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Latest Agricultural News Australia

THERE'S no denying farming can be a demanding job, compounded by financial uncertainties, isolation and weather events.

But what impact do those challenges have on Western Australian farmers and how do they cope?

Curtin University's Micaela Riethmuller is hoping to find out and is asking men and women working in the State's agriculture sector to take part in an online mental health and wellbeing survey.

The online survey is the second part of Ms Riethmuller's longitudinal WA Farmers Mental Health and Wellbeing study, which is being conducted as part of her psychology PhD, under the supervision of Peta Dzidic, Elizabeth Newnham and Peter McEvoy.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Paraway Pastoral is far from the average farm business. Two-thirds the size of Tasmania at 4,481,370 hectares, it spans 27 properties stretching from the Gulf of Carpentaria down to the Grampians in Victoria.

It runs more than 220,00 cattle and 250,000 sheep.

It's run by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, which lays claim to being one of the world's largest agricultural investment managers.

Despite all that, MIRA head of agriculture Liz O'Leary and Paraway Pastoral Company chief executive Harvey Gaynor said the success of the business relied heavily on local station managers.

"We like to have a really capable team of management and staff at each of those stations that has a great understanding of their station as a business ... they know their landscape, business, livestock and community and industry better than we can do from from the central office," Mr Gaynor said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
THE Gatton and Emerald show societies are two of 13 agricultural organisations across Australia which have received funding to promote young farmer challenges.

An initiative of the peak body for the 580 agricultural shows across the nation, Agricultural Shows Australia, the Australian Young Farmer Challenge Regional Grant Program helps shows invest in 'young farmer challenges', a showcase of young people competing in diverse and colourful challenges testing skill, technique, knowledge and safety practices.

Young farmer challenges can involve changing tyres, driving tractors, handling alpacas, identifying cattle breeds, putting out fires, torniqueing faux snakes bites, erecting fences and myriad other farming tasks in teams, against the clock and in front of a crowd.

Agricultural Shows Australia executive officer Katie Stanley said the grant program required successful recipients to outline their plans for a sustainable competition in their local area or across their state.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
The event was opened by the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, and recognised the following outstanding winners:

Kondinin Group and ABC Rural 2020-21 Australian Farmer of the Year
and Award for Excellence in Innovation, sponsored by Telstra: James Brown, Dampier Peninsula, Western Australia.

James Brown, a pearl farmer from Broome WA, is recognised as the 2020-21 Australian Farmer of the Year and winner of the Award for Excellence in Innovation, sponsored by Telstra, for his innovative approach to farming, his support of industry research and development and his dedication to advancing Australian pearls as a premium product around the world.

For the complete article visit the Farming Ahead website.
A drought resilience hub will be established in South Australia to research and improve drought preparedness on local farms.

The SA centre will be one of eight across the country to support the testing and scaling up of new solutions to combat seriously dry conditions.

It brings together 59 grower groups, the three SA-based universities, government agencies, indigenous partners, agribusinesses and industry organisations.

"The partners provide an extensive regional coverage of the state and bring together a diverse range of skillsets, perspectives and resources," University of Adelaide lecturer Rhiannon Schilling said.

For the full story click through to The West Australian website.
A LEADERSHIP program supporting women who are shaping the future of Australian agriculture is searching for its fourth intake.

The National Farmers’ Federation’s (NFF) Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program has a 30-strong alumni, many who have gone on to hold industry board positions and be changemakers within their sectors and communities.

Limestone Coast Landscape Board chair Penny Schulz (2018) and board member Robbie Davis (2019) are past graduates.

NFF president Fiona Simson, the organisation’s first female president in its 42-year history, said the program was transforming gender representation within agriculture.

Read the full story online at The Border Watch website.
Agriculture is one of the most dangerous sectors to work in due to the combination of hazards. These include heavy plant and machinery, chemicals, noise, dust, sun and heat exposure, working with animals as well as the fact many in the industry work alone or in remote locations. Between 2014 and 2018, there were 188 worker fatalities in the agriculture industry, which is 20 per cent of all worker fatalities over the period, with 69pc of fatalities in the sector involving a vehicle including tractors (23pc) and quad bikes (15pc).

Farm safety is of great importance to ensure that farmers, workers and other people on farm are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. The 'Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland' recommended that a new offence of 'gross negligence causing death' (also known as industrial manslaughter) be introduced. The offence was introduced in October 2017 and has the effect of extending corporate criminal responsibility to cases where a company's unwritten rules, policies, work practices or conduct tacitly authorise non-compliance or fail to create a culture of compliance consistent with its responsibilities and duties of care.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
More than a few of us will be glad to see the back of 2020. COVID's impact in terms of loss of life, business closures, lockdowns, social isolation, and border closures cannot be denied.

For agriculture it was largely business as usual, except that the focus on food security and supply was at an all-time high.

AgForce helped achieve many wins for agriculture when it came to COVID: having agriculture declared an essential service; working with government to secure the Agricultural Class Exemption; successfully advocating to digitise the exemption pass; removing doubt and uncertainty around movement of agricultural workers across the Queensland border.

Our wins weren't confined to COVID though, with drought continuing into its ninth year for many we didn't take our eyes off this devastating issue either, successfully delaying the impact of state government drought reform, identifying that drought affected farmers could access JobKeeper, and securing re-funding of the Emergency Water Infrastructure Scheme.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
Australia has often been called the lucky country - and boy if that hasn't been true this year.

Yes, COVID has meant we've had to make some changes, and Victoria endured a period in lockdown longer than any of us would ever want.

And we are mindful of those spending Christmas overseas, in the US, UK, or Europe, with COVID on the rampage and winter about to unleash its full fury.

Back home the restrictions that were in place have eased to the point where it almost feels like COVID is simply something we live with.

For agriculture, in many ways, it was like it never existed. We continued to produce like we always do, putting one foot in front of the other to ensure Australians had plenty of clean, high-quality food throughout the year, and on their dinner tables this Christmas.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
As many farmers emerging from one of the worst droughts on record only to find themselves in an increasingly erratic climate, many of them are paying more attention to regenerative farming techniques.

The term regenerative agriculture means many things, but at its core, regenerative farming aims to increase the number of micro-organisms in the soil, which in turn increases the amount of carbon, water and nutrition of the soil.

Healthy Soils Australia chairman Tom Nicholas said for every extra gram of carbon in the soil, there was an extra eight grams of water.

"Regenerative farming is allowing nature to do its thing," Mr Nicholas said.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
TWO Western Australian scientists with expertise in plant genetics have been selected as part of a national program that aims to give women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) the skills and confidence to step into expert commentary roles in the media.

InterGrain barley breeder Hannah Robinson and The University of Western Australia associate professor Parwinder Kaur join a total of 60 women from around the country in becoming Superstars of STEM.

The application of research and new technologies to improve crop adaptation and production is a key focus of Dr Robinson's work, while Dr Kaur leads an innovative Translational Genomics research program that aims to translate fundamental science into ready-to-use solutions across the agricultural and medical sectors.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Nothing could have forecast the year that has been for our nation and the world. As I cast my mind back to January, the dire situation for the bush was surreal.

The grip of drought was unrelenting. It seemed unfathomable that towns like Stanthorpe and my home centre of Tamworth were on the cusp of completely running out of water.

And, then a bushfire season for the ages, with what will forever be known as our Black Summer. More than 100,000 sheep perished on Kangaroo Island alone. All up it's estimated that 1.25 billion animals were lost. Most tragically, a number of farmers lost their lives.

The compounding nature of the disasters felt biblical. In fact, a plague of locusts did rip through what was left of pastures in parts of western NSW and Queensland.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
Individual grants of between $10 000 and $300 000 will support eligible businesses to meet the costs of adapting their workplaces to meet health, safety and social distancing requirements or adapt to business changes imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Adaptations may include changes to transport used to take employees to and from work to ensure physical distancing, changes to employer-supplied accommodation, or the creation of extra washrooms and other facilities.

“These grants are a practical and tailored way to protect workers and employers by supporting them through what may already be a tough financial situation,” Agriculture and Regional Development Minister Jaclyn Symes said.

Read the full story online at the Riverine Herald website.
The Queensland Government has extended an Australian-first seasonal worker trial program to help Queensland farmers harvest their world-class produce.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Worker Programme (PLS/SWP) trial had been extended until 4 March 2021 in response to seasonal worker shortages.

“Queensland has led the way with an Australian-first trial of on-farm quarantine arrangements for workers from Pacific island nations with the lowest risk of COVID-19 transmission,” Mr Furner said.

“In November the initial group of 151 workers from Tonga became the first seasonal workers to successfully complete on-farm quarantine.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
An all-women team will lead the Victorian Farmers Federation for the time since the lobby group's formation more than 40 years ago.

South Gippsland vegetable and livestock farmer Emma Germano was elected to the top job on Thursday afternoon and Werribee South egg farmer Danyel Cucinotta was voted in as vice-president.

Both leaders say they want to expand the membership of the federation and ensure more diverse voices are heard from within the farming sector.

Ms Germano said her election showed that farmers had chosen progressive and positive leadership and were looking for fresh ideas to take the agriculture industry forward.

"It's really apparent people are looking for positivity and hope for the future," she said. "The organisation has chosen a completely new face for its leadership."

Read the full story online at The Age website.
Students with a passion for regional and rural Australia are being encouraged to apply for Rural Bank’s 2021 Scholarship Program, with applications now open.

The 2021 program will support up to 15 first-time tertiary students looking to pursue studies in agriculture, agribusiness or related fields and who are passionate about making their contribution to the success of Australian agriculture.

For the first time, the program has been expanded to students studying certificate, diploma and associate degree courses, as well as students studying bachelor degrees.

Rural Bank chief executive officer Alexandra Gartmann said the program prioritised students from regional and rural Australia to help them pursue their study goals and career aspirations and remove barriers.

For the full story click through to the Shepparton News website.
Against all the odds stacked against us – drought, floods, bushfires, COVID, and disruptions to international trade – Australian farmers produce world-class food and fibre for the rest of the country and the world to enjoy.

We do it by caring for our two greatest assets (besides our people): our land, and our livestock. To do otherwise undermines everything about farming itself.

We need our land kept in the best condition possible; we need happy, healthy animals to ensure we deliver the best quality produce. It doesn’t work, at least not very well, any other way.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
A Wagga Wagga-based company tackling poor internet and phone connectivity in rural Australia has won a $US500,000 prize in the American food and ag-tech competition, Grow-NY.

Zetifi has developed technology to improve connectivity problems in areas with limited access to broadband and little or no mobile coverage.

Dan Wilson is the tech start-up's founder and was delighted with the big win in a market the company has its sights on.

"Connectivity is not only an issue for rural and regional Australia, it's an enormous challenge for countries around the world including the US," Mr Wilson said.

Read the full story online at the North Queensland Register website.
At AgForce's AGM held last week at Belmont Station near Rockhampton, I said that despite the ongoing drought and other challenges, including COVID, there was no industry I'd rather be working in than agriculture.

That's because of the wonderful opportunity ahead of us.

The chance to get on the front foot and lead our state and our nation on the path to economic recovery post-COVID, and to do it with a recently re-elected government with whom we have recently mended broken bridges.

We are engaging early and positively with the government to ensure it understands what it is we need to enable agriculture to lead us out of the gloom.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
THE uptake of drone technology to improve safety and efficiencies in cattle yards is a relatively new concept, but it is one that is being used by farm equipment supplier Thompson Longhorn.

Thompson Longhorn managing director Byron Wolff first looked at using drones in 2014 to help analyse a series of stockyards for one of his clients and spoke of their expanded use at the Farmsafe Virtual Conference 2020 recently.

"We had to collect a lot of data and observe what was happening with the people and the livestock in a fairly short period of time," Mr Wolff said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
As we celebrate National Agriculture Day and all the good that Aussie farmers do, this is also an opportune time to underline the importance and vital role that the industry plays in the life of our country.

Now in its fourth year, National Ag Day is a day for all of us to recognise the contributions farmers and regional communities make to our economy and social fabric.

Of all the major disruptions the farming sector has navigated over the past few years, none has been like this year. First the lingering effects of a debilitating drought, then the devastating bushfires earlier in the year, and, most recently, the global pandemic.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
To mark National Agriculture Day (Friday, 20 November), Amy Walker, assistant farm manager at Breakfast Creek, a 3300-hectare property south of Boorowa, New South Wales, shares her story about how technology is helping rural women working in agriculture reach their career goals.

Until 1994, Australian women could not legally claim to be ‘farmers’, with the law defining them as domestics, helpmates and farmers’ wives. We’ve come some way since then — now, half of all we eat, the rural workforce and all farm income is produced by women. Yet, just 18% of management roles and 2.3% of CEO positions are held by women in the industry.

Amy grew up having the run of her Hovells Creek home, constructing forts, building campfires and learning to cook in the coals at a young age. Since then, despite the challenges she’d faced being a woman in the industry, she hasn’t looked back. From being bullied at school for her love of agriculture, her nickname being “Aggie Amy”, because she found it more interesting out drenching sheep than getting drunk, through to landing her first job at Breakfast Creek, the road hasn’t been easy.

Read the full story online at the Women Love Tech website.
Amid improved agri conditions, a complicated global market and a pandemic, and in the face of a changing climate, there has never been a more important time to promote leadership in agriculture, according to Syngenta's Paul Luxton, who today announced the 26 regional winners of the 2020 Growth Awards.

The Syngenta Growth Awards recognise leading growers and farm advisers from different regions across Australia and New Zealand, showcasing their contribution to the industry.

Nominations were by invitation and the 26 regional winners will go onto the final stage of judging, with overall winners to be announced early next year.

Mr Luxton is the managing director and country head of Syngenta Australia and New Zealand and said recognising indivudals who were leading the way in agriculture was vital to the future of the sector across the two countries.

Read the full story online at the North Queensland Register website.
Some say it's market forces that drive agriculture forward. Some say it's science. Others still think it's climate, or land prices or technology. But what really drives agriculture forward is people.

Practice change happens in agriculture because growers are interested in learning from each other, sharing what they know, and collaborating in the best interests of the industry.

The Community and People category of the Growth Awards recognises those growers and advisers who make a leading contribution to their community, workers and fellow growers by creating networks, building connections and igniting conversations.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Emma Germano knows first-hand about the image problem with farmers. Strangers often have difficulty believing Ms Germano, who bought her parents’ Mirboo North vegetable and livestock farm in South Gippsland two years ago and grew up on the land, is one herself.

The issue, she says, is the idea that farmers are middle-aged politically-conservative men, far removed from the cosmopolitanism of Australia’s biggest cities.

"I think a lot of farmers are perceived as happy to exploit their land and animals to make a buck," she says. "That’s not the experience I’ve had with farmers at all."

Now Ms Germano wants to help unify the voice of farmers by running for president of the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF). She would be just the second woman to hold the position and is the current vice-president.

For the full story check The Age website.
FOUR Western Australians have been awarded prestigious Nuffield Australia farming scholarships for 2021.

The winners were announced last week and include Friedrich Bolten, Kununurra, Camille Camp, Derby, Kathryn Fleay, Mingenew and Robert Bell, The Plains.

Nuffield's Western Australian committee chairman and 2015 scholar Reece Curwen said the new scholars would research innovative global concepts, techniques and systems that would create positive change in their own businesses, communities and the broader agriculture sector.

Representing a diverse range of agricultural industries and key topic areas, scholars will undertake a global study program using a $30,000 bursary, researching their chosen topic across 14 weeks.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Kempsey farmers and residents will benefit from $1 million being allocated to a range of projects across the shire through the Australian Government's Drought Communities Program.

Infrastructure projects on the cards include improvements to Kempsey regional saleyards, upgrading the Macleay River flood gauges network and standardising the numbering system for rural properties.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said this Drought Communities Program funding would make a difference in the lives of rural people and strengthen the area's resilience to future floods and droughts.

"I'm really excited about the swag of important projects Kempsey Shire Council will deliver through this funding," he said.

Read the full story online at The Macleay Argus website.
Starting the day with a bowl of cereal, or finishing it with a cold beer or glass of wine? Thank a farmer.

During years of drought, farmers have struggled to produce their usual bountiful crops and quality meat products — 2020 has been the turning point.

"I pulled into the paddock the other day and saw the headers and everything going and to be honest I got tingly because I hadn't seen it for so long — it was really just amazing to see," Mungindi grain grower Sam Heagney said.

Mr Heagney is one of many in northern New South Wales harvesting winter crops for the first time since 2016.

He said the excitement spread far from just the farm to the whole district, and he was also sharing the harvest with his children for the first time.

Read the full story online at the ABC News website.
AN impressive 25,000 downloads, more than 70 episodes and more than 20 countries - that's the reach Generation Ag has achieved since launching just one year ago and last Friday night, co-host Kayla Evans was recognised for her passion and dedication to the podcast and agriculture in general.

Ms Evans, who founded the Generation Ag podcast alongside agricultural social media specialist Lavinia Wehr in October last year, won the Elders Agricultural Achievement Award at the 7News Young Achiever Awards WA, recently held at the Hyatt Regency.

She is committed to uniting primary industries and started the podcast to celebrate stories of people working in all areas of agriculture, with a focus on the next generation.

Ms Evans said that leading up to the event, she was incredibly nervous which is very uncharacteristic for her.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
From this Sunday, Australians can access up to $6000 in cash if they head bush for farm work.

The assistance is part of new government incentives for Australians to fill agriculture’s worker shortage, which also include the potential for young Australians to fast-track their access to Youth Allowance.

With the peak harvest and picking season underway, farmers are struggling to find the people power they need to get their fruit and vegetables off the vine and their grain in the silo. The horticulture sector alone is forecast to have a worker deficit of 26,000 come March.

