Formed in 1995 as the successor to the Herd Improvement Organisation Victoria, The National Herd Improvement Association of Australia Incorporated (NHIA) is the industry organisation that promotes herd improvement within the Australian dairy industry by providing a range of services to its membership, and through that membership, to benefit Australian dairy farmers.
The member base includes organisations involved directly in the provision of herd improvement services, a range of activities that lead to productivity gains to farmers. Some members are also organisations which are suppliers to the herd improvement industry, for example, laboratories, equipment etc
NHIA, which is managed by a Board of Directors
elected by the Members, has a membership spread throughout Australia, with membership reflecting the concentration and distribution of the dairy industry towards the south east corner of Australia.
NHIA's Objectives are:
- Lead the continual development of the Australian Herd Improvement Industry;
- Represent the industry for the benefit of NHIA Members;
- Stimulate high quality exchange of ideas and technology within the HI industry;
- Stimulate higher levels of professionalism within the HI Industry
- Deliver cost effective products and services to the benefit of the members.
In meeting these objectives NHIA undertakes a broad range of activities and programs which may be grouped as follows:
- Communication within and between industries and members via the provision of appropriate forums to assist members exchange ideas, introduce new initiatives and to facilitate input to industry discussions; industry newsletters (InfoNews is the NHIA's periodic newsletter to its membership) and magazines articles etc.
- Conferences and Workshops to assist in the development of new approaches to herd improvement, industry developments etc. Examples of such include the National Workshop on Farm Automation; information sessions regarding research progress such as auto ID and in-line metering; study tours to New Zealand and the United States of America.
- Representation of the industry on representative bodies, advocacy on issues with Government and support on industrial matters through access to employer bodies.
- Training facilitation on a diverse range of matters, both business and technical, examples of the latter being workshops on leptospirosis in the HI industry and training seminars on QA for herd improvement laboratories and weighing stations. More recently, an ongoing Accreditation Program for Professional Inseminators has been introduced.
- Commercial support functions, the principal of which is group/bulk buying arrangements with respect to a wide range of HI inputs and needs, including liquid nitrogen, office supplies and business consumables, including fuel.
- Promotion of herd improvement is undertaken via a range of mechanisms, including magazine articles etc and the management of the Dairy Herd Improvement Industry Code of Practice