Our History

Hico Australia was formed when two long standing Victorian Herd Improvement co-operatives merged in March 2008.
Gippsland Herd Improvement Cooperative was formed in 2002 following a merger between three Gippsland based cooperatives, Herd Improvement Co-operative (Maffra) Ltd., South Gippsland Artificial Breeders Co-operative Ltd. and the South Gippsland Herd Improvement Co-operative Ltd.

Each of the individual groups had a long history and strong involvement with farmers in South, Central, East and West Gippsland.

Colac Herd Improvement Cooperative was formed in 1982 following a merger between two Colac based cooperatives, Colac Artificial Breeders Co-Operative Ltd., and Colac Herd Test Co-Operative Ltd. The merging of these two co-operatives brought together a long history of herd improvement in Colac that dated back to the 1950’s.

The merger of Colac and Gippsland created an entity that retains all of the benefits of a locally, farmer owned co-operative while creating a body that is big enough to develop more comprehensive services to all customers as well as undertake more research and development, in our highly technological and skill based industry.

The merging of the co-operatives brings together a long history of herd improvement in Gippsland and Western Victoria that dates back to the 1920’s. The knowledge and experience gained through both the Gippsland and Colac organisations has been retained by the formation of Hico and will continue to benefit the regions and their farmers.

The shareholders are mostly dairy farmers located throughout Gippsland and Western Victoria, and they are represented by a board of five shareholder elected directors and up to two independent directors who meet monthly to set policy and review progress.

The co-operative is committed to assist shareholders maintain their dairy herds profitability while developing herd improvement, productivity, profitability and time and labour saving initiatives.

THE history and fascinating development of the Victorian dairy herd improvement industry, and the people behind it, have been recognised in a comprehensive book The Hico Story. Check it out here!

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