National Farmers’ Federation Chief Executive Tony Mahar said there had never been a better time for Australians to explore the regions.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
When a 2018 national survey found that 93 per cent of women working in agriculture have been sexually harassed in some form, a number of initiatives were launched to do something about it.

Now in Tasmania, Rural Business Tasmania in partnership with Tasmanian Women in Agriculture (TWiA) has issued a response: this week officially launching a series of practical guidance tools specifically focused on rural workplaces in order to help prevent, respond and reduce sexual harassment and other forms of bullying harming rural workers.

The Tasmanian initiative also follows 2019 research by TWiA that found three in four respondents in their state have been sexual harassed in some form. It raised concerns about an culture of male dominace and isolation in Australia’s rural sector which can increase risks of harassment and bullying, particularly for women.

Read the full story online at the Women's Agenda website.
BALANCING work and family life is no easy task.

It's one of the key barriers that have prevented women from pursuing their career dreams as traditionally they have been moulded to be a homemaker and raise children.

But Tanya Rybarczyk has found a way to do both so that she feels equally fulfilled.

As well as being a wife and mother of two children under nine-years-old, she heads up one of WA's biggest fertiliser companies, as CSBP Fertilisers' general manager, which is part of Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers (WesCEF).

While Tanya admitted that finding the right balance hasn't always been easy, she said having a supportive network around her was essential.

"I couldn't have done it without my husband's support, as well as having a flexible and supportive employer and team," Tanya said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Craig and Renee Neale see flour milling as a family affair.

More than 40 years ago, their family-owned and certified organic flour mill, Wholegrain Milling, was born out of a desire to find more healthy, nutritious, and chemical-free food.

“The business was started primarily by my mother 43 years ago, predominantly from her desire to find food with far less symptoms of allergy in what she was eating, because she was suffering from the effects of chemicals in food,” Craig said.

“So, she was quite ahead of her time. We started experimenting with chemical-free food way back in the late 70s, which was unusual back then.”

Wholegrain Milling’s headquarters are in Gunnedah; the centre of one of Australia’s richest agricultural regions – the highly productive Liverpool Plains. Agriculture is currently leading the way in Gunnedah Shire, with the sector representing more than $1.76 billion in economic value per annum. This season the area will come alive with golden wheat fields across the plains, much to the growers’ delight.

Read the full story online at the Manufacturers’ Monthly website.
Freedom shares still suspended

Troubled dairy, cereals and snacks producer Freedom Foods has again extended its self-imposed suspension from trading on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Freedom suspended its shares from trading in June, then again in July, initially until the end of October.

This week the company announced they would not begin trading until November 30.

It has also postponed its November annual general meeting until a later date, yet to be set.

Company secretary Scott Standen said the business continued to work through its finalisation of accounts for the past financial year and a recapitalisation plan and would need the extra time to nail down its capitalisation agenda.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
THE third round of the State government Digital Farm Grants are open.

The funding is available for three high priority areas across the central, south-east and Esperance parts of WA's grainbelt region.

In the first two rounds, $7 million was granted to six recipients, to assist them in rolling out broadband services to more than 1400 farm businesses across 65,000 square kilometres - from the Kimberley to the Great Southern.

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the program helped deliver high-speed broadband across the grainbelt, helping farmers to stay competitive in the marketplace.

"Access to high-speed broadband is essential for today's farmers and growers to access smart farming technologies and compete globally," Ms MacTiernan said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Droving cattle in 30-plus degree temperatures, every day for three months at a time, is far from an easy day's work, but there's an increasing number of people seeking employment in the profession.

COVID-19 has increased demand for employment, but that is not the only change the male-dominated industry is seeing.

Boss drover Bill Little said not only were more women doing the job sometimes they were better at it.

"At that younger age, girls seem to be able to settle better than boys. Boys think about partying too much," Mr Little said.

"Not always, but girls are inclined to be a little bit cleaner and tidier and look after the animals more than the boys [and] they're not as bad-tempered."

Read the full story online at the ABC News website.
The Chair of AgriFutures Australia, Kay Hull, has welcomed the appointments, made by Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud.

The five directors are Andrew Harris (New South Wales), Cindy Cassidy (New South Wales), Diana Gibbs (New South Wales), Daniel Le Feuvre (South Australia) and Emma Robinson (Queensland).

William Ryan (Western Australia) was re-appointed as AgriFutures Australia non-executive board director and Kay Hull continues as Chair.

John Harvey, AgriFutures Australia's managing director also continues as the sole executive board director.

"I warmly welcome our newly appointed board directors to the committed team at AgriFutures Australia. Together we will continue the efforts to return greater benefits and financial returns to our levy payers, industries and the entire nation," Hull said.

Read the full story online at the Farming Ahead website.
On the eve of World Mental Health Day, on October 10, Nutrien Ag Solutions managing director Rob Clayton is highlighting the hidden challenges facing many rural communities.

Eight Australians die every day by suicide - more than double the national road toll.

People in rural areas are twice as likely to die by suicide, according to statistics from Lifeline Australia.

Nutrien has committed $390,000 over three years to support Lifeline, Australia's largest suicide prevention service, backing its mission to prevent suicide and provide crisis support.

"We hope our support of Lifeline will help those who need it most feel they can have a conversation with someone who will listen to them and provide support," Mr Clayton said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
THE government is using every social lever it can to encourage young Australians to take up seasonal work, as it attempts to tackle the ag industry's labour shortfall.

Peak harvest season is just around the corner and many sectors are desperate for workers with a lack of the traditionally relied upon backpackers and international workers due to border closures.

The government announced $17.4 million to help Aussies relocate to take up seasonal work, with individuals able to apply for $6000 grants.

That will be paired with tweaks to youth social benefits, which will allow young people who choose to work on farms faster access to Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the suite of measures dealt with the reality of the situation - that many people on unemployment benefits have family commitments thousands of kilometres away from short-term ag jobs.

Read the full story online at the North Queensland Register website.
The Australian Government could introduce an amnesty for illegal workers to come forward without fear of being deported, with Agriculture Minister David Littleproud saying a decision on the idea could be made within weeks.

Mr Littleproud said the Government had discussed an amnesty for foreigners that do not have work permits, as a potential initiative to help address a farm worker shortage.

"There's been ongoing [discussions], in fact the Immigration Minister, the Home Affairs Minister, myself and even the Workforce Minister have been working through these issues, and that takes time to make sure we've got the right intelligence," he said.

Read the full story online at the ABC News website.
Farmers are being warned that poorly maintained tripod tanks are a serious health and safety risk to fuel users.

The safety alert from the Fuel Distributors Industry Safety Committee and WorkSafe New Zealand follows a recent incident where a fuel tanker driver was seriously injured on a farm where a tripod overhead tank collapsed while he was filling it.

The root cause of the collapse was significant rust corrosion on one of the tank legs. Farm implements close to the tank also contributed to the driver’s injuries.

“No farmer wants to be responsible for an incident like this happening on their farm,” says Al McCone, WorkSafe Agriculture Lead.

“On the farm, farmers are responsible for keeping themselves, their workers and other people safe and healthy. This includes making sure tanks on the farm are safe and won’t cause an incident involving harm to themselves, workers or others.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
The NSW Government has committed $15 million to upskill primary producers across plant-based sectors of the agricultural industry.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said AgSkilled 2.0 expanded on the success of the original program in driving the productivity, profitability and competitiveness of NSW agriculture through training and upskilling.

“AgSkilled 2.0 will continue to 30 June 2023 and has expanded the opportunity for training to a much greater range of plant-growing primary producers,” Mr Lee said.

“This expanded AgSkilled program will offer training across the key agricultural industry sectors of production horticulture, viticulture and rice growing in addition to the cotton and grains production covered in the original program.”

The original program delivered training to 5,227 people, over 849 courses across 189 locations to support cotton and grains farmers in regional NSW.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
Another week, another horror story from an attractive young girl about being harassed in the agricultural industry while trying to complete the 88 days required to get a visa extension.

It's not a new story and plenty of women in the agricultural industry can report similar - if not worse - harassment and exploitation at different times throughout their career.

What this recent story has highlighted, however, is that there are a lot of issues with the labour market in agriculture and especially in horticulture - where the seasonal, transient and short-lived nature of the work does not lend itself to a stable, professional workforce.

It seems to be an ideal fit for young, enthusiastic travelers who want to earn a few dollars and travel around the country.

They enjoy the company of other young people and are fit enough to carry out the physically demanding tasks of fruit picking and vegetable harvesting.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
WHILE COVID-19 has brought challenges to the agricultural industry, it's clear that the sector has remained relatively unscathed compared to others that have ground to a halt.

Investors have been watching the agricultural sector closely and its resilience has further cemented their beliefs that the industry is a profitable asset class with longevity.

Farm Weekly spoke to some investors, both Australian and overseas-based companies that operate in WA, on how COVID-19 has affected their business in the past few months and going forward.

COVID-19 might lead to farm business profits:

Westchester Group Australia chief executive officer Matt Bull said the pandemic has highlighted the notion that agriculture is an essential industry and by being more appreciated, should eventually lead to more capital growth in the sector.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says a new US Government study has concluded operator protection devices, or roll bars, on quad bikes may significantly reduce rider injuries and deaths.

The study, which was commissioned by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), used a number of quad bike models and a test dummy to test the effectiveness of operator protection devices (OPDs) in rollover accidents at low and moderate speeds.

Since 2011, 149 people have died from quad bike related accidents in Australia, 23 of whom have been children, the ACCC said.

The report comes ahead of the Federal Government's quad bike safety standard becoming mandatory next month under which all new and second hand imported general use quad bikes sold must have a test tag attached indicating the angle at which they will rollover and from October next year must have an OPD fitted.

Read the full story online at the Farm Online National website.
With seasonal conditions much more favourable across large areas of NSW, many farmers are considering their grain storage and management options for their crops.

"The time is right for producers to think now about the long term and consider on-farm storage for future benefit in drier seasons," said Local Land Services Agriculture team leader, Neroli Brennan.

"Feed supplies were depleted during recent dry times and we know drought will come again one day, so it makes sense to prepare for the next one," Brennan said.

"On-farm grain storage is an option to consider, but it is not always easy to do and there can be problems such as if it gets too hot and too moist, the grain quality can be diminished," she said.

"We learnt from the last drought that properly prepared on-farm grain storage whether that be in top-of-the-line silos or pits underground, can help farmers survive the toughest of times."

For the full story click through to the Farming Ahead website.
JOHN Deere has announced several updates and additions to its 7R and 8R tractors for the 2021 model year.

New to the 7R Series line-up is the 7R 350, with a 257 kiloWatts (350 horsepower)-rated engine representing a 20 horsepower increase over the largest MY20 7R Tractor and a base weight of about 11,200 kilograms.

This means the 7R 350 delivers the best power to weight ratio of any John Deere tractor on offer.

It comes standard with Triple Link Suspension and Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT) and can be ordered with CommandPRO controls for precise speed control and easy implement hook-ups.

John Deere tactical marketing segment manager Marko Koelln said the new 7R 350 provided the ideal choice for jobs that require both power and mobility.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.

JOHN Deere has announced several updates and additions to its 7R and 8R tractors for the 2021 model year.

New to the 7R Series line-up is the 7R 350, with a 257 kiloWatts (350 horsepower)-rated engine representing a 20 horsepower increase over the largest MY20 7R Tractor and a base weight of about 11,200 kilograms.

This means the 7R 350 delivers the best power to weight ratio of any John Deere tractor on offer.

It comes standard with Triple Link Suspension and Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT) and can be ordered with CommandPRO controls for precise speed control and easy implement hook-ups.

John Deere tactical marketing segment manager Marko Koelln said the new 7R 350 provided the ideal choice for jobs that require both power and mobility.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Women now account for 50.4 per cent of the positions on government boards in agriculture, fisheries and forestry-related fields, Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has said.

The achievement comes as Frances-Anne Keeler (pictured above) steps into her new role as director of Wine Australia.

While the step is undoubtedly a boon for gender equality in the traditionally male-dominated sector – there is still “a long way to go” when it comes to achieving similar numbers of female leaders in the private agricultural sector.

Littleproud says that achieving this 50/50 split in male and female director roles has been a long term goal of his.

He also thanked the previous Agriculture Minister, Bridget McKenzie, for her work on achieving gender parity.

Read the full story online at the Women's Agenda website.
International Centre of Crop and Digital Agriculture will assure world-class research at our Narrabri campus for global food security and agribusiness support for the 21st century.

Digital agriculture, heat-tolerant crops and robotic farming are to be given a big boost with the announcement today of the multimillion-dollar International Centre of Crop and Digital Farming.

The new $12 million centre will be based at the 2000-hectare University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute, just north of Narrabri in central-west NSW.

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence said: “Global food security and the future of agriculture in NSW and Australia rely on the sort of research done by our scientists in Narrabri. This investment from the NSW Government and industry will ensure our 60-year tradition of world-class research will continue through the century.”

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro announced $9.45 million in state government funding to support the new centre on site in Narrabri. The University of Sydney with the Wheat Research Foundation is investing $1.5 million and the Grains Research Development Corporation will contribute $1 million.

For more information check the University of Sidney website.
While Australia's coronavirus pandemic problems push national unemployment numbers above 1 million, the rural sector is frantically trying to fill job vacancies across a wide spectrum of trades and professions.

Not only are farmers worried about finding enough seasonal labour to fill harvest roles in the horticulture and grain sectors this summer, a host of mainstream positions, from mechanics to distribution and financial management jobs, remain in hot demand in many country towns.

The pay rates are also generally remarkably attractive according to job recruiting specialists.

In fact, recruiters are surprised more applicants from metropolitan areas have not taken advantage of regional vacancies and the chance to escape locked up city living.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
MORE than 130 young farmers turned out last week to learn from on-farm visits, more than treble the number South East Premium Wheat Growers' Association (SEPWA) organisers had hoped for.

SEPWA Youth in Ag Group (YAG) president Brett South, Beaumont, said young farmers came from as far afield as the Stirling Ranges and east of Ravensthorpe and from Lake Grace and Newdegate in the north.

A bus provided for the day was booked out and many shared cars or drove themselves.

"The ages ranged from 18 to about 35," Mr South said.

"I'd been hoping to get maybe 30 or 40 young people along, but we got more than 130 which is really great.

"If they're representative of the next generation taking over ag, then agriculture's in good hands.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
THE isolation of growing up on his family's sheep and cattle station, Minderoo, in the Pilbara enabled billionaire businessman Andrew Forrest to dream big as a child. However it is unlikely even his own childhood dreams could have matched the business empire and life he has since created.

Mr Forrest's successful business ventures in a broad range of industries, including mining, agriculture, property, hospitality and sports and entertainment, continue to fund perhaps one of his biggest passions, giving to the community.

Setting up the Minderoo Foundation with wife Nicola in 2001, the philanthropic organisation has committed $2 billion to a range of global initiatives.

Farm Weekly journalist BREE SWIFT asked Mr Forrest about the experiences that have shaped his path, his biggest achievements and his hopes for the future of mining and agriculture - two industries that continue to drive the economic prosperity of our State.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Women in Agriculture and Business (WAB) of South Australia Inc was formed 103 years ago to give support, inform and educate rural women, and to lobby support for the industry of agriculture.

On August 9, the organisation proved that is still adhering to it's aims and ambitions for members today, when its annual state meeting and election of office bearers was held on Zoom.

With almost all branches connected, state president Narelle Scott conducted the meeting, creating history for the organisation, which is the oldest rural women's organisation in South Australia.

Narelle was re-elected state president, with Sandra Young assuming the role as treasurer.

Read the full story online at the Border Chronicle website.
A PASSION for genetics has taken one young crop scientist around the world, from growing up in England, to university in New Zealand and finally landing a job within agriculture in Australia.

Toby Newman grew up in a town in Yorkshire and always had a passion for science throughout school, but was never exposed to much agricultural work.

After completing undergraduate and honours studies in biology at the University of Manchester, he went on to study his masters in plant genetics and crop improvement in the United Kingdom before heading to New Zealand for a PhD.

After two years Dr Newman turned nomad again, travelling to Korea to see out the third year of his PhD and reconnecting with a supervisor who had moved there.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
FARMERS are an innovative lot.

Across the length and breadth of our nation there are examples of the entrepreneurial spirit within agriculture, whether it be pulse growers value adding their product by marketing direct to the consumer or growers getting into new crops such as ginger.

To assist with these projects and make dreams reality, the next round of the Farmers2Founders (F2F) Ideas Program is open.

The deadline for the program is fast approaching, with applications closing on August 21 and the program kicking off mid-September.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
Australia's winter crop production prospects have received a massive boost as the heavens finally opened across a significant portion of the continent's farming districts in the past 10 days.

Several frontal systems rolled over the nation, delivering much-needed moisture to many crops that were starting to feel thirsty after receiving below average rainfall in June and July.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has been forecasting a wetter than average August for most of the southern half of the country - and the rain during the past week and a half has been a very welcome affirmation of that sentiment.

Read the full story online at the North Queensland Register website.
Two South Australian farming brothers use data to drive all their important cropping decisions - even the extremely tough ones.

Last winter Scott Clark, who farms with his brother, Luke, decided to cut a substantial proportion of what should have been a high-quality grain crop for hay after a period of relentless frosts.

It was a far from ideal result for a grains enterprise but one which allowed losses to be minimised under challenging conditions and to set a strong foundation for what was forecast to be a more fruitful season in 2020.

Mr Clark said while the bite of harsh weather can never be fully avoided in farming, having as much data as possible on hand does help to inform decisions that can soften financial impacts.

