the benefit of working cooperatively in a
way other primary industries did not. The book traces the
huge progress made in technology and documents the great
benefit to individual farmers and the industry generally
from herd improvement.”
For your copy of this excellent book by Ann Andrew,
contact Hico Maffra on 51471633 or email email@example.com
Stewart McRae, Chairman
Herd Improvement Co-operative
Poll Hereford and Hereford bulls are
available for sale. Sired by Elite AI bulls.
Over 50 years breeding quality
For further particulars & inspection contact
Scott Andersen 0409 785 846
John Langley 0418 528 632
1100 KONGWAK ROAD, INVERLOCH
THE history of herd improvement and ar-
tificial breeding in the dairy industry might
not sound like the subject for a thrilling page -
turner but if you thought it was all about lab
results, performance tables, test samples and
semen straws... think again.
A new book, commissioned by the Herd
Improvement Co - operative Australia (Hico),
and penned by local historian, Ann Andrew of
Sale, is anything but a dry tome about num-
bers and technological improvement.
‘ The Hico Story’, which was launched at the
Korumburra Library last Wednesday, Febru-
ary 15, is mostly about people with incredible
vision and energy, who worked hard together
to make the dairy industry in Victoria the
modern, powerhouse that it is today.
And down here in South Gippsland, our
local dairy farmers and herd testers, have a
right to feel proud of the contribution they
made to raising the breed and production
standards of our dairy cattle to world-leading
It’s all in there.
The formation of Hico in 2008 brought to -
gether the major dairying regions of Maffra,
South Gippsland and Colac into one herd im-
provement co - operative, big enough to devel
op a more comprehensive range of services to
its members, as well as undertake more re-
search and development, in what has become
a highly technological, skill-based industry.
But the successes of today were built on the
efforts of our innovative pioneer dairy farm-
ers and outstanding industry leaders, and
this book goes right back to tell the story of
the early days of the dairy industry in the
three regions, identifying the individuals who
made us what we are today.
And this book is about acknowledging their
contribution in an interesting and engaging
Author Ann Andrew admits to being fasci-
nated and in awe of what she found.
“I ’ve been involved in writing local histories
since 1991, when as the hospital librarian at
Sale, I started to write the history of the old
hospital before it was pulled down, ” Mrs An-
“I get a buzz out of doing local histories but
I didn’t really know where to start with the
research until I went out and met the people
who were involved in it. ”
From the original farmers who cleared the
land, to the soldier settlers and early herd
testers on horseback, including all the small
herd improvement groups across the region;
they’re all mentioned in the book.
Plus there are dozens of pictures, cuttings
and documents that only serve to draw the
readers’ attention to the engaging narrative.
The book is a must read for anyone who
ever served on a herd improvement commit-
tee or worked as an administrator or techni-
But, beyond that, it opens a window into
the incredible history of the dairy industry
in Victoria, especially in the difficult to farm,
difficult to access hilly and coastal areas of
Gippsland and the south west.
Herd testing, which was introduced in the
late 19th century provided the farmer with a
measure of the production of their cows, by
which it was possible to select their best pro -
ducers for breeding.
In the initial stages, collecting milk samples,
and bringing sloshing milk containers back
for analysis was a fraught exercise, especially
across the rolling hills of South Gippsland
but it was work that had to be done and ul-
timately the practice drove improvement, not
only in the cattle, but also in the herd testing
and herd improvement industry.
See Hico’s advert this week for how to get
your copy of this interesting and entertaining
new book about the dairy industry and the
co - operative efforts made to improve it, from
which all dairy farmers have benefitted.
