Bunbartha dairy farmer Allan Burgess, who milks more than 1400 cows, has done more than most in his 30-plus years in the dairy industry.
And for all those efforts, Mr Burgess was awarded the 2017 Pat Rowley Award for outstanding service to the industry.
‘‘It was not something I expected but it is nice to have peers appreciate what you have done — and I appreciate it very much,’’ he said.
The award recognises the lives and careers of dairy participants whose contributions significantly shaped the industry and Mr Burgess, who has worked on projects locally, nationally and internationally, has certainly done that as the first chairman of Murray Dairy, former Australian Dairy Farmers president as well as the inaugural chair of Goulburn Murray Hume Agcare.
Despite being humble and not wanting to pick a highlight, Mr Burgess said bringing the industry together was a personal achievement.
Australian Dairy Industry Council chair Terry Richardson said the award was a fitting tribute to what had been a stellar career in dairy.
‘‘This is a real celebration of Allan’s contribution. There would be few others who have worked so tirelessly, and had such a significant impact on the long-term success of their industry,’’ Mr Richardson said.
‘‘For 30 years Allan led the dairy industry to understand that we can largely create our own future. He was an architect driven by strong ideas and a collaborative spirit.
‘‘Whether it’s been leading the way at a local level or tackling the complex task of building some of the industry’s foundation organisations, Allan has consistently led from the front.
‘‘His selection for this year’s award was an easy one for the ADIC Board.’’
With all his experiences, Mr Burgess, who is a long-time Murray Goulburn supplier, said the milk price clawback rivalled other big events, such as deregulation and the droughts, in terms of the impact it had on the industry.
‘‘It’s right up there with the major changes that have had a huge impact,’’ he said.
Despite the down times, Mr Burgess said he had always enjoyed the various components of being a dairy farmer.
‘‘It’s a wonderful thing. I think it’s one of the best jobs,’’ he said.
‘‘Of course there are challenging days — but we love it.’’