"We call it a running growth margin," Mr Clark said.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
Farm businesses will remain reliant on overseas workers to fill labour-intensive jobs despite the soaring unemployment rate, forecast to reach 9.25 per cent by the end of the year, the agriculture lobby says.

Agricultural industries are highly reliant on unskilled migrant labour, particularly backpackers employed under the Working Holiday Maker visa that supply between 20 and 60 per cent of the industry's workforce, depending on the commodity type.

National Farmers Federation workplace relations advisor Ben Rogers told a parliamentary inquiry into the working holiday maker program on Monday that the peak farm lobby group was encouraging the federal government to develop new programs to encourage unemployed Australians into farm work.

Read the full story online at The Sydney Morning Herald website.
The search is once again on for talented young individuals from the Australian and New Zealand agricultural sectors, with registrations opening today for the 2021 Zanda McDonald Award.

Now in its seventh year, the award recognises those who are passionate about agriculture, wanting to make a difference in their sector, and looking to take their career to the next level.

There's an impressive prize package up for grabs, that will put the winner in the passenger seat with some of the biggest and best agriculture operators across both countries, through the Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) network.

The prize includes a fully personalised mentoring trip in Australia and New Zealand, $10,000 worth of tailored education or training, media coaching, and an all-expenses paid trip to the 2021 PPP Conference.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Social media is a powerful tool farmers can use to grow their businesses, connect with urban consumers, advocate for agriculture, and foster online communities.

Yet it remains underutilised in agriculture.

To empower farmers to harness social media, the WestVic Dairy Young Dairy Network has lined up two panel discussions with farmers who have mastered the platforms and want to share what they've learnt from years of trial and error.

"Each of our six amazing panellists has a unique approach to social media and years of experience to back them up," WestVic Dairy's Young Dairy Network coordinator, Heather Smillie said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Online National website.
This week is National Farm Safety Week, which aims to raise awareness of farm safety issues across Australia. It's a particularly relevant topic as agriculture is one of the most dangerous sectors to work in due to the combination of hazards, including plant, chemicals, noise, dust, sun exposure, working with animals as well as the fact many in the industry work alone or in remote locations. Between 2014 and 2018, there were 188 worker fatalities in the agriculture industry, which is 20 per cent of all worker fatalities over the period. With 69pc of fatalities in the sector involving a vehicle including tractors (23pc) and quad bikes (15pc).

While it is important to acknowledge the hazards the sector presents, it is also important to recognise that improvements have been and continue to be made, from the federal government mandating the installation of operator protection devices on quad bikes to an industry initiative to remove unwanted hazardous chemicals from farm. Additionally, one of the most avoidable and highest safety risks in the Queensland agriculture sector is accidental contact with powerlines. Ergon and Energex have created a free mapping application to help farmers formulate a safety plan to ensure work is performed safely near powerlines while Rotamarkers increase the visibility of powerlines during aerial applications, and planting and harvesting operations have been made easier to install and more affordable.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
The Victorian Government is inviting women from country Victoria to build their leadership skills, with the 2021 Victorian Rural Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program now open.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes is encouraging rural Victorian women involved in agriculture or the agricultural supply chain to apply for this year’s intake, with 14 funded places on established leadership courses starting later this year and early in 2021.

The Government has provided $500,000 funding to the Victorian Rural Women’s Network to support the program, which has so far provided 24 rural women with professional leadership training.

The Leadership Program partners with four established leadership training providers delivering highly regarded programs suitable for emerging and experienced leaders.

Applications are now open for funded places on the 2020 Women’s Leadership Program as well as for the 2021 intake of The Observership Program and Williamson Leadership Program.

For the full press release check the Premier of Victoria website.
Farmsafe Australia has been revitalised by a $1.9 million federal grant which will allow it to become a much bigger player in the battle to cut farm deaths and injuries.

And one of the first fights on its list is ensuring new safety regulations on quad bikes including the fitting of operator protection devices aren't diluted by the present pushback from some farmers, dealers and major manufacturers.

Farmsafe Australia chairman Charles Armstrong, a grazier from Nyngan in Central West NSW, said rollover devices on tractors had cut deaths by 70 per cent and he expected a similar result with mandatory ROPS on quad bikes,

He said the money would allow the reshaping of the organisation into one which would be self funded at the end of the three-year grant period.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
"How much support should be provided to agriculture?", is generally the wrong question asked at the wrong time - usually in the midst of highly emotive crisis linked to drought, flood or fire.

A much better question is "why should a government provide support to agriculture?".

From this question a real debate can flow, none of which is more important than that around "what do you want agriculture to do?". Only then should we start to quantify how much support might be appropriate.

For context it is important to note that the national agricultural enterprise encompasses a complex and extensive supply chain.

Conversations about agriculture should not be misconstrued as conversations just about farmers.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Last week we learned woody vegetation in New South Wales is being cleared at more than double the rate of the previous decade – and agriculture was responsible for more than half the destruction.

Farming now covers 58% of Australia, or 385 million hectares, and accounts for 59% of water extracted.

It’s painfully clear nature is buckling under the weight of farming’s demands. In the past decade, the federal government has listed ten ecological communities as endangered, or critically endangered, as a result of farming development and practices.

So how can we accommodate the needs of both farming and nature? Research shows us how – but it means accepting land as a finite resource, and operating within its limits. In doing so, farmers will also reap benefits.

For more information check the Australian National University website.
Good news WA, and especially those who love a day out at slideshow alley - the Perth Royal Show will go ahead this year.

The show will look a little different than usual, but will have as much agriculture, entertainment, displays, animals, food and fireworks as ever.

In an effort to assist the Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia with recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, the state government has provided $2.1 million to support this year's show.

The one-off funding support measure includes a $450,000 grant from Lottery west and a 25 per cent reduction in ticket prices for family and adult entry.

Read the full story online at the Mandurah Mail website.
Newly appointed RRR Network chief executive officer Kendall Galbraith said when pandemic restrictions were enforced, the year ahead was looking potentially devastating for her organisation.

"We rely heavily on the revenue generated from face-to-face activities such as events, research and training and with all of that quickly regressing, it was a downhill trajectory that we simply could not afford," Ms Galbraith said.

In response to the pandemic the organisation closed its commercial office space in the Perth CBD, supporting staff to work from home instead and their team halved in size.

With very little resources they quickly adapted to transitioning events online, such as webinars, podcasts and writing regular blog stories of RRR women.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Producers have many types of capital they're constantly juggling to optimise on-farm results. From finances to soil and water - this balancing act is critical to efficiently growing high-quality food and fibre.

However, spend some time talking to Riverina district producer, Peter Tuohey, and it soon becomes clear one of his greatest priorities is the capital of people.

Investing in relationships and building shared responsibility have helped Peter and his wife, Caroline, build a productive irrigated cropping and agricultural contracting business over the past 25 years.

"We have a great team of good people," Peter said.

"We can't be here all the time and we can't make all the decisions on our own, so we need well-trained and confident employees and the support of service providers.

Read the full story online at the Farm Online National website.
More regional areas across Australia will benefit from the expansion of Harvest Trail Services into all major horticulture regions across the country.

Minister for Employment, Skills and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the expansion of the Harvest Trail service into 16 regions will ensure major horticulture areas have access to the workers they need.

“Employer demand for Harvest Labour Services is strong with more than 23,000 placements achieved in 2019-2020,” Minister Cash said.

“Harvest Trail Services play a critical role ensuring Australian growers are able to access the labour supply they need to meet spikes in seasonal demand,” Minister Cash said.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
HAVING spent a fair chunk of his career in the Kimberley and worked in the private, not for profit and public sectors, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development director general Ralph Addis said his previous experiences helped shape his views on regional communities, indigenous issues and the State's agricultural sector.

Mr Addis spoke to Farm Weekly journalist BREE SWIFT about the curveballs life has thrown him and his ambitions for the future of the department.

Question: How many people are employed by DPIRD and how is DPIRD delivering for the sector?

Answer: In total we have about 1700 people and about 1600 full-time equivalent (FTE) spread out across the State.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Applications for the 2021 Nuffield Scholarship program are now open and farmers wanting to make positive change in their own businesses, communities and the broader agriculture sector will have the chance to do just that.

Each scholarship is valued at $30,000, and with 20 on offer in 2021, the application period will run until Friday, September 11, 2020. Interviews will take place across September and October.

Nuffield Australia CEO and 2013 Scholar Jodie Redcliffe said that although the impact of COVID-19 has led to differences in the 2021 scholarship program, it continues to present an un-rivalled opportunity for emerging change-makers in the industry.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
A new partnership between the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Geoscience Australia is improving the way satellite data is used to produce information about agriculture while reducing the survey reporting requirements for farmers and the agriculture industry.

ABS Head of Industry Statistics, John Shepherd, said: “Geoscience Australia’s satellite images are a rich source of information. When this is integrated with the ABS’s de-identified data from the Agricultural Census and the Rural Environment and Agricultural Commodities Survey, more accurate statistical data on Australia’s agriculture and environment can be obtained.

“By sharing ABS agricultural data with Geoscience Australia’s Digital Earth Australia, we can create better and more up-to-date maps of crops and land cover to enhance statistical information on agriculture and the environment. This will allow more effective assessment and response to natural disasters like fires, floods and cyclones.”

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
Worker shortages are looming for the horticulture sector, with concerns Australian farmers could struggle to fill jobs this coming summer, leaving fruit to rot on trees and in paddocks.

The $14.4 billion industry relies heavily on seasonal workers from the Pacific Islands and Timor Leste, as well as tens of thousands of backpackers on working holiday visas.

But with the nation's borders closed to all but Australian citizens, farmers across northern Australia are worried there will not be enough experienced labour to pick their crops in the coming the summer months.

Marie Piccone is the owner and managing director of one of Australia's largest mango producers, Manbulloo Limited.

For the full story click through to the ABC website.
The Supporting Agricultural Shows program will provide a one-off reimbursement to agricultural show societies to deal with cash flow pressures caused by COVID-19 related cancellation of agricultural shows.

Eligible reimbursement costs are expected to include bank fees, utilities, rates, insurance, fire alarms and equipment, cleaning supplies, telecommunications, IT system licencing costs, website costs, state/national show body affiliation fees and rent.

ASA chair Rob Wilson said the funding was much needed and will ensure agricultural and royal shows can continue after the pandemic.

Agricultural shows have been a mainstay of rural Australia for decades. They engage in activities to promote, celebrate and support regional areas and are one of the most effective ways to educate the public about agriculture and food production.

For the full story click through to the Farming Ahead website.
Amid the many global market challenges caused by coronavirus, big cuts to air freight services may actually trigger new, and potentially cheaper, freight breakthroughs for exporters.

With air cargo space harder to secure and expensive, farm sector exporters are taking a fresh look at refrigerated sea freight, and like what they are discovering.

By using new supply chain temperature monitoring technology, exporters and their customers have found chilled meat and horticultural products arrive in foreign supermarkets just as tasty and safe as ever, despite the longer travel times.

University of Tasmania research and data logging trials supported by Meat and Livestock Australia and meat processors have also helped convince authorities in the Middle East to extend the shelf life limits on chilled beef from 70 days to 120, and chilled lamb to 90 days.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
WITH just 63 kilometres of the 660km Esperance extension of the State Barrier Fence built local sheep producer Scott Pickering, Cascade, is encouraging organisers to "speed things up" to protect vulnerable and valuable livestock and crops from vermin in the region.

Mr Pickering said what they had built to date had "already made a difference" for farmers in the region with a reduction in kangaroos and emus seen on farms.

He said about 80 sheep had been attacked by wild dogs at Salmon Gums in the past two months which was a cause of concern and prompted him to say that completing the fence needed to be a priority.

"We need to speed things up and get it happening," Mr Pickering said.

While 63km of the extension had been built he said the rest of the projects had "gone to public tender".

"We are hoping that they get started again in September," Mr Pickering said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
For generations, the fertile soils of Australia's farmland have been responsible growing some of the world's greatest food and fibres.

But these paddocks have also produced some wonderful young people, who are now stepping up as the industry's newest generation of farmers and agronomists.

If a field day doesn't make it clear that Australia's agricultural workforce is getting younger, then a recently-released snapshot from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences certainly does, highlighting that the proportion of under 35-year-olds working in the industry is on the rise.

One of the newest faces looking to make her mark in the sector is Pacific Seeds seed production agronomist Renee Wildman, who said she's always been set on a career in agriculture.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
DRIVEN by her passion for agriculture Jessie Davis (Dixon) returned to the family farm, Fairview Farm, where she helps run their sheep and cropping enterprise at Narembeen with her parents Murray and Vicki Dixon.

The Dixon family acquired the farm in the 1930s, with Jessie becoming the fourth generation to work the property.

After graduating from Muresk in 2010 with an Agribusiness degree she went on to work for Agworld in sales and support, before heading to Katanning where she was involved in the development of the Multicultural and Aboriginal Engagement and Enhancement SuperTowns projects.

In 2014, having experienced life away from the farm Jessie decided to return home to be a farmer.

"I was excited about the prospects of working with family and on the land," Jessie said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
GOVERNMENT is determined to ensure any regulation imposed on the agriculture sector is as easily worked through as possible according to federal agriculture minister David Littleproud.

"We are looking at the modernisation of regulation and the question I have for everyone is how do I get the hell out of people's lives while giving them the parameters in which to work," Mr Littleproud said during a Rural Press Club of Victoria webinar last week.

He said he saw technology being an increasingly important tool in allowing those in agriculture to cut down on time consuming, but necessary compliance that allowed Australia its competitive advantage in terms of its quality agricultural produce.

"I have to give AMIC (the Australian Meat Industry Council) a shout-out, the leadership there is looking at technology and how it works in the meat processing sector.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
MORE than 80 full-time equivalent jobs benefitting the agriculture industry will be created in regional Victoria, backed with funding from the Victorian Government.

Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaclyn Symes announced funding from the Agriculture Workforce Plan would be put towards job creation projects for five Catchment Management Authorities across Victoria.

“Job creation is crucial to keeping the Victorian economy moving as we gradually ease coronavirus restrictions, and we know how important it is to keep those jobs in regional Victoria,” she said.

“We have funded fantastic projects across the state that will benefit several agricultural industries and help communities with land management, pest control and recovery from bushfire and drought.”

For the full story click through to the Shepparton News website.
An initial assessment of the first positive case in Queensland of a farm worker with COVID-19 suggests that the processes put in place to manage risks have worked.

The business involved has developed and submitted their own health management plan to authorities, outlining the measures they've put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 coming onto farm, and manage risks to their business should a case be confirmed.

The business, as an employer of seasonal workers, also appears to have followed its obligations for conducting a daily check of workers' symptoms.

It is being reported the worker was referred for testing on the first day on farm with symptoms.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
AN exclusive program has been established to build the professional skills of the next generation of agriculture students.

The Ag4U Career Pipeline Program is designed for final year university students studying an agricultural-related degree in Western Australia, who are seeking an opportunity to hone their professional skills before starting a career in the industry.

The online program has been developed by agricultural consultant and industry stalwart Erin Gorter and will see successful applicants participate in the industry-recognised program starting this year and delivered for years to come.

The program is open to the more than 165 final year students studying ag-related degrees at WA universities, including fishing, livestock, forestry, broadacre/grains, apiary, horticulture or viticulture.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Much to the surprise of many, family farming enterprises are qualifying for the federal government's JobKeeper payment scheme - in droves.

Even mum and dad partnerships which normally do not employ help on the farm have discovered one of the two partners is actually eligible for the $1500 fortnightly payment as part of Canberra's economic stimulus response to the coronavirus emergency.

Although various agricultural markets including wool, cotton and wine slumped as the pandemic hit, in many cases farmers were quite unaware their businesses could claim JobKeeper because they were focused on recently improved seasonal conditions and working flat out to make the most of that opportunity.

Or some continued struggling with drought.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
THE Business Adaptation grants program from the Victorian Government is set to help Campaspe farmers and food production businesses maintain workplace safety and supply chains.

Individual grants of between $10 000 and $300 000 will support eligible businesses to meet the costs of adapting their workplaces to meet health, safety and social distancing requirements or adapt to business changes imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Adaptations may include changes to transport used to take employees to and from work to ensure physical distancing, changes to employer-supplied accommodation, or the creation of extra washrooms and other facilities.

“These grants are a practical and tailored way to protect workers and employers by supporting them through what may already be a tough financial situation,” Agriculture and Regional Development Minister Jaclyn Symes said.

Read the full story online at the Deniliquin Pastoral Times website.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said the extension will allow stakeholders sufficient time to contribute to the strategy, and mean stakeholders and government will be in a better position to engage with the strategy when it is delivered.

“The Australian Government has engaged strongly with state and territory governments and industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to help ensure farm businesses have the workforce they need and to keep paths to market for agricultural produce open,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Nevertheless, there is uncertainty about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural supply chains and the expected supply and demand for labour into the future.

“It is important to extend the delivery date and submission period so the strategy can include contributions and observations made by industry on the impact of COVID-19 on the availability of labour.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
WAFARMERS has received $746,280 from the Federal government's Kids to Farms program.

The $5 million program was announced in May last year to Showcase Agriculture: Our Heritage, Our Future.

It aims to build a strong economy by ensuring better education for the next generations, about where their food and fibre come from.

The program is a targeted competitive grant program, providing grants to State farming organisations, to sponsor primary school visits to farms and other primary production worksites, to learn about agriculture production, sustainability practices and land stewardship.

The three-year grant will conclude on June 30, 2022.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
STORIES of successful, inspiring and interesting women in rural Western Australia will make their way into people's ears over the next few months.

