28 October, 2023
Jochinke new head of NFF
A Wimmera grain grower and livestock producer has won the honour of heading the nation's peak farmer organisation. David Jochinke, 46, a third-generation broadacre farmer from Murra Warra north of Horsham, was elected National Farmers' Federation...
A Wimmera grain grower and livestock producer has won the honour of heading the nation's peak farmer organisation.
David Jochinke, 46, a third-generation broadacre farmer from Murra Warra north of Horsham, was elected National Farmers' Federation (NFF) president at the organisation's annual meeting in Canberra on Wednesday.
He warded off challenges from AgForce chief Georgie Somerset of Durong in Queensland and WA Farmers past president Tony York from Tammin to take the top role.
John Hassell of East Pingelly in Western Australia was the sole candidate for the vice-presidency while Hamish McIntyre, a Queensland cotton producer, won a two-way race for a vacant director's spot.
Mr Jochinke replaces Fiona Simson of the Liverpool Plains in NSW, who stood down after seven years in the role, and takes the leadership after six years as vice-president and nine on the board.
Speaking from Canberra immediately after the election, he said he faced a massive responsibility.
"I'm absolutely ecstatic that the NFF directors have given me the great honor of leading farmers in this next period," he said.
"It's a huge responsibility and I take it very seriously."
He said major issues faced by farmers included threats to food production, climate change, environmental laws, water issues, farm workplace issues and cost of production.
Mr Jochinke said these issues would "devour" most of his time.
"I also have an awesome team around the NFF table, and the farmers who have been part of the journey, they're the ones I'm focused on during my presidency."
He started in the new role immediately by chairing an NFF congress session and the launch of a new program, Keep Farmers Farming, which deals with farmer and farming-community issues.
"Out of that campaign I want to put pressure on governments to understand that every decision they make can affect the availability and price of food in Australia and across the world," Mr Jochinke said.
The long-time Victorian Farmers Federation member and former leader of that organisation for more than four years has already accrued a long list of achievements.
He is the owner-manager of family farming business A.V. Jochinke and Co and a former chair of Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership.
While a Nuffield scholar he completed a rural leadership course at Duchy College in the United Kingdom.
He holds a Diploma of Applied Science from Longerenong College, is on the GWMWater board and is a former chair of its water resources committee, and is the Grampians Tourism chair.