Dairy farmers are the lifeblood of local communities, giving their time and energy to support everything from agricultural societies to volunteer fire brigades.
Dave Weel wants the Simpson community to stay vibrant for future generations and is doing his bit to make sure that happens.
Dave, 31, has been a mainstay of local football and cricket clubs, serving as player, committee member and president and hopes to notch up his 200th footy game this year.
He’s also part of the Simpson Recreation Reserve Committee, Heytesbury Show cattle committee, has been Holstein Australia western district sub-branch president for the past five years and has joined the revived WestVic Dairy Young Dairy Network leadership team.
His community commitment is not only about helping for the here and now; he has long-term goals in mind.
“I’ve got a 14-month-old daughter and hope to have more kids and that one day they will be in this community as well,” he says. “I want to make sure things are still about when my kids have their time.”
Dave, who share farms with partner Bec Lucas at nearby Kennedy’s Creek, admits he “likes to have my finger on the pulse” and believes that getting involved builds community resilience.
“It’s not just about the sport or event, it’s about local camaraderie and being part of the community; That’s the aspect I like about it,” he says.
The Simpson region bands together in tough times but Dave would like more people, especially younger community members, to join committees.
“I hate when people sit back and whinge but don’t do anything to help anyone,” he says. “I don’t see enough people putting their hand up. It’s hard to balance the time but I’d hate to get to 40 or 50 and think I should have done something like that.”