The Generation Ag podcast has partnered with the Rural, Regional and Remote (RRR) Network to share the stories of some of WA's most passionate women in agriculture.

Generation Ag co-founders Lavinia Wehr, a passionate advocate for agriculture herself, said the collaboration would involve 12 episodes over six months, as well as the usual weekly episodes that were released on Mondays.

"These episodes with the RRR Network will be the same style of interviews that we have always done, so we will talk about their background and how they got to where they are, but they will have more of a female focus," Ms Wehr said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Thousands of people across central north-west Victoria now have reliable stock and domestic water supply with the completion of the South West Loddon Pipeline project.

The newly completed pipeline provides secure reticulated water supply to more than 1,500 rural properties over 2,900 square kilometres surrounding Inglewood, Newbridge, St Arnaud and Wedderburn, for the first time.

Minister for Water Lisa Neville and Premier Daniel Andrews visited the then drought hit region in 2015 and met with communities to discuss what support was needed, including secure water supply for the south-west Loddon region. The next year they returned to announce $40 million towards the landmark $88.9 million project.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
Twelve outstanding women with skills and a vision for agriculture have been selected for the National Farmers' Federation's 2020 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program.

The 2020 cohort hails from across the country and boasts a broad range of expertise from science, research and development; farm health and safety; education and farm business management.

The 2020 participants are: Alexandra Thomas, South Australia, Jessica Fealy, Queensland, Alison Hamilton, NSW, Margaret Jewell, Queensland, Alysia Kepert, Western Australia, Niki Ford, Queensland, Diana Fear, NSW, Rebecca Staines, NSW, Fiona Marshall, NSW, Sarah Parker, Victoria, Jaelle Bajada, NSW, and Susie Green, South Australia. Profiles on each of the women can be found below.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
BEING able to add value to farm businesses is why one young agronomist is passionate - and will stay passionate - about the agricultural industry.

Sam Fetherstonhaugh grew up on a farm in Munglinup, about 120 kilometres west of Esperance.

His parents farmed in partnership with his aunty and uncle, up until about four years ago when they ventured out on their own, with a mostly canola and wheat rotation across about 4000 hectares.

Mr Fetherstonhaugh went to the local primary school which had only 40 children when he graduated from year 7, including four in his year - himself, his cousin and his two mates.

He said he loved growing up on the farm and the freedom they had to just be kids.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
THE State government is planning an urgent Farm Safety Summit to improve workplace safety in the agriculture sector.

Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston will host the summit on Wednesday, May 27 and has invited Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan, WorkSafe commissioner Darren Kavanagh, WorkCover WA chief executive officer Chris White, WAFarmers, Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA, Safe Farms WA, Country Women's Association of WA and the WA Shearing Industry Association (WASIA) to attend.

Mr Johnston said when comparing industries, agriculture, forestry and fishing had the highest number of workplace deaths - there were 18 in the past five financial years since 2014-15, followed by construction (15) and mining (13).

WorkSafe is still investigating another nine deaths for the 2018-19 financial year.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Although Australia is weathering the COVID-19 storm better than almost any other nation, there is no doubt that it has dealt us a sickening blow.

And the worst is definitely still to come, as the long-term economic, employment and social effects become apparent.

However, out of the tragedy emerges a unique opportunity for Australian agriculture to lead the country out of the COVID-19 doldrums.

The NFF's "Don't panic. Aussie farmers have your back" campaign was highly successful in reassuring the public that our robust industry would ensure the country could feed itself.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
MIKE and Jocelyn Van De Griend decided to put their foot on the pedal for their online organic store, when demand for their farm's produce and delivery services surged due to COVID-19 last month.

They own a farming property just outside of Bridgetown and had been prepping the online store for their business, The Organic Fine Food Company in the months prior, but took the opportunity to ramp up their services when the pandemic hit and demand for online delivery services spiked.

"We just thought to ourselves - no time like the present," Mr Van De Griend said.

"We knew where we sold our produce each weekend, the Joondalup Growers Market, was scheduled to permanently close in mid-March, so we were heading in that direction anyway, but COVID just made it happen that much quicker."

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Pigeonpea has emerged as a new crop option for the northern growing region as producers adapt to more frequent and severe droughts.

As farmers in Queensland and northern New South Wales deal with shortfalls in summer rainfall needed to successfully cultivate mungbeans, soybeans or peanuts, research from the University of Queensland points to the drought-hardy legume as a viable alternative.

This timely innovation is the work of Associate Professor RCN Rachaputi, a legume crop physiologist based at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at UQ's Gatton campus.

In 2019, Associate Professor Rachaputi launched a pigeonpea breeding program that aims to produce a high-yielding variety adapted to Australian growing conditions within about four years.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
FINALISTS for the Elders Agricultural Achievement Award have been announced.

Blake McFarlane, 14, of Forest Hill started Blake's Chooks and Eggs in 2017 as a hobby.

In 2019, it became an ethical, sustainable, free-ranging egg farm, with show breeding and winning stock.

Blake provides more than 200 dozen of eggs to the Great Southern and uses social media to make poultry farming fun and educational.

He held his first open day to the Plantagenet Probus Group and explained what he does when it comes to preparing and showing his chooks.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
The winner of the 2020 NSW-ACT AgriFutures Rural Women's Award has a big vision for small dairy farmers.

NSW Southern Highlands sheep dairy farmer Cressida Cains wants to create an online platform to help small dairy farmers produce branded products.

Mrs Cains and her husband established their Robertson, NSW, dairy farm Pecora Dairy 11 years ago. They specialise in sheep milk products, including a range of cheeses and yoghurts.

"I am passionate about the dairy industry, I am a farmer and a cheesemaker," she said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Online National website.
The Victorian Government is working closely with the state’s agricultural sector to ensure its crucial supply chains can continue unbroken during the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes has established the Victorian Agriculture Industry Reference Group, bringing together Agriculture Victoria and industry representatives.

This has been done to share information from the Government, ensure farmers and producers have the most up to date health and business advice, as well being able to directly respond to feedback and concerns.

The group of representatives from 25 peak industry bodies are working with the Government to address the issues facing the sector.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
HAVING employment with the scope to allow at least some time working remotely can help those working in non-production roles in the agriculture sector retain better links with their industry according to rural leaders.

Wool Producers Australia chief executive Jo Hall, who is primarily based in Crookwell, in the heart of NSW's rich wool-producing Southern Tablelands, said being based rurally allowed her to get a better understanding of what her members were really interested in.

"This is a wool-producing area and when you're living amongst it you are better in touch with what is really concerning people rather than if you're based in the city where it is very easy to get in a bit of a bubble," Ms Hall said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
FARMERS Centre 1978 has adopted a new strategy to overcome a skilled staff shortage.

The company, which has been involved in training staff for more than a decade and has staff with more than 500 years' total experience, is working with the TAFE education system to enhance product specific courses for its year one to fourth year apprentices.

And according to dealer principal Grant Wells, the aim is to retain young people in their own communities to develop careers within the farm mechanisation industry.

Currently Farmers Centre 1978 employs 63 people.

"We've been doing this for a long time and in the past two or three years we've ramped up our internal training and appointed a full-time training co-ordinator in Ian Watkins," Mr Wells said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
While the cancellation of agricultural shows across the country has left thousands of cattle exhibitors disappointed, online competitions are filling the void.

When this month's Sydney Royal Easter Show was abandoned Matt and Shannon Sowden, cattle breeders from Kingaroy in Queensland, decided to stage the COVID-19 2020 Virtual Online Show.

The online competition, run on the Sowden's Five Star Creative Promotions Facebook page, attracted more than 500 entries in the steer and stud categories.

"It was ridiculous, we thought if we get 200 to 250 that we'd be happy with that and the response that we've got has been unbelievable really," Mr Sowden said.

For the full story click through to the ABC website.
TRAVEL restrictions between Western Australian regions and within the Kimberley and Goldfields-Esperance regions appear to be an inconvenience but are not causing significant disruption to agriculture and allied industries so far.

This is despite detail of exemptions from travel restrictions applying across internal WA borders, introduced as a response to the COVID-19 health crisis, still being worked through with government and police for some sectors of the agricultural workforce.

Concerns by the Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA (PGA) about cattle mustering teams being allowed into the Kimberley under tighter controls which now prohibits movement between its four shire council areas, were raised at a teleconference earlier this week.

"Frankly, we're disappointed agriculture hasn't been given priority (for travel exemptions)," said PGA president Tony Seabrook.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
A FAMILIAR face in WA finance and real estate circles, has been appointed as Elders new senior real estate executive - rural.

Simon Cheetham, who has most recently been working as a real estate sales representative in the eastern Wheatbelt, based in Merredin, started in the new Perth-based role this week.

"There is a lot of change in the industry at the moment and this is an exciting opportunity to be a part of that," Mr Cheetham said.

"I have always been passionate about farming and real estate and this provides a good challenge involving both.

"Elders is a long-time recognised brand which has a strength and consistency about it and a definite ongoing focus on its real estate business."

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
AGRICULTURE Minister David Littleproud says Australian farmers should be very proud of the role they are playing during the current COVID-19 pandemic, and also the vital role they will play in rebuilding Australia's economy once the health crisis is over.

Speaking from his office in Warwick, Mr Littleproud was speaking on a Rural Press Club of Queensland webinar. More than 300 people tuned in for the special event hosted by RPC president Stacey Wordsworth.

"Can I say to all of you, whether you are a farmer or a service to agriculture, thank you," Mr Littleproud said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Fruit will be picked and farm-based backpackers can stay where they are, following a federal government announcement relaxing restrictions on agricultural visas for the duration of the pandemic.

The temporary measures will mean workers within the Pacific Labour Scheme, Seasonal Worker Program and working holiday makers can continue to work in agriculture and food processing with the assurance their visas will be extended.

However, the government has flagged employers will need to commit to providing safe accommodation for agricultural workers and comply with any social distancing or quarantine requirements.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the changes would support business and secure the food supply, ultimately protecting the health of Australians.

For more information check the Katherine Times website.
This year, nominations are open until 24 May 2020. Farmers wanting to nominate, or nominate someone else, can simply go online to the website www.farmeroftheyear.com.au where they will find all the information needed.

Nomination is a simple process. On the dedicated website, a number of categories can be selected to include farmers and those that provide support to farming.

Award categories include Australian Farmer of the Year, Young Farmer of the Year, sponsored by McDonald's Australia and Farming Legend of the Year.

Ben White, general manager of Research at Kondinin Group, said that while the past 12-months have been a challenge for some farming communities, the Awards offer an opportunity to acknowledge the resilient and enduring spirit of rural and regional Australia.

"Farming is an industry full of highs and lows," White said.

For the full story click through to the Farming Ahead website.
AS the nation continues to experience unprecedented job losses from the fallout of COVID-19, Western Australia's agricultural industry is providing a source of hope as it looks to recruit skilled and unskilled workers into its workforce.

With restrictions on the movement of people expected to have a significant impact on the agricultural labour force, vegetablesWA chief executive officer John Shannon said the industry was looking to employ more Western Australians.

"At the moment our labour supply is stable, but because we have seasonal industries, that means things like avocados and other staples are coming on board with new employment opportunities," Mr Shannon said.

"We will be looking for a range of skilled and unskilled workers, including people that can drive a forklift, drive a truck and also pick and pack produce.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
THE breeding time for new pulse lines has been cut by two to three years as the result of world changing research being conducted by scientists at The University of Western Australia (UWA).

A team of researchers from UWA's Centre for Plant Genetics and Breeding has spent the past seven years undertaking Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and UWA co-funded research to speed the development of purebred seed lines for pulse breeders.

The result is a robust and reliable accelerated-Single Seed Descent Platform for rapid generation turnover.

The research involved the utilisation of new technologies which have only just become affordable, such as LED lighting with adjustable spectral output, to harness ancient responses to light from pulse plants.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
As businesses around the country face drastic reductions in trade and the likelihood of a forced shutdown, the government has substantially beefed up the suite of grants and tax breaks it announced just two weeks ago.

In a move with potentially far-reaching consequences, it also plans to change the rules on liquidation when Parliament meets on Monday so businesses can stay afloat longer even as debts mount.

Small and medium businesses can access grants of up to $100,000 between now and September.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said since the government announced its first stimulus package on March 12, it now expected the economic shock to be "deeper, wider and longer".

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
In a week where many have questioned business closures across the country, one thing is clear: agriculture and more specifically, agricultural jobs, are essential to keep Australia moving.

Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about food security as they witness bare shelves in supermarkets with household staples such as pasta, minced meat and eggs becoming harder to purchase.

Confronted by these bare shelves, consumers have raised concerns about running out of food which has sparked an increase in panic buying but leading agriculture bodies have reassured the public that even during this pandemic, it is business as usual for Australian farmers.

Between 80-96% of the food on our supermarket shelves is Australian grown with Aussie farmers producing enough food to feed 75 million people which is triple Australia’s population.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
Agricultural technology has been identified as a key factor if Australia is to achieve the National Farmers’ Federation’s goal of $100 billion annual agriculture production in Australia by 2030 from the current level of about $60 billion.

AgTech is a diverse industry ranging from the use of satellites to detect crop health through to robotics in meat processing and remote sensing to maximise water use efficiency.

Last month more than 300 people attended the inaugural AdvanceAg showcase at the Adelaide Showgrounds, prompting the South Australian Government to immediately commit to a second edition of the AgTech event next year.

Among those in attendance were BDO senior manager and AgTech lead Michael Macolino who said Australia and South Australia in particular had massive potential in the sector.

Read the full story online at The Lead South Australia website.
RETAIL and tourism workers who have found themselves out of work in the wake of coronavirus could be used to plug gaps in the agriculture industry.

A ban on international travellers means many sectors of the ag industry will struggle to fill seasonal work positions.

National Farmers Federation president Fiona Simson said a "commonsense approach" to address the labour shortage was being investigated.

"Other industries that utilise international casual workers, like tourism and hospitality, have been really impacted by the virus, so we're talking with those industries about using some of their displaced casuals," Ms Simson said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Background

Australia is continuing to closely monitor an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19).

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic (an infectious disease outbreak that spreads on a global scale).

Increasing cases of COVID-19 are now being confirmed in Australia. The situation is changing rapidly. You can access the latest information on COVID-19 from the Australian Government Department of Health.


Managing the risks from COVID-19

The model Work Health and Safety laws

The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws require employers * to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace. This includes providing and maintaining a work environment that is without risk to health and safety and adequate facilities for workers in carrying out their work, so far as is reasonably practicable.

For more information check the Safe Work Australia website.
Find out about your workplace entitlements and obligations if you're affected by the outbreak of coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19).

Please visit the Australian Government:
  • Department of Health website - for the latest information on the virus, including requirements and conditions for isolation and quarantine periods and when testing should be sought
  • Services Australia website - for information and services to help you if you’re affected by coronavirus, including Centrelink payments and support.
We encourage employees and employers to work together to find appropriate solutions that suit the needs of individual workplaces and staff. This may include taking different forms of leave, working from home, or taking extra precautions in the workplace.

If you have an urgent enquiry about your workplace entitlements or obligations, please contact us on 13 13 94 and select the prompt for the Coronavirus hotline.

For more information visit the FairWork Ombudsman website.
The Women in Agri-Tech pitch competition is now open, offering small groups of Year 7-10 female students from remote, regional and rural Australia the opportunity to share in $5000 of prize money and a free trip to Brisbane.

To enter the competition, students will need to develop their own agri-tech solution to a problem faced by the agricultural industry. They won't need to actually build anything just yet but come up with a great idea that will work in theory.

Once the students have worked out their solution, they need to present a three-minute pitch to impress the judges.

To help entrants get started, CQUniversity has developed an interactive learning module that can be used by teachers in classrooms or individual students. The module can be accessed here: http://womeninagri-tech.com/

For more information visit the Bombala Times website.
Vira Vieira spends six months of the year working away from her family in East Timor; for her it's bittersweet.

She misses her family, but for the first time in her life she feels financially independent and knows that her skills on a farm are not based on gender.

Ms Vieira is a group leader and picker on a berry farm in northern Tasmania, where she supports 160 seasonal workers from her country — many are women.

"Our parents believe our job is to stay at home cooking in the kitchen, but since working here, I've noticed the girls have really good performance levels.

"After a few weeks working, they realise they can do this work like the men can."

Hillwood Berries general manager Simon Dornauf said horticulture had been a male-dominated industry, but that was changing.

For the full story click through to the ABC website.
A $630,000 State government grant program will support the growth and development of Western Australia's small to medium enterprise agrifood and beverage businesses.

Following on from the Expert for a Day pilot program that was designed to unlock expertise to businesses, the initiative will offer vouchers of up to $10,000 to eligible businesses, as a dollar for dollar co-contribution.

The grant program has been designed to give access to professional business support services across the areas of business planning, quality assurance, market positioning, technology, export capability development and other technical services.

Travel assistance vouchers of up to $2000 will also be up for grabs for regional agrifood and beverage businesses that wish to improve their productivity and profitability by researching food-tech or ag-tech manufacturing technologies.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
NORTH Queensland's position as an agricultural powerhouse has been further cemented with a 25-year plan aiming to capitalise on growth in the region.

The first North Queensland Regional Plan, released by the state government, outlines the priorities for prosperity and growth in the Townsville, Charters Towers, Burdekin, Hinchinbrook and Palm Island shires.

Neighbouring regions from Cairns to Mackay are also positioned to benefit.

The plan highlights North Queensland's proximity to the Asia-Pacific, saying the region was in a prime position to capatilise on demand, particularly for agricultural commodities and beef.

