The GippsDairy Board is made up of six dairy farmers and three others with specialised skills in business, governance and industry.
GippsDairy engages an independent selection panel to recommend appointments to the board. These recommendations are based on skills, experience and readiness to contribute in the role. There are nine director positions on the board and each member is appointed for a three-year term.
Hallora dairy farmer Grant Williams has been a GippsDairy director since 2012 and was appointed Chair in February 2017.
Grant is keen to spread the message of the dairy industry being an integral and responsible part of the wider Gippsland community.
He is a passionate dairy farmer who is proud of the industry and is keen to continue to promote dairy farming as a long term, profitable and sustainable way of life.
Yannathan dairy farmer Lauren Finger sees the GippsDairy Board as a first step in developing a leadership role in the dairy industry. Lauren's experience includes working as a vet in private practice and working with the Department of Primary Industries.
Around the board table, Lauren pushes for initiatives that promote farm profitability. She sees her role on the board as a great opportunity to learn more about the industry, how the board operates, how the industry operates, where dairy levy money goes and how it is spent.
Maffra's Richard Shephard has combined a veterinary career with his involvement in research and extension programs as well as farm consulting.
Dr Shephard, who has worked as a clinical vet, farm management consultant and, most recently, an industry level consultant, has skills and abilities that can help broaden the boardroom discussion when looking at issues and problems.
Glen Alvie dairy farmer Shiona Berry wants to encourage innovation during her time on the GippsDairy Board. Milking 750 cows with husband Caleb on hilly country, Shiona can see huge potential in digital developments like virtual fencing.
Shiona, who has a background as a ruminant nutritionist, believes innovative thinking could change the way the Gippsland dairy industry looks at home grown feed, making a big difference to profitability.
Neerim South's David Johnson joins the Board after a career in dairy that has been different to most.
He has spent time in the US state of Minnesota and in northern Victoria, where he studied farming systems very different to West Gippsland, as well as being a partner in the successful Tarago River Cheese Company.
Richard's experience not only on-farm but with specialty cheese gives him an insight into value-adding products, quality of milk and a wide network.
DataGene evaluation manager Michelle Axford said joining the board seemed like a good fit after two decades of working in the dairy industry.
Outside of her role with DataGene, Michelle has broad interests in dairy, having been involved in Cows Create Careers and the Young Dairy Development Program when it was just getting off the ground.
Michelle, who milks 250 cows with husband Michael at Korumburra, said she would like to use her on-farm experience and knowledge of genetics to help GippsDairy deliver better outcomes for the region's farmers.