The People in Dairy 2006-2012

Above: The People in Dairy program won a prestigious award for excellence in Extension

Fast Facts


Client: Dairy Australia
Location: National, coordinated from Melbourne
When: 2006-2012

Responsibilities: Design and deliver a new program of work around people management and leadership in the dairy industry

Project description

The need:  People are the key driver of sustained farm business success. In 2005 a national priority-setting process formalized the need for strong farm business culture, better management skills, efficient and adaptable farming systems, and higher satisfaction and retention of people in the industry. All these qualities are a function of how people operate in the space.

What we did:  The People in Dairy was an opportunity for the Harris Park Group to design a vital culture change program for Dairy Australia from ‘the ground up’. The program provided the RD&E leadership for ‘everything relating to people’, articulating a bigger picture of how the various components (such as Human Resource management on farm, regional workforce planning and dairy industry career initiatives) contributed to the program objectives.

Many people were involved in shaping and delivering projects under The People in Dairy umbrella, as described in the full project report. Some major achievements included:

  • Design of an award-winning online resource for farmers and advisers
  • A shift in mindset from people being seen as a valuable resource rather than a cost
  • The design and delivery of a Diploma of Human Resource Management (Dairy) to 120 service providers over 5 years
  • The design and pilot of farmer training – the PeopleGPS
  • Farmers being more confident about their people management skills
  • The People in Dairy winning the 2013 Australasia Pacific Extension Network Award for Excellence.

Transforming the people culture on dairy farms is a long-term prospect. Dairy Australia has continued with this commitment, taking full leadership of the program since 2013.