It highlights the importance of agriculture to the region, saying it had been a mainstay of the north's economy for the last 120 years.

Read the full story online at the North Queensland Register website.
Young farmers are again being invited to help shape the future of Victoria’s vibrant agriculture sector, with applications now open to join the Young Farmers Advisory Council.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes encouraged young people from all agricultural industries to apply.

The council is seeking six members with a balance of representation by gender, industry and region to sign up for a three-year term.

Applicants will have a broad range of skills and like experience in farm management, agribusiness, finance, education, international markets and regional development.

The council provides a direct voice to government on a wide range of issues that impact young people working in agriculture. This has ranged from market access and barriers, skills and workforce issues, animal welfare, and mental health and wellbeing.

Council members also act as young ambassadors to attract new entrants to the agricultural sector.

The current council members have provided important advice to government on key issues such as workplace and farm safety, mental health, pathways for young people in agriculture and more recently climate change.

Expressions of Interest to join the council are now open and close on 22 March.

To find out more visit agriculture.vic.gov.au.
YOUNG professionals in primary industries were given the opportunity to practice creating trust in agriculture with external audiences as part of a training workshop held in Perth recently.

As part of the workshop, 22 participants from various primary industries, including grain, livestock, dairy, fisheries and horticulture, spent a day learning how to build trust with consumers with the help of AgCommunicators managing director Deanna Lush.

The participants were all nominated by industry associations and organisations which identified them as having potential to be a champion for their industry.

Ms Lush said a lot of the time young people looked to the older generations, who might be in positions of leadership and think it's their job to have those conversations.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
A YOUNG farmer and university student from Gibson, 22 kilometres north of Esperance, was the main winner of a coveted scholarship, awarded at the South East Premium Wheatgrowers' Association (SEPWA) Harvest Review on February 14.

Fletcher Lewis, who is studying for a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in crop and pasture science at Murdoch University, won the Rob Ashman Memorial Scholarship which is worth $3500 and sponsored by Viridis Ag.

The annual scholarships offered by SEPWA, Viridis Ag and Farm and General, Esperance, are designed to support capacity building in the agricultural industry and raise awareness of depression in rural Australia.

The other two prizes, the Farm and General scholarship for $3000 and the $2000 SEPWA scholarship, were won by Erin Stevens and Matt Rogers, both from Esperance.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
OPINION

It has been one of the most unpredictable starts we've had to any year, with drought, bushfires and coronavirus altering the business plans of many in the agriculture sector.

But Australian agribusiness is known for its resilience, and will undoubtedly work hard to meet the challenges ahead.

Beef businesses will need to be restocked, crops and orchards and vineyards replanted, trade with China will need to be re-established, alternative markets will need to be developed.

Support will be required at every level of the sector to ensure a swift return to business as usual and beyond.

But most importantly, what the industry needs right now is capital, not grants or handouts but serious capital to invest throughout the sector, from high-performing family farm investment to large infrastructure spending.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
For the Australian farming sector to thrive, our people, along with our paddocks, need to be better connected.

The first day of the EvokeAg conference drove this point home, bringing together more than 1,300 people from across the farming and agricultural technology sectors, in an effort to drive innovation forward.

Opening the conference, platinum sponsor, Elders managing director Mark Allison said improving communications infrastructure was essential for the future of farm productivity.

"We need to raise connectivity levels across rural and regional Australia to at least comparable standards as those enjoyed by our major agriculture competitors, the US and Canada, to ensure we are competitive on a global scale," he said.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
HAVING grown up on a dairy farm Roxy Schoof, 23, now helps and encourages young people from a similar background to remain in a vital rural industry where the numbers of older participants are shrinking.

Ms Schoof joined the Western Dairy team in July last year as Young Dairy regional co-ordinator for the State, after starting out helping previous co-ordinator Jess Andony.

Western Dairy has reorganised in the past 12 months with some of its team moving to contracting their services and the Western Australian branch of the national dairy farming representative body identifying more as an arm of Dairy Australia.

The reorganisation saw Ms Andony become Western Dairy's regional extension officer, responsible for its portfolio of extension activities and events and clearing the way for her Young Dairy helper in Ms Schoof to take on the co-ordinator role part time.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
16/2/2020
A new generation of changemakers are busy making regional Australia a better place, tackling issues from climate change to period inequality.

ABC Heywire is proud to recognise 18 emerging leaders from across the country who are each fighting the fight as winners of the 2020 Trailblazers competition.

They are the faces behind 11 projects strengthening remote, rural, and regional Australia in the more obvious ways — as well as those not visible to the naked eye.

At next week's Heywire Summit, they will spend time developing their ideas before presenting them to Members of Parliament, senators, and community leaders at Parliament House in Canberra.

So, watch this space for more from these young people making waves outside the usual centres of attention (aka capital cities).

For the full story click through to the ABC website.
The takeover of historic agricultural group, Webster Limited, will be formalised this week after a shareholder general meeting on Monday approved the sale to Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments).

PSP, which already owns 19 per cent of Webster and has a list of other farming partnerships in Australia, will pay $2 a share to shareholders on the takeover implementation date, now set at February 17.

An independent valuation by KPMG Financial Advisory Services valued Webster's shares between $1.59 and $1.93 each, concluding the offer was in the best interest of shareholders in the absence of a superior proposal.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
WITH Toowoomba’s brand-new, state-of-the-art agriculture training facility almost ready to launch, Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise and TAFE Queensland have partnered together to ensure our region’s future food and rural workers are equipped with high-quality learning and up-to-date skills, through the Rural Centre of Excellence.

Newly appointed industry engagement manager, Jade Hauser, joined the TSBE team to ensure members and the broader industry are connected to this new state-of-art learning facility. As part of this initiative, Ms Hauser will work with TSBE members and food and agricultural communities to understand the shortages in industry skills and future industry learning and upskilling needs.

For the full story click through to the Weekly Times Now website.
AN INITIATIVE to boost skilled labour in agriculture will see an opportunity for young people to seek career pathways in the farm mechanisation industry.

The focus will be a three-day bootcamp at Muresk Institute on June 23-25 this year, supported by WAFarmers, the Farm Machinery & Industry Association (FMIA) and Muresk Institute.

Officially titled WAFarmers Bootcamp, it will comprise machinery demonstrations, talks by industry specialists and hands-on training.

According to Muresk Institute general manager Pru Jenkins, the event will provide school leavers and young people with a chance to demonstrate their skills with a unique opportunity to kick start a career in the tech-based farm mechanisation industry.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
A TRAILBLAZER for women in agriculture and long-term advocate for rural and regional Australians, AgForce president Georgie Somerset was awarded an Australia Day honour last weekend.

The Durong cattle producer and AgForce president was named a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to primary industry, women and the community.

Mrs Somerset was humbled to receive the accolade and said the honour was in being able to represent the men and women of regional Australia.

“There are no more resilient, resourceful and positive people living anywhere in the world than here in the bush,” she said.

For the full story click through to the Weekly Times Now website.
Aussie farmers, fishers and foresters exporting to China can now apply for grant funding under the Australia-China Agricultural Cooperation Agreement grants program (ACACA) to increase agricultural trade and cooperation between Australia and China.

Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie said the grants would help Australian agricultural industries develop, improve and augment trading and cooperation relationships and linkages between Australia and China.

“Australia is known around the world for our safe, clean and sustainable food and fibre, but to build a $100 billion agricultural sector by 2030 we need to grab hold of new export opportunities and improve existing ones,” Minister McKenzie said.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
Queensland-based Rodney Coe, who oversees S&W Seed Company’s Australian sales operations as well as serving as the company’s global lead on sorghum products, said there were a number of strategies growers could consider.

“Although some areas have yet to see enough rain to consider planting, there has at last been some widespread rain across summer cropping regions,” Mr Coe said.

“This means that there are still some valuable planting windows for farmers.

“The window for sunflowers is still open for a few weeks in Northern NSW, and for maybe a month or more in various parts of Queensland.

For the full story click through to the Weekly Times Now website.
New policy settings and infrastructure upgrades are required for Australia’s agriculture technology sector to mature, according to the National Farmers Federation, which has asked the federal government to adopt a “leadership role” in digital agriculture.

Currently, adoption of new agriculture technologies is challenged, the group says, by poor national networks, cultural barriers between farmers and technology developers, and a lack of policy settings to encourage research and investment.

In its submission to the current Senate inquiry into financial technology and regulatory technology, NFF general manager, trade and economics, Prudence Gordon, calls for the establishment of a high-level advisory group for the development of digital agriculture.

For more information click through to the Which 50 website.
3/2/2020
evokeAG. is the Asia Pacific regions largest agrifood tech event.

An event which allows delegates to explore what’s next in the agrifood tech space, covering three main themes; food – farm – future. evokeAG. is an immersive experience delivering diverse topics and cutting edge innovation from across the region and around the world. It is the only event of its type where people come together to connect, collaborate and evolve all things agriculture.

For more information click through to the evokeAG website.
It seems as though everywhere you turn at the moment, livestock and meat consumption are being vilified like there is no tomorrow.

Each week seems to bring a new threat or outrage, with meat eaters being turned into social pariahs. I have seen suggestions that eating meat should be made illegal, with offenders thrown in jail or be treated like smokers and have to sit outside restaurants.

A key claim underlying these arguments holds that globally, meat production generates more greenhouse gases (GHG) than the entire transportation sector. However, this claim is demonstrably wrong, and continues to be run in the mainstream press.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
Who we're looking for?

Skilled and resilient founders, with high growth plans for their business.

Pre-seed startups building tech solutions in a “farmgate to plate” vertical, which includes agriculture, food, packaging, transport, waste, consumables and agri-tourism.

In prototype to early revenue stage, or ideation stage with ability to demonstrate market need.

Key Dates

9TH JAN - 14TH FEB (5pm AEST): Applications Open
20TH - 21ST FEBRUARY: SproutX Team Interview
5TH - 12TH MARCH: Panel interview
16TH - 17TH MARCH: Offers sent
20TH - 23RD APRIL: Launch Week

Check the SproutX website for more information.
UNSW Built Environment senior lecturer Dr Joshua Zeunert has received an Australia Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) of $417,128.

The aim of his project is to forecast scenarios of what Australian agriculture might look like and entail in 2050, and to ensure Australia's food supply landscapes and systems remain sustainable.

Dr Zeunert became a full-time academic around 10 years ago after working in award-winning landscape architecture and urban design offices as well as casual teaching. He completed his PhD by publication in 2018 which, he says, gave him a “track record” for his first DECRA application just a year later.

Read the full story online at the University of New South Wales website.
The intertwined nature of agriculture and tourism has helped to boost both industries.

But some farmers say over-enthusiastic visitors are damaging their crops.

Tony and Denise Cox left their tropical fruit farm on New Zealand's North Island and moved to the Tamar Valley in Tasmania's north just over a year ago.

The couple, who now runs a lavender farm and perfumery, said they often saw tourists trample their plants.

For the full story click through to the ABC website.
The Safe Ag Systems software launched in 2017 to help small farmers manage in an increasingly corporate industry following the harmonisation of Occupational Health & Safety laws in Australia.

Based in Adelaide, South Australia, Safe Ag Systems now has more than 600 customers and 4000 users across Australia and New Zealand.

“We saw a real need to supply a solution to agriculture because the world of agriculture had changed – the compliance associated with it, the paperwork, the management of it needed to be run like a big business rather than a small family farm,” Safe Ag Systems CEO Katy Landt said.

For the full story click through to The Lead website.
Designed to inspire, motivate and provide critical business, finance and planning skills for young farmers and fishers, the conference boasts a number of high profile experts on its program. Young Farmer Business Program team leader Alex Hicks said the inaugural Young Farmer Business Program Conference would include a range of speakers and its focus would be on business skills, finance, planning and giving inspiration to participants to not only survive, but thrive in primary industries.

“Mr Bouris will deliver the keynote address and we are looking forward to his insights that will help young people to build business skills, which are so important to succeeding in agriculture. His experience of just what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur will be invaluable for participants to hear,” Ms Hicks said.

For the full story click through to the Weekly Times Now website.
Bushfire support for farmers and links to fire information.
A peak body representing women working in Australian agriculture has announced that six women will drive their new Youth Committee.

The members of the Australian Women in Agriculture Youth Committe will be lead by AWIA youth coordinator, Amy Munro.

AWIA president, Sarah Parker, said the board was excited to welcome such an amazing group of passionate and young energetic women.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
TRIBUTES from Western Australia's agriculture sector have flowed for one of its most highly regarded public sector leaders and advocate at State and Federal levels.

Edgar Noel Fitzpatrick, known as Noel, who was director of the WA Department of Agriculture for 13 years from 1971, died in Perth on Friday, December 6.

A farmer's son, he was born in 1929 at Narembeen and joined the agriculture department after graduating from The University of WA with a bachelor degree of science in agriculture in 1951.

That was the start of an illustrious scientific career, including important research into pastures and soil nutrition of then newly cleared land in the State's south in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Thirteen young farmers from across Victoria have received Upskill and Invest Young Farmer Scholarships.

The scholarships are worth up to $10,000 per farmer, with $5000 to upskill through training and study in areas like farm management, financial literacy, product development or innovative farming techniques.

Once they complete their studies, the recipients are eligible for an additional funding boost of up to $5000 to invest in on-farm or professional development, putting their new skills into practice and boosting their businesses.

To date, the scholarship has benefited the careers of 63 young farmers.

Read the full story online at the Farm Online National website.
For Victorian farmer Charnamat Singh, one of the biggest challenges in keeping his farm running is to retain his regular employees.

“If fifty workers are to come for harvesting tomorrow morning and the tractors are not ready, they can’t do what we hire them for. My regular workers keep the machinery and other equipment in order for use,” Mr Singh says.

To keep them working for him, Mr Singh says he is paying his workers better wages than other places.

“But that alone isn’t the solution because some workers just don’t want to work in the farms. They would instead work in a low-skilled job for lesser money in the city because it’s not easy out in the farms.”

For the full story click through to the SBS Punjabi website.
Despite many contentious land sales and agribusiness takeovers, and many deals which flopped or fell short of expectations, foreign investment has just notched up a game-changing decade with the farm sector.

More than any period in recent generations, overseas spenders have targeted Australia's farms, farm products and the farm services sectors with new-found zeal.

A steady run of bullish export returns, notably from meat, dairy, wine, horticultural and fibre products, and surging farmland values have combined with a flush of fresh capital from the northern hemisphere looking for investment diversification to lure big spenders into agriculture.

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website.
AT just 18-years-old Tom Curnow took on more responsibility than most people would take on in a lifetime.

Not only was he dealing with the loss of his father Kym (Freddy) Curnow in the devastating Esperance bushfires, he was faced with taking over the family farm with twin brother Riley, to continue his father's legacy in the Scaddan community.

The catastrophic fire, which raged in Esperance for two weeks in November 2015, killed four people, including Freddy (45) and foreign farm workers Thomas Butcher (31), Julia Kohrs-Lichte (19) and Anna Winther (29).

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
Farmers and small agribusinesses finding it difficult to tap into overseas markets can seek help with the Australian Government delivering on a $6.1 million election promise to continue support for small exporters.

Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie, said the Liberal and Nationals Government was extending the Package Assisting Small Exporters (PASE) grants program for another four years to help smooth the way into dynamic overseas markets.

“Boosting exports will be crucial if we are to reach our target to grow agriculture to a $100 billion sector by 2030. To do that we need to give a hand to agribusinesses, especially those finding it difficult to navigate the export system,” Minister McKenzie said.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
A new National Agricultural Labour Advisory Committee has been tasked with providing the Liberal and Nationals Government advice on how to secure a sustainable agricultural workforce for the future.

Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie, said Australian agriculture had its best years ahead of it, despite current difficulties caused by drought and bushfires.

“Workforce needs is one of the top two issues farmers raise with me no matter where I go, from Darwin to Devonport, or what sector they’re from,” Minister McKenzie said.

“If agriculture is to grow to its full potential we need to make sure farmers have access to a fit-for-purpose workforce-that’s the right worker, at the right place, at the right time of the season.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
In coming decades as we transition to renewable energy in response to a climate change, Australia's excellent wind and solar resources will increasingly provide landowners with a bonanza of renewable energy opportunities, according to Professor Ken Baldwin when he was addressing the National Renewables in Agriculture conference and expo in Wagga Wagga.

Professor Baldwin is the Director of the ANU Energy Change Institute, Canberra.

He told the audience the electricity sector is the low hanging fruit for reducing emissions, and will require an expansion of solar and wind farms into regional areas to gradually replace centralised fossil-fuel generators on the coast.

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website.
SOME may be just as used to growing cotton and grains, but dozens of rural women have also cultivated new skills to invest back into their areas.

The latest batch of students from Tocal College's Generating Regionally Outstanding Women (GROW) course were in Tamworth this week to celebrate and further their learning.

GROW is a professional development and leadership program for regional women in the cotton and grains industries.

Its aim is to boost participants' leadership, management, communication and networking skills, and to provide tools to improve work health and safety and staff management in their businesses.

Read the full story online at The Northern daily Leader website.
East Kimberley College celebrated National Agriculture Day with students treated to the tastes of the Ord Valley while learning about the region’s prime industries.

Local farmers taught 40 Year 9 and 10 students about mangoes, cotton, grain, cattle, irrigation, hobby farming and more Ord River region farming ventures on November 21 for the school’s fifth annual event.

The students also received hands-on experience trying out a vintage seed cleaner and irrigation water siphons and cuddles from Ian the goat and Pedro the horse.

East Kimberley College Kimberley teacher Education for Life co-ordinator Claire Piesse said the slightly revamped program was a “huge success”.

