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1 November, 2021

Local farmer retires from QDO Board

Pilton dairy farmer Brendan Hayden has stepped down from the board of Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) after close to two terms of representing the Darling Downs District Council.

At 64 years of age, Mr Hayden said he had retired from the QDO board and as a dairy farmer due to health concerns.

“I had a stroke and with investigations decided to stand down,” Mr Hayden said.

“I’d fallen a couple of times over a stick and a stone and was banging into walls.

“My wife said I needed to get a check-up done so she took me into St Vincent’s emergency ward.”

By the time Mr Hayden was able to leave the hospital a few days later, he was recovering from a stroke.

Mr Hayden said his experience was a warning to older farmers like himself who prefer to tough it out rather than see a doctor when things are not going well physically.

“We think we’re bullet-proof. We’re not.”

“I’ve been grazed by a bullet. 

“Us men need to look after ourselves more.”

Although the stroke took a lot out of Mr Hayden, he is slowly on the mend, working on getting his body and mind back to its usual self.

Looking back on his time serving on the QDO board, Mr Hayden shared a few memories.

“I enjoyed my time on the board. I enjoyed being elected - having the confidence of local dairy farmers,” he said.

“Getting a $1 a litre milk lifted was a combined effort with the other board members.

“We were able to accomplish a lot of things.”

QDO President Brian Tessman said he was very appreciative of the work Mr Hayden had put into his role.

“Brendan has clocked up virtually two full terms and even though he has had health challenges in very recent times he continued to take the issues and concerns of dairy farmers on the Darling Downs to the QDO board and beyond all the way through,” Mr Tessman said.

“Brendan’s time on the QDO Board has seen some major successes in dairy advocacy such as the end of $1 milk and importantly the introduction and bedding in of the Mandatory Industry Code of Conduct.” 

Mr Tessman said a great range of services delivered to farmers and industry by QDO from grants and advice on projects ranging from water and energy saving to biosecurity and productivity has been delivered during Mr Hayden’s tenure.

“So, Brendan thanks for your time and effort on behalf of QDO and the dairy farmers of both Queensland and the Darling Downs and I hope retirement and future endeavours go well for both you and your family,” he said.

Recent times have been interesting for QDO as the organisation has been working through the details of a merger with the New South Wales dairy advocacy body DairyConnect to form eastAUSmilk.

Mr Hayden said the proposed merger has his support.

“I was involved in initial conferences. Through discussions we’ve come up with a solution,” he said.

“We’re all dairy farmers in an industry that is shrinking.

“We all supply the same market. It will give us a united voice.”

QDO is holding an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGO) on Wednesday 3 November to propose an amendment to QDO’s constitution to encourage NSW membership and allow board representation.

All QDO members are invited to the EGM at the Kilcoy Information Centre from 10am to 2pm. 

Members should contact QDO on 3236 2955 to RSVP or email if they would like to attend.

In terms of workload, Mr Hayden has moved onto greener pastures, selling his family’s property at Pilton and downsizing to 80 acres at Southbrook.

“I’m looking forward to looking after my grandchildren and spending a lot more time with them,” he said.

“I have taken a few show cows to Southbrook with me.”

Mr Hayden said he was appreciative of the support he has had over the years.

“Thank you to my fellow dairy farmers who I wish a blossoming future ahead.”

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