New book celebrates dairy improvement
Receiving his signed copy of the book, The
Hico Story, is John Austin of Mirboo North with
the book’s author Ann Andrew and her husband
Alan at the book launch last week. m020817
Among those who attended the launch of ‘The Hico Story’ at the Korumburra Library last
week were, from left, Gwen and Alan Macqueen of Yanakie (former committeeman), Andrew
Appleyard (chair of SGHI), Alwyn Michie (manager SGHI), the author Ann Andrew, and Ed
Hanley, who assisted with information for the book. m010817
A WEEK in solitary, two pairs of pants and two
pairs of shoes was a cheap price to pay for an
invaluable trip to Nepal according to Leongatha-
based District Veterinarian, Dr Will Hume.
Late last year Dr Hume was among a group of
international vets who travelled to Kathmandu
for an intensive six-day course on the early detec-
tion and containment of foot-and-mouth disease.
Foot-and-mouth disease is considered to be
one of the biggest threats to agriculture in Austra-
lia, with an outbreak likely to cost an estimated
“We had vets and animal health staff from all
over the world including France and Britain who
really are on the front line for foot and mouth,”
Dr Hume said.
The course runs almost every year to train vets
from around the world on how to recognise and
deal with this costly condition.
“This course was of great value because we now
know, at first hand, what it is like dealing with
such a contagious virus,” Dr Hume said.
“The biosecurity measures we used were like
nothing I have experienced before.
“I left two pairs of pants and two pairs of shoes
behind, to make triple sure there was no risk of
bringing anything unwanted home with me and,
when I got back, I was confined to the office for a
week as an added safety measure.”
The course is run by the Food and Agriculture
Organisation arm of the United Nations, in con-
junction with the European Union Committee on
the eradication of foot-and-mouth disease.
The disease is endemic and widespread in Ne-
pal and eradication is not viable due to the moun-
tainous geography and long borders with China
“I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the
chance to attend this course, and it has opened
my eyes to the potential this disease has to im-
pact agriculture in Australia.
“I need to thank my partner and mum for look-
ing after our three little kids while I was away.”
Training in real-world situations helps our lo-
cal animal health staff to protect Victoria’s live-
stock industry. Everybody can contribute to bi-
For more go to www.farmbiosecurity.com.au/
which is a great place for farmers to prepare and
protect their own operations against the threat of
an emergency animal disease incursion.
Costly travel an invaluable lesson
THE theme for the upcoming and popular
Welshpool Flower Show is Down on the Farm
with a salute to the Chinese Year of the Rooster,
and every one with a horticultural bone in their
body is invited to exhibit.
Dahlias are the feature of the show, and usu-
ally attract entrants from all over Gippsland,
including the Korumburra and Leongatha area.
Organisers look forward to seeing them again
As usual there are many classes for general cut
flowers, floral art, pot plants, veggies, home pro-
duce and photos.
Some of the photo sections need to be shots
taken in the exhibitor’s garden, but there are
sections for travelling gardeners, and shots of
local agricultural shows.
With Korumburra just gone and Foster Show
on February 25, there are sure to be photos
available. All photos must be snapshot size and
unmounted – it’s easy!
In floral art there are sections for novices and
intermediates as well as the open.
‘Tussie Mussie’ features, as well as ‘vegetable
creations’, and ‘out of the farm shed’. Much
room for creativity.
Another to stretch the imagination is ‘It’s all
Gone Pair Shaped’ using two containers.
New exhibitors are encouraged to have a go.
Although entries ought to be in by the Wednes-
day prior, new folk can bring their flowers, etc
on the Friday morning, and there will be con-
tainers available and someone there to assist in
staging your entry. Entry is free for everyone.
The show is on Friday, March 10 and Satur-
day, March 11 at the Welshpool Hall.
Schedules can be obtained by phoning show
secretary Fran Grylls on 5184 1376. Entries
need to be staged ready for judging by 11am on
the Friday. Let’s work together to make the hall a
spectacular sight! And have fun!
Down on the farm at Welshpool
A head sized dahlia grown by Gary Kipps of
Welshpool. The other head is Corey Stefani
Leongatha vet Will Hume, front, and col-
leagues in Kathmandu.
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