11 Nov 2013

ACT targets Landcorp for lack of sharemilkers

6:35 pm on 11 November 2013

A critic of the state owned farming enterprise, Landcorp, has taken it and the Government to task because it doesn't provide sharemilking opportunities to help young farmers into farm ownership.

The ACT Party's associate primary industry spokesman, Robin Grieve, has challenged comments by the Primary Industry Minister, Nathan Guy, who has acknowledged Landcorp for its role in training staff who go on to become primary industry leaders, many as farm owners or share milkers.

But Mr Grieve says Landcorp doesn't offer any sharemilking or share farming opportunities on the farms it owns or manages.

Mr Grieve says that when Landcorp took over management of the former Crafar farms on behalf of the new Chinese owner, it did away with sharemilking positions on those farms, and became the sharemilker itself, depriving other farmers of the opportunity.

Landcorp's chief executive, Steven Carden says it's policy not to use sharemilkers is a commercial decision, based on the need to have full control of the genetics of the herds on its farms, as well as broader control of the farming operations.

But he says Landcorp continues to attract a lot of people into farming and provide management talent for the agricultural sector.