Professor Niall Blair, former New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries, Lands and Water and former deputy leader of the NSW National Party, has been appointed chair of Dairy UP, a new collaborative dairy research and development program led by the University of Sydney’s Dairy Research Foundation (DRF).
Dairy UP is a $16 million co-investment between the University, NSW Government, industry organisations and the private sector, which aims to help recover and revitalise the NSW dairy industry. The program is delivered by the DRF together with NSW Department of Primary Industries, Scibus and Dairy Australia.
The University of Sydney’s Professor Sergio (Yani) Garcia, Dairy UP Program Leader and Director of the Dairy Research Foundation said: “We are delighted to announce Niall Blair’s appointment; he brings a huge level of experience and leadership from the government and corporate sector which makes him ideally suited to be chairperson.
“Niall has strong ties with and a deep understanding of the agricultural sector and an ability to understand industry and consumer sentiments in important areas such as sustainability, waste, animal welfare, social license, climate change and global markets,” he said.
Professor Niall Blair said: “I am excited to be part of a collaboration that brings dairy farmers, industry advocates, government, researchers, advisors and professors together to have a positive impact for our industry.
“The outputs from this program will build capability within the dairy sector and leave a long-lasting legacy. By driving innovation and focusing on the extension and on-farm adoption of our projects, we will have a more sustainable and profitable dairy industry. That’s something I am passionate about and why I am involved with Dairy UP,” he said.
Jim Rothwell, Director of Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute at the NSW Department of Primary Industries Biosecurity and Food Safety said: “It is an honour that Niall Blair has agreed to chair Dairy UP. His knowledge of Agriculture in NSW, his skills with groups and committees and his renown as a leader will serve the dairy industry of NSW very well over the next five years.”
The Hon. Niall Blair is professor of food sustainability at Charles Sturt University.