To read more click trough to the full article on The West Australian website.
The stereotypical male image of the Australian farmer could soon be replaced by that of a young, determined, educated woman, who is using innovation to boost profitability and diversity in agriculture.

Women comprise an estimated 32 per cent of workers in agriculture, according to Department of Agriculture ABARES figures. But that figure is likely to be higher, with many women not rightly recognised for their contribution to agriculture, leading industry body AgriFutures says.

A gender balance in agriculture is slowly forming, according to AgriFutures general manager of capacity building, Belinda Allitt, and women look set to play an even bigger role in the future.

Read the full story online at the Women's Agenda website.
Federal Agriculture Minister Senator Bridget McKenzie has announced $1.9 million in funding for Farmsafe Australia, a not-for-profit organisation focused on improving farm safety.

Minister McKenzie said the Liberal and Nationals government was serious about promoting and supporting on-farm safety awareness in the agriculture.

"Farmsafe Australia is a highly-respected, established network with enormous national reach through their community farm safety activities and easy-to-access website," she said.

"This funding will support Farmsafe Australia to provide farm businesses and families with practical and impactful tools and support to make farms safer - be it local activities, conferences, online or delivered to the palm of their hands via a mobile application."

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website.
In all of the commentary around Australia’s economic performance there is always plenty of discussion about major indices associated with agriculture, resources etc, but rural trucking costs are a major factor in productivity. Deloitte were commissioned by AgriFutures Australia to put together a report entitled ‘The Impact of Freight Costs on Australian Farms’. This report confirms agriculture is vitally important to the strength of the economy with over 66 per cent of annual agricultural production exported overseas.

“A key determinant in ensuring that Australian agriculture can reach its full export potential is maintaining efficient and competitive transport of food and fibre from paddock to port,” concludes the Farm Freight Costs Report. “At present, this cost is one of the largest single cost items in the production of many agricultural commodities, and it has the potential to impact the global competitiveness of Australian agriculture and its export performance into the future.

Read the full story online at the Diesel News website.
Bonnie Rock farmers Kim and Beth Graham are powering through harvest, besides a stop-start few days of rain, with plans to finish well before Christmas.

With three sons under four — Drew, nine months, Brody, two, and Kaiden, four — and Mr Graham in the header cab all day, most days, it has been a busy few weeks.

They are in their seventh year of cropping together after starting nearly from scratch, and planting the first crop in 2013. It is not their own crop they are harvesting, it is their next door neighbour’s.

When it hadn’t rained by mid-May, the Grahams pulled the pin on their 2019 cropping program.

To read more click trough to the full article on The West Australian website.
Registrations have now opened for popular events in Western Australia’s grainbelt aimed at driving innovation and adoption of improved farm business management practices across the grains industry.

Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Farm Business Updates will be held in Wickepin on February 11, Bencubbin on February 12 and Northampton on February 13.

GRDC Western Region Panel chair Darrin Lee said the events were aimed at assisting grain growers with their farm management skills by providing them, as well as advisers and agribusiness representatives, with access to the latest and best farm business management concepts and practices.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
National Farmer Federation are reminding all Australians what they have in common with their country cousins with the theme #WeAreAustralianFarmers! this National Agriculture Day on Thursday 21 November 2019

What does it take to manage a successful agribusiness in Australia in 2019? The skills list is long: Doer, Thinker, Problem Solver, Deal Maker, Educator, Land Manager, Soil Protector, Meteorologist, Mechanic, Share Market Analyst, Commodity Market Trader, CEO, Accountant, Educator, Employer, Agri-Machinery Driver, Succession Planner, Philosopher, Creative Thinker, Mother, Father, PROVIDOR.

National Farmers Federation Ag Day celebrates the attitude and values that we share whether city or bush-based, Australians are all motivated to create a better future for our families and our environment.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
The State Government has announced funding for a new grants program aimed at helping agriculture and food businesses across the region.

The Investor Ready Grant Program will provide financial support to agrifood businesses throughout Western Australia to access professional business services such as investment and financial planning, business coaching and legal advice.

“It is crucial that business owners know what capital they are looking for, what this will mean for their development, and how to pitch the opportunity to potential investors,” Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said.

To read more click trough to the full article on The West Australian website.
More than 50 secondary school students from Gippsland and surrounds participated in a two-day Industry Immersion Program recently which took them to four different food producers across the region, including a dairy.

A large-scale vegetable grower in Middle Tarwin; a Leongatha dairy business which milks 1100 cows daily; an organic enterprise in Ellinbank that's been farmed by the same family for 150 years, and a third generation apple orchard in Drouin, welcomed the students onto their farms and into their businesses.

The immersion experience was hands on when the students arrived at Jelbart Dairy - a second generation family business in Leongatha that milks 1100 cows every day of the week.

Read the full article on the Farm Online National website.
Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water

There’s no greater supporter of Tasmanian farmers and rural communities than the Hodgman majority Liberal Government.

The Government’s Stock Underpass Program, another agriculture-backing election commitment, is a great example of consultation and action to assist farmers and the wider community.

Today at Mount Patrick I was pleased to inspect the recently completed cattle underpass built as part of the scheme, and congratulate the Griffin family for taking this step.

The Stock Underpass Program was extended with $600,000 in the State Budget to support improved farm and road safety, and increase farm productivity across the livestock farming sector.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
HORTICULTURE groups are ratcheting up the pressure on the Federal Government to fix the backpacker tax debacle and improve farm labour options.

Last week the Federal Court ruled the so-called backpacker tax should not apply to workers on 417 or 462 visas if they have residency status.

The decision applies to Working Holiday Makers from the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Finland, Chile, Japan, Norway and Turkey who are Australian residents for taxation purposes.

This week, Citrus Australia hit out at the government, asking it to repeal the backpacker tax legislation entirely.

It's a similar call heard from representative bodies, Ausveg and Growcom.

Citrus Australia chief executive officer, Nathan Hancock, said the court's decision creates further confusion for growers.

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website.
The Palaszczuk Government has launched a social media campaign to raise awareness of farm safety.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said #safefarmqld was aimed at encouraging Queensland’s farmers and agricultural workers to come home safe at the end of the day.

“It’s a sad fact that while only 3 per cent of Queenslanders work on farms, more than 30 per cent of workplace deaths happen on them,” Mr Furner said.

“Many of these tragedies, which have enormous impacts on families and communities, could easily be prevented by focusing on simple strategies to improving farm safety.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
A rural leader who began her tough journey to building a life on the land in the Ebor area has been named a possible Australian of the Year for 2020.

Lorraine Gordon is one of four nominees for the prestigious title for NSW, the winner of which will be announced on Monday, November 4.

At 21 years of age, she was left running a property of 1500 hectares, after three family members died.

"Despite no experience, no infrastructure, and cattle lost in 55,000 hectares of adjacent wilderness, Lorraine built a thriving tourism and agriculture business," her nomination reads.

Among Ms Gordon's long list of achievements, she is credited with developing the largest domestic hydro-electricity scheme in Australia at that time.

Read the full story online at The Northern daily Leader website.
3/11/2019
When the gates open at 8.30am on October 26 there will be non-stop action at the 88th annual Livelighter Brunswick Show.

One of the main areas to see the hard work that goes into the show is the Tom Pearson Pavilion, where visitors have the chance to see the incredible woodwork, cooking, craft, plants and flowers that exhibitors have been working on for months.

This year’s theme of "Youth in Agriculture" will provide more opportunities than ever for up-and-coming farmers to display and learn about Australia’s strong agricultural future.

On top of the traditional livestock displays from junior entrants, a ‘Youth in Agriculture Hub’ will give young people an up-close look at the wide variety of opportunities within the agriculture sector.

To read more click trough to the full article on The West Australian website.
The Australian Government is inviting applications for projects to deliver services under the National Landcare Program – Smart Farms Small Grants Round 3.

Smart Farms Small Grants is an open, competitive, grant opportunity to support projects to increase farming, forestry and fishing communities’ awareness, knowledge, skills and capacity to adopt best practice sustainable agriculture.

The purpose of Smart Farms Small Grants is to support land manager practice change that will deliver more sustainable, productive and profitable food, fibre and forestry business while protecting Australia’s biodiversity; protecting and improving the condition of natural resources; and assisting Australia meet its international obligations.

For more information visit the Community Grants website.
MINGENEW-Irwin Group (MIG) chief executive officer Kathryn Fleay's dedication to working on behalf of grain growers and industry has been publicly recognised through a prestigious award.

She was officially presented with a 2019 Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Western Region Emerging Leader Award during a meeting of the GRDC Western Region Panel.

Panel chairman Darrin Lee presented the award, voted upon by the panel, to Ms Fleay, who has gathered extensive experience in the Western Australian grains industry since completing an Agribusiness degree in 2008.

"Kathryn has made the most of opportunities to develop her leadership skills and to connect with a broad range of people involved in Australian agriculture, as well as to inform grain growers and ensure they have a voice at an industry level," Mr Lee said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website
TUESDAY, October 15, was a day that probably didn't have much significance to many people, but for about half of those working and living in rural and regional Western Australia and Australia, it was a special and important day.

This day was International Day of Rural Women, which recognises and celebrates women in rural communities who are making a difference, because for a long time they were not recognised.

Until 1994 women were not legally classified as 'farmers' but as domestics, helpers and farmers' wives, despite doing about half the farm and house work combined as their male counterparts.

On this day, it seemed fitting that the Royal Regional and Remote (RRR) Women's Network of WA would host the Breaking the Gender Equality Mould lunch, which discussed the challenge and need for achieving gender equality in rural and regional WA workplaces.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website
On International Day of Rural Women 2019, the Visible Farmer campaign is working hard to put a spotlight on the often hidden faces of women in agriculture.

The campaign, which includes a 15-part series of short films, tells the stories of women across the country who are playing a vital and innovative role in the production of food and fibre in Australia.

According to the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women, half of all our food is produced by the work of women.

“Australian rural women are a powerful force , half of all you eat is produced by women,” says Jacqueline Graham, President of BPW Australia. “Women make up 50% of the rural workforce and they generate half of all farm income.”

Read the full story online at the Women's Agenda website
THE National Agriculture and Related Industries Day Gala Dinner will be held in Perth for the first time next month with more than 600 interstate and international guests, including farmers, pastoralists, agribusiness leaders and politicians expected to converge at the exclusive event.

The high-profile dinner is expected to attract plenty of attention and will be held at Burswood on Swan on Thursday, November 21.

The purpose of the dinner is to celebrate Australia's agricultural industries and indulge in Western Australia's world-renowned wine and food.

It is the third year the dinner has been held, with events at Canberra in 2017 and Sydney in 2018, each attracting 300-380 attendees.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly website
Unfortunately, and to its detriment, broadacre agriculture is not always an evidence-based industry at producer level.

Yes, there are areas where evidence drives what is done, but it is far from universal. Too much attention is placed on fads and searches for silver bullets.

By way of contrast, consider engineering. If it was not based on hard evidence, planes would fall out of the sky, buildings would collapse and bridges would cave in. It is the ultimate discipline in everyday life.

But back to broadacre agriculture, specifically livestock. Fads go past the front gate of the property every day. Some of them are relatively benign and some seriously detrimental to business. There have been heaps of them. The whole Soft Rolling Skins crusade with Merino sheep, feeding heaps of muck out of bags to speed up rumen development, cell grazing, flat-boned cattle; the list goes on.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
Success has many parents - so the saying goes. In the case of the massive successes of international agricultural research, no one person can claim parentage.

There are heroes along the way such as Norman Borlaug and his early cereal breeding, and the team that eliminated the cattle disease Rinderpest from the world - smallpox is the only other disease that has been totally eradicated.

Another is the founder of The Crawford Fund, Derek Tribe, who was also instrumental in the creation of what is now the International Livestock Research Institute, which I chair.

However, it would be more correct to highlight the thousands of scientists who have contributed to the world's greatest feat of feeding an extra three billion people when pundits said it was impossible.

More than 30 per cent of the world was hungry in the 1960s; today it's around 15pc yet population has doubled.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
WORKPLACE diversity expert Julie McKay tells the story of a firefighter who launched a passionate argument at one of her seminars that women were simply not physically strong enough for many jobs.

He demanded to know if she could 'dead lift' a 95 kilogram unconscious person out of a burning building on her own.

She couldn't, she agreed.

But the reality was that situation had not occurred in living memory, Ms McKay said. It would actually breach the service's protocols. Firefighters would be in that burning house with a crew or not at all.

Physical barriers to women working in agricultural was one of the key issues raised at an event run by the Meat Business Women initiative in Brisbane this week.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
New quad bikes sold in Australia will have mandatory roll bars within two years under beefed-up safety rules aimed at saving farmers' lives.

Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar announced the change on Thursday after sustained pressure from the agriculture lobby, with the new regulations also forcing bikes to have roll warnings within a year.

"This safety standard aims to address the high risk of rollovers, which is especially important for many of our farmers and their families who use these vehicles daily," he said in a statement.

Since 2001, 230 people have died in quad bike incidents and thousands more injured.

An average of 16 people a year have been killed on quad bikes since 2011 and an estimated six people a day present to emergency, with at least two of these admitted with serious injuries.

"Quad bikes are the leading cause of fatalities in Australia of all consumer products that aren't regulated," Mr Sukkar said.

To read more click trough to the full article on The West Australian website.
Gavin Moore has been a vocal advocate for farmers throughout the ongoing drought.

Now the Glenmore dairy farmer is being recognised for his efforts.

Mr Moore has been named a top four finalist in the Rural Community Leader of the Year category at the Kondinin Group and ABC Rural 2019 Australian Farmer of the Year Awards.

He said he had no idea that was nominated until he was notified that he had been chosen as a finalist.

"I was humbled to be nominated," Mr Moore said.

"I guess my nomination would have come about because of my work with the Dilly Drought Drive.

"I help find feed for my fellow farmers, unload and load trucks of hay and store the hay purchased by the drought drive until it can be distributed to farmers."

Read the full story online at the Wollondilly Advertiser website.
Ley Webster trains farm workers and runs a recruitment agency to supply workers to West Australian farmers — but she has a problem.

She says demand for good seasonal agricultural workers is outstripping her ability to supply them and her agency is stretched to the limit.

Each year since 2012 at her property at Greenhills, about 120 kilometres east of Perth, Ms Webster has trained and found jobs for 200 travellers from Europe, South America and Canada.

"I've got a network of over 500 [farmers] looking for staff in WA, and there's more room for me to do more, but it's limited by how many numbers of trainees we can fit through here," she said.

But with farmers finding it hard to attract Australians willing to work in agriculture, news that the number of second-year working holiday makers grew by 20 per cent in the past year has been welcomed by the sector.

For the full story click through to the ABC website.
A new guide offering 51 practical things Australian farmers can do to reduce on-farm energy use, operating costs and carbon emissions was released today.

With the current crippling drought putting significant financial and emotional strain on farming families across large parts of Australia the Morrison McCormack Government is focused on providing practical assistance.

Transforming Australian Agriculture with Clean Energy, provides advice around the likely cost of investing in technologies including energy storage, building insulation, pump upgrades, and solar PV to improve on-farm productivity and address environmental management challenges.

Australian agriculture is a $60 billion sector with many farm businesses heavily reliant on affordable and reliable energy in order to remain competitive.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
One of the biggest challenges a farmer like Mr Wooldridge can have is deciding how many animals to put on his paddocks.

"We were always told to increase stocking rates to increase profits," he said, but he knows from experience that there's a delicate balance to strike.

"You must increase stocking rates in good seasons and reduce it in bad seasons."

Otherwise, the grass won't be able to keep up with the rate it's being munched, and the pastureland ends up "overgrazed" and damaged.

Overgrazing isn't just bad for the land. It can mean less wool, of lower quality, slower lamb growth, more lamb deaths, and fewer lambs the following year. And it can also mean less pasture for every millimetre of rain.

For the full story click through to the ABC website.
Dairy Australia's sustainability manager Helen Dornom has been recognised for her long-standing work in the dairy industry by the International Dairy Federation.

Ms Dornom, who is Dairy Australia's Manager Sustainability including Food Safety & Integrity, received the award for her outstanding contribution to progress in dairying worldwide.

The award was presented on Wednesday at the IDF World Dairy Summit 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Ms Dornom has a long history in the dairy industry and joined Dairy Australia when it was formed in 2003, having been chief executive officer of the Australian Dairy Industry Council and executive director of Australian Dairy Products Federation. She also previously worked for CSIRO.

Read the full article on the Farm Online National website
An initiative of Cultivate Farms, Cultivator matches the next generation of aspiring farmers with farm investors to own and operate a farm together.

Sam Marwood, Cultivate Farms Managing Director says Cultivator has a farm investor ready to back the best aspiring farmer to co-own a farm with them.

“The Cultivate Farms team have met with hundreds of aspiring farmers whose dreams of owning and running their own farm have been squashed, because they don’t have access to the millions of dollars needed to buy a farm,” Sam said.

Australian Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said encouraging new finance into the agricultural sector was important for growth and to promote new and different ways of thinking.

Read the full article on the Australian Farmers website.
With over 104K views and 700 shares of their Season 1 Trailer, Visible Farmer - a short film series showcasing the largely untold stories of the role women play in food and fibre production - has made its presence felt on social media.

While any initiative seeking to empower, inspire and encourage women should be celebrated, there's more to Visible Farmer.

Visible Farmer has already achieved what few projects have achieved in agriculture - a community united around and helping share a vision.

Gisela Kaufmann is the co-creator of Visible Farmer and says she has been utterly humbled and thankful for all the support.

