A STRONG lobby group for South Australia's livestock producers is in place.
The new Livestock SA organisation held its first meeting last week. It has a constitution, appointed an executive, and has a new home in the same building as the South Australian Dairyfarmers Association's office at Glandore.
The nine-member board - comprising largely the SAFF livestock committee - is chaired by Bordertown sheep and wool producer Richard Halliday, who also sits on the overarching Primary Producers SA council. Jack England, Kingston, has been appointed vice-chairman.
The board has representatives from across the State and a good blend of youth and experience. Some members have been appointed for a one-year term while others will serve two-year terms. The first elections will be held mid next year.
SA provided the initial funds needed for the establishment of Livestock SA, but that will be reimbursed once producer funds become available.
Mr Halliday was proud of the progress made by the new organisation in the short period since SAFF was dissolved.
"In April last year, we realised something was going to happen and recognised the responsibility to form a group that represents the views of all livestock producers," he said.
"It has been a bit of a balancing act, continuing in our roles with the old organisation but also putting in a lot of the groundwork and waiting until the special general meeting so we could go further."
He said discussions with the Cattle and Sheep Advisory Groups to access some producer-initiated funds were progressing well, and the recommendations were before the Agriculture Minister Gail Gago.
Under a more fair and equitable arrangement, all producers will contribute to the new organisation through a transaction fee - is yet to be finalised - and receive the benefits.
Anyone with a Property Identification Code in SA will automatically become a member, but Livestock SA will be compiling a database to enable them to be more actively involved, and provide regular updates on issues.
Mr Halliday encouraged all sheep, cattle and goat producers to register their details by contacting executive officer Deane Crabb.
Livestock SA is working on affiliated memberships for businesses associated with the industry, such as agents and processors, and exploring potential commercial partnerships to provide additional income.
*Full report in Stock Journal, July 4 issue, 2013.