"Initially, we were the ones reaching out. Now, every day we're getting emails from individuals and ag groups wanting to collaborate and be involved, which is fantastic."

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website
22/9/2019
A series of interconnected events will bring the focus of the nation’s capital to rural and agricultural issues from October 14 – 17.

Kicking off with NFF’s Leaders’ Summit and 40th birthday gala on Monday at Parliament House, the week will unfold with an intensive look at Valuing Agriculture’s Natural Capital at AFI’s annual Roundtable and The Future of Animal Agriculture at the subsequent After Hours Forum at the National Gallery. This will be followed by a celebration of our best primary producers at the Kondinin Group and ABC Rural Australian Farmer of the Year Awards on Wednesday back at Parliament House, along with the CropLife Australia members forum and industry cocktail party at the Gallery. Thursday caps off the week’s events with the ARLF Annual Gala Dinner welcoming Stan Grant as the Keynote Speaker and Pip Courtney as MC at the spectacular National Arboretum.

Visit the Australian Farmer of the Year website for more information.
TWENTY-two of Australia’s leading primary producers focused on a more innovative, resilient and sustainable agricultural sector, have been awarded Nuffield Farming Scholarships for 2020.

Announced at the Nuffield National Conference Annual Awards Dinner in Brisbane, the 2020 Nuffield Scholars will each receive a $30,000 bursary to research new agricultural technologies and techniques, and visit leading farm enterprises around the world on a 16-week travel program.

The 2020 scholars will seek to address some of agriculture’s crucial priorities, like ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources, attracting and retaining the best talent in farm businesses, identifying new markets and product premiums, and adopting technology to boost on-farm performance.

Read the full story online at the Weekly Times website
NSW remote work advocate, Jo Palmer, founder of Pointer Remote Roles, has been named the 2019 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award National Winner, with Victoria's Claire Moore the National Runner Up.

Based in The Rock, near Wagga Wagga, Ms Palmer is passionate about creating employment opportunities for rural and remote Australians. She believes location is no barrier for individuals looking to create impact, innovate and make a difference. Her project enables others to also contribute to the prosperity of rural and regional Australia.

Mother of two, Ms Palmer works with Pointer Remote Roles to provide a valuable pathway for companies, corporations and government agencies to fill positions with the best candidate for the job, regardless of where they live.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
One half of the federal parliament has endorsed the call from rural health advocates and farm organisations for mandatory quad bike roll-over protection.

Greens agriculture spokeswoman Janet Rice introduced a motion to the Senate calling on the Federal Government to "act to prevent future deaths by adopting the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's recommendations in full".

The vote was endorsed by Labor the Greens and some crossbenchers but for roll-over protection to be mandatory the other half of parliament, in the House of Representatives, would have to vote in favour of a new law mandating roll-over protection on quad bikes.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
THE sky was abuzz with the sound of low flying aviators near York recently as granular fertiliser was applied before the forecasted rains were due to hit the area.

Two yellow coloured Air Tractors were in operation - skimming the trees and dropping in low over the paddocks - with New Zealand-born pilots Cameron Shaw from Taumarunui, central North Island, and Nick Wyngaarden from Canterbury, South Island, making short work of the job.

The aviators were on contract to Taurus Aviation, owned and managed by chief pilot and Tammin farmer Brad Jones.

The planes carried a 1.2 tonne load capacity, which didn't take long to empty before having to land on the dirt airstrip (which ran down the middle of two paddocks), kicking up a dust storm until the engines were idle.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
East Kimberley College students will embrace their inner Pi-cow-sso in art classes next term while learning about the importance of Kununurra’s agriculture industry and the Australian diary industry.

A life-sized model cow has been supplied to the school by Dairy Australia, and students will be tasked with painting the bovine to give it local flair.

East Kimberley College primary art specialist Katrina Bosshammer said three classes of Year 1 and 2 students would take part in the program.

“You’d be surprised at how many students live here in town and even their parents might not have gone out to Ord stage two to see what’s going on,” she said.

To read more click trough to the full article on The West Australian website.
ERREGULLA Plains is known for its historic legacy in Western Australia agriculture, being an exceptionally productive property as a result of dedicated hard work spanning decades.

Keen to pursue other business interests and ventures in life, the Smart family is offering its 22,191 hectare farming enterprise by expressions of interest.

Apart from its virtues of high productivity, great location and notable spot in WA's agricultural history books, a major drawcard of Erregulla Plains is that the 22,191ha holding, although multi-titled, is in one co-joined (complete) block.

While it can be split between multiple buyers, for those interested in the property as a whole, it is encompassed within one boundary and can be purchased as a well-oiled going concern.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
Agribusiness is tapping into hyper-accurate satellite positioning systems to develop new services and improve farm productivity.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan announced three businesses had received $50,000 seed funding to develop pilot projects using Geoscience Australia's Digital Earth Australia technology.

The Digital Earth technology uses second generation Satellite-Based Augmentation System technology.

SBAS which takes signal from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and makes it more accurate and reliable. It increases the location accuracy of GPS, which is between 5 and 10 metres and takes it to 0.5m accuracy.

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website
PhD scholarship opportunity on the co-production of knowledge for sustainable agriculture: Box Gum Grassy Woodlands

We are offering an exciting opportunity to undertake a PhD program with the National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science and Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University.

Students are offered the opportunities to push the boundaries in knowledge exchange, stakeholder engagement and governance to support sustainable agriculture. Sustainable Farms will provide, top-up scholarship of $8,000 per annum to the successful applicant.

For more information check the Australian National University website.
West Australian grain grower Ben Stanich has not used a drop of fungicide on his 10,000-hectare broadacre farm for seven years and no insecticide for two.

Instead, Mr Stanich focuses on plant nutrition and soil health and diversity.

Come harvest time, Mr Stanich — a large-scale practitioner of regenerative agriculture — still fetches the same price for his grain as farmers who are not.

Regenerative farming aims to balance modern science technology with age-old stewardship techniques to boost the sustainability and productivity of the land.

Its adoption has largely occurred on the industry's fringes, but WA businesses are vying to expand it to mainstream markets and menus.

Industry figures say consumers at home and abroad are asking more questions about the story behind their food and they are willing to pay extra if they get a good answer.

For the full story click through to the ABC website.

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a new way of reporting tax and superannuation information to us.

You will report your employees' payroll information, such as salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information to us each time you pay them.

  • Small employers with 19 or less employees – need to report through STP any time before 30 September 2019.
  • Micro employers with less than four employees: have additional options including using low cost or no cost products, or quarterly reporting through their registered tax or BAS agent.
  • Large employers with 20 or more employees – should already be reporting through STP.

STP works by sending tax and super information from your payroll or accounting software to the ATO as you run your payroll.

When you start reporting:

  • you will run your payroll, pay your employees as normal, and give them a payslip   
    • your pay cycle does not need to change (you can continue to pay your employees weekly, fortnightly or monthly)
     
  • your STP-enabled payroll software will send us a report which includes the information we need from you, such as salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information     

You will be reporting super liability information through STP for the first time. Super funds will also be reporting to us. They'll let us know when you make the payment to your employees' chosen or default fund. This is an important step toward making sure employees are paid their correct entitlements.

Before 1st of July 2019, it was only possible to extend your Working Holiday for a second year if you completed 88 days (3 months) of work in certain regions and specific job sectors. Since July, Working Holiday makers on their second year visa can extend their visa for another year. To be eligible, they have to work in a specified job for 6 months in a specified regional area. To sum it up, you will need to do 88 days of farm work in your first year to qualify for a second Working Holiday visa. Then you work 6 months during your second year to apply for a third year. The type of work you will have to do to be eligible for the third year visa are the same as the specified work for the second year visa. Important : The 6 months work must all be carried out on or after 1 July 2019. So a successful application for a third year cannot be lodged before January 2020.
While new technologies for advancing the Agriculture industry were being produced from data, UNE Professor and chief scientist of the Food Agility CRC, David Lamb, thought the persistent problem of making those technologies fit for purpose would be solved by expert human 'translators', not more technology.

"We still have problems getting data to the user, making it relevant to their situation, and scaling it up to service whole industries," he said.

"We tend to put data analysts in charge of building our systems, but we also need people who understand the way data works, its intended application, and the sort of people who will be working with the solutions."

For the full article click through to The Armidale Express website.
IT WAS a task Natimuk district farmer Michael Sudholz has performed thousands of times.

The wind had got up one day last harvest, causing the Sudholz family to decide to pull up stumps on harvesting for a while, so naturally Mr Sudholz went around the paddock to make sure the field bin lids were closed.

There wasn't much grain in the last bin, nor was there much rain forecast, but Mr Sudholz thought it was better to be safe than sorry.

He climbed the ladder to conduct the routine task of flipping the lid shut.

He remembers getting the lid down, but then things went terribly pear-shaped.

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website
Australia's history is rich with farming life, with land full of crops and livestock covering 61 per cent of our country. Farming not only provides employment but also food and resources for people across the country and indeed the globe. As a major agricultural producer and exporter, more than 325,300 people are employed in agriculture sectors in Australia. It is a $155 billion a year industry and makes up approximately 12 per cent of our national GDP.

When it comes to careers, it appears fewer people are choosing life on the land. While heading to university or going straight into the workforce after school continues to be a right of passage for some, learning a trade is becoming more popular thanks to generous wages and efficient training. While the ongoing drought and tough conditions are proving a barrier to people taking on agricultural work, it appears a lack of training was also causing an issue.

Read the full article on the Western Magazine website.
Make your business goals happen with the Young Farmer Business Program’s 12-month individual business coaching program!

You’ll have weekly coaching sessions with experienced business coach, Chris Morrison, by phone or video, meet face-to-face four times over the course the year for intensive business planning sessions and share your experience with other young farmers and fishers via digital updates!

To qualify, you must:

  • Be aged 18 – 35-years-old
  • Operate a farming, commercial fishing or aquaculture business in NSW
  • Earn at least 51% of your gross income from your farming, commercial fishing or aquaculture business
  • Be compliant with tax reporting (BAS, annual tax returns, etc.) and with employment standards if employing staff.


For more information go to the Farm Table website.
Pressure is building on the government to respond to the consumer watchdog's call for mandatory quad bike roll-over protection as rural advocates grow increasingly frustrated at their political representatives' lack of action.

Labor has thrown its weight behind the push from the Country Women's Association, National Farmers Federation, Farm Safe, the Royal College of Surgeons, Rural Doctors Association and AgHealth Australia.

CWA of Australia president Tanya Cameron came to Canberra last week in a delegation of rural and medical advocates to urge MPs to support increased safety measures on the popular farm vehicles.

"Were disappointed in some of the responses," said Mrs Cameron.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
WA College of Agriculture Cunderdin staff and students are busy preparing to welcome visitors to their annual open day on Friday, September 6 from 10am.

Visitors to the college will get a snapshot of the educational opportunities on offer and will be able to witness projects and skills ranging from sheep shearing, cattle, pig and sheep husbandry, wood and metal work projects and classroom activities.

The college offers an alternative schooling experience for Year 11 and Year 12 students seeking careers in agricultural or allied trades industries.

Practical, hands-on experience is combined with a comprehensive classroom component to give students the opportunity to attend university, TAFE, apprenticeships or to gain immediate employment once graduating.

For the full story click through to The Avon Valley Advocate website
Congratulations to Ashley Evans, the 2019 Rural Youth Young Farmer of the Year.

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government recognises that young people will be the driving force in growing Tasmania’s agricultural sector, which supports thousands of jobs across the state.

Agriculture is a key pillar of the State’s economy, contributing $1.6 billion a year, so it is important the next generation of leaders have the knowledge and skills to further strengthen Tasmania as an agricultural powerhouse.

Innovative young farmers such as the finalists who competed at Quercus Park yesterday will be crucial in achieving our goal to increase the farm gate value of agriculture to $10 billion by 2050.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
GROWING up in Bunbury and spending all of his school holidays on his family's 300 hectare beef cattle farm at Balingup and Greenbushes, Jordan Dwyer didn't consider agriculture as a career path when he finished high school.

Instead he went straight to Bunbury TAFE to study a diploma of civil/structural engineering.

"I finished school and had no interest in going to university, so I opted for a one year TAFE course instead," Jordan, 26, said.

"I was quite good at maths and problem solving, so agriculture never really crossed my mind."

Jordan worked as a structural engineering draftsperson for five years at a Bunbury firm, taking a year off in the middle to travel to Banff in Alberta, Canada, for a working holiday.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
It’s one of the most common questions we receive at AustralianFarmers: how do I find seasonal farm work in Australia? The answer is farm jobs – whether that’s fruit picking, or as a general farm hand – are easy to find if you know where to look.

If you’re coming from overseas, wanting to extend your working holiday visa or an Australian wanting to experience life on the land, these top tips will get you closer to the farm work you’re after.

1. Start looking early

If you’re travelling around Australia, start researching and networking before you even leave for your next location. Leaving your job search to the last minute can seriously limit your chances of securing seasonal work as all of the keen beans may have filled the farm jobs you want.

Read the full article on the Australian Farmers website.
A never before seen 15-part series revealing stories of Australia's female farmers will soon launch at Western Australia's Dowerin Field Days.

Each episode of Visible Farmer will give insights into the lives of women, from remote outback stations to urban market gardens, aged anywhere from their 20s to their 70s and from a range of diverse backgrounds.

Director and producer Gisela Kaufmann and producer Carsten Orlt worked together to bring the project to life.

"We heard about a study out of Melbourne that was looking into women on the land, especially in the historic context," Gisela said.

"That brought us to the idea that the image of a farmer really is a guy with a dog, so we thought we would go out there and bring these hidden faces to the forefront and put a spotlight on female farmers."

Read the full article on the Farm Online National website
Food waste is costing Australia an estimated $20 billion each year, and Australians are throwing out nearly 300 kgs of food per person per year. In Australia, many of the two million-plus small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) struggle with food waste too, and it is difficult for them to tackle this without access to funding, skills and expertise to find the solution.

To address this challenge, Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) is funding the Fight Food Waste SME Solutions Centre, an industry-led grant program being rolled out by the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (FFW CRC) in partnership with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). This $200k grant program offers matched funds of up to $50k to help SMEs find solutions to their agri-food waste challenges.

Fight Food Waste CRC Chief Executive Officer, Dr Steven Lapidge, said “this unique program will give SMEs the opportunity to tell the Fight Food Waste CRC their agri-food waste challenges and the Fight Food Waste SME Solutions Centre research community will find the best solutions for them AND offer matching funds up to $50k to deliver solutions.”

Read the full article on the News Maker website.
Jerilderie rice growers Peter and Renee Burke have taken out the 2019 SunRice Grower of the Year award at the Ricegrowers’ Association conference and gala dinner held in Corowa on August 1 and 2.

The SunRice Grower of the Year Award recognises innovation, new technology and latest research outcomes adopted in the rice industry.

The recipient of the award must showcase high yields and high water use efficiency for rice grown in a sustainable way with successful adoption of new technology and innovation.

Mr Burke said precision agriculture had underpinned a big jump in water efficiency and productivity, something that was important with water so scarce and prices so high.

"Our laser-levelled bankless channel irrigation layout with Padman Stops ensures high flow rates of water when irrigating cereals and drill-sown rice crops,'' he said.

Read the full article on the Country News website.
The Victorian Coroner has found an operator protection device (OPD) would have saved the life of a 69-year-old farmer who suffered fatal head and chest injuries in a quad bike rollover incident in 2017.

In the findings released today, the Coroner supports the ACCC’s ‘comprehensive report’ and recommendations to Government to mandate OPDs and other safety measures to improve quad bike safety.

In February this year, the ACCC recommended the Government make OPDs compulsory on all quad bikes within 24 months.

National Farmers’ Federation General Manager of Workforce & Legal Affairs Ben Rogers said the evidence was clear: OPDs saved lives.

“The Coroner’s finding adds to a mountain of research that affirms that OPDs can prevent loss of life in incidents of quad bike rollover.

Read the full article on the Australian Farmers website.
Welcome to the 2019 State & Territory Landcare Awards - Nominations Open

Landcare has played a leading role in changing Australia’s approach to sustainable agricultural practices, environmental protection, conservation of land and waterways, coastlines, biodiversity and landscapes.

The 2019 State & Territory Landcare Awards profiles individuals and groups from urban and rural communities who are working together to care for our country.

From the coast to the country, and from cities to the outback, Landcare’s greatest asset is its people - all motivated by a shared vision to restore and protect the environment in their local community.

Check here for more information & dates.
Mark Gould will support farmers taking part in the On-Farm IoT Trial.

The beginning of a trial aimed at uncovering the benefits of Internet of Things (IoT) technology on broadacre cropping farms has seen a new face start at Horsham’s Grains Innovation Park.

Agriculture Victoria Grain Technology Coordinator Mark Gould was recently appointed to support farmers taking part in Victoria’s On-Farm IoT Trial which will soon begin around Birchip, Tatura, Serpentine and Maffra.

Mr Gould said the trial would support grain growers to test IoT technology and it was his job to ensure farmers taking part in the trial had a local point of contact to help them select technologies best matched to the needs of their businesses.

“The trial will allow us to work together to investigate how well IoT technology works in the practical day-to-day running of a farm business,” Mr Gould said.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
TWO student scholarships have been presented by the Royal Agricultural Society of WA (RASWA) to help provide enthusiastic young people with an opportunity to gain experience in their chosen field of agriculture.

The 2019 Bendat Family Foundation Youth Scholarship was awarded last week to Emma Steele, 19, from the Great Southern region and a student at the Western Australia College of Agriculture, Denmark.

The Bendat Family scholarship is awarded each year to a young person pursuing an ag career.

Ms Steele grew up helping her father on her family's cereal and sheep farm.

She considers encouraging farmers to be more sustainable in their practices - including cutting reliance on chemical and fertiliser inputs - to be one of the most significant issues facing the industry.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
Corporate dairy farming is often associated with thousands of cows and high-input systems but the secret to success may be something rather more modest. In fact, AgCap's Wolfie Wagner says 400 to 700-cow pasture-based dairy farms are in the box seat to capture the interest of savvy farm owners.

Specialising in Australian dairy farm management, agCap connects farm owners with suitable sharefarmers or farm managers and takes responsibility for returns, operations and farm management. AgCap managed, until it was wound up in 2017, the Sustainable Agriculture Fund's 17 farms totalling 27,000 hectares.

The Sustainable Agriculture Fund sold the farms after poor returns in the early years of the fund were followed by significant capital growth and good income returns in the latter years, rewarding investors with $200 million over the life of the fund. Even so, investors could not be found for a fresh offering from AgCap in 2018.

Read the full article on the Farm Online National website
There is no doubt farms are some of the most dangerous places to work.

In an industry snapshot published last year, Safe Work Australia identified agriculture as having the highest overall number of fatalities in any industry over a five-year period, and the second-highest number of deaths per 100,000 workers.

In addition to this, agriculture ranked third-highest over the same period for frequency of serious injury claims per hours worked.

Farmsafe Australia said the upside to all of this is that nobody is more aware of the risks farmers themselves. More to the point, nobody knows a specific farm like the person who owns, works and lives on it.

Farms are often homes, as much as they are workplaces but living on the land that is also where a person works can occasionally lead to complacency.

Read the full article on the Farming Ahead website.
Australia's 2019 winegrape crush is set to wrap up at a better-than-expected 1.73 million tonnes, or just one per cent below the 10-year average.

The figure is well above early predictions suggesting the harvest would be as much as 20 per cent below the 2018 vintage.

Wine Australia chief executive officer, Andreas Clark, described the result as a "good-sized crop" which would comfortably ensure Australia could supply export and domestic markets.

"It further reinforces Australian winegrowers' ability to deliver consistent winegrape harvests and mitigate the effects of difficult weather conditions such as those widely reported during the 2019 season," he said.

The latest Wine Australia national vintage report did show, however, many regions suffered significant losses, including the Barossa, Adelaide Hills and Clare Valley, which were worst affected in tonnage terms.

Read the full article on the Farm Online National website.
To coincide with NAIDOC week, on Wednesday, Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt committed to constitutional change and pledged to ‘bring forward a consensus option’ during the current term of Parliament.

“It is a cry to all tiers of government to stop and listen to the voices of Indigenous Australians,” he said in his National Press Club address.

“The development of a local, regional and national voice will be achieved.”

For Natalie Sommerville, a Torres Strait Islander woman, agronomist, South Australian cattle farmer and 2019 participant of the Diversity in Agriculture in Leadership Program, said that this year’s NAIDOC Week theme of voice, treaty, truth was important for all Australians to understand and for the government to recognise.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
In the 1800s Augusta Zadow fought for the work health and safety rights of women and young workers that today we take for granted. Find out more about the pioneering work of Augusta Zadow.

If you would like to carry on Augusta's work and have an idea, project or research that would positively impact on women and young people's safety at work then we would like to hear from you.

Application process

Applications open: Friday 14 June 2019

Applications close: 9am Monday 19 August 2019

Check the SafeWork SA Website for more information
Gippsland dairy farmer Lauren Finger was told that if she was going to apply for one leadership program, Australian Rural Leadership Program should be it.

As she nears completion of the 15-month program, that advice has proven to be spot on. "I was told the program would be a life-changing experience and it has lived up to expectations," she said.

The Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) has taken Mrs Finger across Australia and beyond and has inspired her to continue forging a path as an emerging dairy industry leader.

She was supported by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, which sponsors a Victorian dairy applicant each year.

Mrs Finger, her husband, Simon, and their eight staff run two farms while raising their children Matthew, 10, Claire, 9 and Rachael, 7.

Read the full story online at the Farm Online website.
Some of the biggest names in agribusiness in Australia and New Zealand have been recognised for their leadership in the sector – and this year two more will join their ranks, with nominations now open for the 2019 Rabobank Leadership Awards.

Last year, the two industry accolades, the Rabobank Leadership Award for an accomplished senior leader and the Rabobank Emerging Leader Award for an up-and-coming younger leader, went respectively to chief executive officer of Nuffield International, Jim Geltch, and AACo chief operating officer Anna Speer. Both winners were acknowledged for their outstanding achievement in – and contribution to – the food, beverage and agribusiness industries.

Read the full story online at the Food & Beverage Industry News Website
Young farmers across Victoria can now apply for the 2019 Upskill and Invest – Young Farmers Scholarships.

To ensure young people continue to develop the skills they need to build sustainable and successful careers in agriculture, the Victorian Government is investing $500,000 in the scholarship program over the next four years.

Up to $10,000 is available per scholarship. Recipients are eligible for up to $5,000 to upskill through training and study in areas such as farming, business management and product development.

Once young farmers complete the upskill component of their scholarship, they can receive up to $5,000 to invest in putting their new skills into practice.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
An innovative trial testing the potential of Internet of Things technology on farms is now open to Victorian horticulture, dairy, sheep and grains farmers, thanks to support from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today visited the Southern Mallee, which will be home to the grains industry trial, to open expressions of interest for the Labor Government’s $12 million program.

The trial will support Victorian farmers to investigate and capitalise on the opportunities of digital technology, putting themselves – and Victorian agriculture – at the forefront of farming innovation.

Embracing digital agriculture has the potential to boost the value of Australia’s agricultural production by $20.3 billion, with Internet of Things technology – making appliances ‘smart’ by connecting them to each other via the internet – at the heart of this growth.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
WHILE most of the presentations at last week's Stirlings to Coast Farmers Group Smart Farm Technology workshop discussed cropping, one speaker did update the crowd on the latest developments in the sheep industry.

Consultant Geoff Duddy has had more than 20 years involvement in the sheep sector, initially working for the Department of Agriculture in early 1986 at Narrabri's Myall Vale Research Station, in New South Wales.

In 1987 the opportunity came for him to transfer to Glen Innes Research Station and follow through with his passion for sheep-based research and extension.

Under the guidance of Dr Doug Fowler, Mr Duddy was heavily involved with development of commercial ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis systems and lambing ewe management protocols widely used within the national sheep industry today.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
WORKING with farmers to gain more value out of their data led Esperance's Philip Honey to start up digital technology company, Environmental and Cropping Technologies Australia.

Mr Honey was raised on a farm in Esperance and said he had always shown a keen interest in agriculture and technology.

He currently works with growers and consultants to implement site-specific crop and soil management cost effectively utilising the latest tools and techniques.

Mr Honey was just one of several presenters speaking on ag tech at last week's Stirlings to Coast Farmers Group Smart Farm Technology workshop.

"I work with a lot of farmers at varying levels and work out how to get them best implemented in the ag tech industry," he said.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
MODERN farming was the theme of the day at Muresk Institute recently with the latest farming technology on full display as part of the Farm Smart Showcase.

The free event was well attended by industry, with a range of trade displays, demonstrations and presentations from professionals, as well as farm tours which enabled attendees to see some of the smart technology in action.

Muresk's Smart Farm is the first public demonstration farm in WA set up to make the most of cloud-based Smart Farm technology.

The property integrates digital equipment, such as sensors and GPS technology, which can aid efficient decision-making within a farming enterprise, making it the perfect setting for the Farm Smart Showcase.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
A regional program has inducted it's first group of innovators in the field of agricultural technology.

Led by the Central Highlands Development Corporation, the AgFrontier incubator program received more than 30 applications from startups from inland Queensland and north west NSW.

The first agtech incubator of its kind in Queensland, AgFrontier provides regionally-based startups a dedicated incubator program designed for rural entrepreneurs with a practical understanding of agriculture.

CHDC agribusiness development coordinator Liz Alexander said the program is a combination of major events, site visits and co-working with intensive support.

"CHDC is really excited by the quality of ideas and can-do attitude of the successful cohort," she said.

For the full article click through to the North Queensland Register website.
Manilla Central School could be on the forefront of the agricultural revolution after becoming one of just seven schools selected to take part in a national program.

The Agrifutures Program is a two-term agricultural entrepreneurship program, which will see 32 year nine and ten students developing business ideas, and plans to "solve some of the biggest problems
facing Australian farmers."

Agriculture teacher Justin Connors said some of the ideas in the works already were different styles of electric fencing, feed monitoring apps and other tech advances, as well as an idea that involves finding uses for redundant red blood cells after plasma has been removed.

"The program will build on the students' existing skills and their personal interest in, and connections with, local agriculture," he said.

For the full article click through The Northern Daily Leader website.
IT might have been a cold and foggy start to the morning but students were excited to learn more about rural and scientific careers at an event in Wagga on Friday.

The Graham Centre hosted the second Science and Agriculture Enrichment Day, which aims at providing insights into what could be in store down the track in terms of careers.

The educational event draws on some of the typical work that is conducted by leaders in the agricultural field in Wagga.

And for high-school aged students who participated distance was no barrier. Students travelled from Deniliquin, Finley, Culcairn, Hay and Yanco to attend the Wagga event.

Students from seven high schools were involved.

For more click through to The Rural website.
*About a year ago, the purchase of two dairy cows led to the discovery of a revolution in our paddocks.*

My partner and I, two young farmers, learned we could rehabilitate the natural environment by the way we farm.

But the stakes were high — making the switch from conventional to conservation farming could send us broke.

So we set out to meet a network of regenerative farmers who are working with nature to eliminate the use of chemicals, revegetate their land, reduce carbon emissions and encourage the return of native plant and animal species

For the full story click through to the ABC website.
Growing up on the family farm has been a handy foundation for many an agricultural career, but few farmers and agribusiness players have had quite the base, or diversity of experience, enjoyed by former Twynam Agriculture partner, Markus Kahlbetzer.

The farm sector investor and champion of innovative agricultural technology developers was guest speaker at the Farm Writers' Association of NSW Agribuzz event this week.

His company, BridgeLane Group, owns farmland in Argentina and invests in technology ventures ranging from agricultural robotics to telecommunications.

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website
AUSTRALIA has the chance to bolster its reputation as agriculture becomes the next $100 billion dollar industry.

That's according to Matthew Pryor, whose group AgThentic is helping organise a free workshop in Bendigo for cutting-edge primary producers.

"People talk about Israel and the Netherlands in terms of really well-known places for agriculture and innovation," he said.

"Actually, Australia and New Zealand are leading innovators, but not at getting ideas to full commercial form.

"Part of what we want to do with the Farmers2Founders workshop is really give people a bit of a framework for thinking about adopting technology."

Farmer Jenny Delaforce plans to attend. She has been running meat sheep in Mansfield.

Her flock is of a burgeoning new breed created 25 years ago by Western Australian Neil Garnett.

For the full story click through to the Bendigo Advertiser website.
The Hodgman government is a great supporter of Tasmania's agriculture sector, recognising the vital role it plays in building a stronger economy and creating thousands of jobs.

We are backing rural and regional Tasmania by investing $100 million in the 2019-20 Budget to fund a range of initiatives that will help grow the annual farm gate value of agriculture to $10 billion by 2050.

The Budget funds industry development across all key sectors, farm business mentoring, agribusiness study scholarships, landcare, weeds management, rural support organisations, and research and development - to name just a few.

For the full story click through to the Advocate website.
TWO Victorians have been selected as youth ambassadors in WoolProducers Australia’s Raising the Baa — Leadership in Agriculture program.

Victoria’s Samantha Wan and Shelby Garnett have been selected, and will work on developing policy briefs and implementation strategies for two key industry issues.

The program has two streams, with a fully funded company directors program delivered by the Australian Institute of Company Directors running alongside the youth ambassador program.

Stephen Lee (South Australia), Timothy Flynn (NSW), Dione Howard (NSW), Samantha Neumann (South Australia) and Karen Smith (Western Australia) will complete the company directors course in Sydney this
month.

Read the full story online at the Weekly Times website
If you are a young Australian or New Zealander with an informed opinion about shaping the agriculture sector, and aren’t afraid of a microphone, this might be the opportunity for you.

Applications have opened for the evokeAG 2020 Future Young Leaders’ program, which aims to showcase the brightest thoughts, inventions and solutions across the agrifood industry.

Eight positions are up for grabs, with successful applicants awarded tickets to the evokeAG conference in Melbourne next February, where they can address hundreds and speak about their passion and research relating to one of the event themes — food, farm, future.

Winners will receive return economy airfares, accommodation, airport transfers, a delegate pass to evokeAG and a five-minute presentation opportunity.

To read more click trough to the full article on The West Australian website.
Women in the horticulture industry are set to tackle the gender imbalance in Australian agriculture and gain the tools and knowledge needed to develop resilience, maintain wellness and rise up the ranks in their careers at an industry event this month.

Two inspiring women will present to more than 250 attendees at the annual Women in Horticulture event, which is proudly sponsored by Boomaroo Nurseries and will be held during the Hort Connections 2019 conference in Melbourne on Wednesday 26 June.

Australian zoologist and author Tammie Matson will take to the stage to share her experiences working in southern Africa and her passion for African wildlife, particularly elephants, as well as her work as the head of WWF Australia’s species program.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
It is very hard to put a square peg in a round hole. Similarly, it is challenging to think we, the rural industry, can educate children from the city about agriculture when we have a government that, to date, has not had agriculture high on its social or financial agenda.

So often I read articles about Australia sending out foreign aid, and ponder; why we don't look after out own backyard first?

Once upon a time, school holidays for city kids were spent with their country cousins. They returned to the neon lights with a spring in their step for another school term, with a sock and singlet tan, a few cuts and bruises, a handful of loose paddock words that made mothers and teachers cringe, and some seriously cool stories to tell about life on the farm. There is far more to life than city lights, lattes and loot.

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website
The Learning Management System is a place where users can browse and complete courses, manage learning accreditations and find out more about Agriculture Victoria's programs and upcoming workshops.

Agriculture Victoria's eLearning project manager Kellyanne Harris said the platform provided a convenient and flexible way to access training, which could connect users to a wide range of resources available.

"The Agriculture Victoria Learning Management System uses online technology to enhance the training we offer, enabling farmers and service providers to improve their knowledge and skills at a time and pace that suits them," Harris said.

For the full story click through to the Farming Ahead website
A group of Australian agriculture's most influential organisations have called time on the lack of women in leadership positions within the industry.

Banks; agribusiness; superannuation and insurance agencies; pastoralists; and input providers, rural research and development corporations and farm representative bodies have joined with the publisher of this masthead, Australian Community Media, to pledge to make 'meaningful change' on moving the dial on female representation.

Their commitments are the cornerstone of the National Farmers' Federations' Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program, an initiative of the NFF's first female President Fiona Simson to see more women realise their agriculture leadership ambitions.

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website
It was a harsh day for getting on the tools, but a workshop on mechanics this week was a good chance for women from the Tamworth region to get off the farm - while still learning a skill needed on it.

The Women in Agriculture (WAGs) event was held on a cold Wednesday at Dungowan, facilitated by North West Local Land Services.

Tamworth area mechanic Joel Mace took the attendees through the maintenance and basic repairs of side-by-sides, lawnmowers, tractors, farm utes, quad bikes, and small engines such as generators and pumps.

About 20 women headed out to Jacqui Gidley-Baird's property for the Mechanics 101 workshop, which will also be held in North Star on Monday, and in Walgett on Tuesday.

For the full article click through to The Northern Daily Leader
YOUNG women passionate about agriculture are encouraged to apply for a position in the inaugural AWiA Youth Committee.

Australian Women in Agriculture (AWiA) youth committee members will have the opportunity to network and seek mentorship while having a positive impact on the next generation of women in the field.

Seven young women will be selected to be part of the inaugural youth committee.

They will be required to commit to developing AwIA Youth for two years. 

The committee will be overseen and chaired by the AWiA youth development officer and the committee will meet monthly via teleconference.

For the full article click through to the South Burnett Times website
Two Sydney-based tech firms will hold a free workshop for farmers and anyone in the agriculture sector next week. 

Will Bruce, from AgriWebb, a farm management software startup, and Ed Wilson, from Figured, will speak at the Quality Hotel Powerhouse Armidale, 31 Marsh Street, at 1.45pm on Friday, May 31.

The sessions are designed to help those on the land understand what software can help them operate their farming businesses better in times of change.

They will look at making better decisions based upon data; improving productivity; how to make on-farm accreditation and audit pressures easier; and saving time.

For the full article click through to The Armidale Express website
The UNE SMART Region Incubator (SRI) has launched "AgTech Gateway", a new program offering tailored, one-on-one support to AgTech start-ups and scale-ups in the New England North West region of NSW.

AgTech Gateway is funded by AusIndustry (a division of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science) to provide individualised support to new businesses with innovative ideas.

The program leverages real-world corporate financial advice on strategy 'tuned' to the agricultural and technology domains.

Hamish Webb and Dorianne Coventry of TerraProtein Equity Partners, a global corporate finance advisory firm with a base in Armidale, are delivering the SRI AgTech Gateway Program.

For the full article click through to The Armidale Express website
A SPRING onion grower from South Australia, a mixed vegetable farmer from Tasmania and a production manager for carrots from Queensland are just three of the young fruit and vegetable producers shortlisted for the prestigious 2019 Young Grower of the Year Award, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPoint.

Honouring young growers aged 35 and under, the Corteva Young Grower of the Year Award will be presented at 2019 National Awards for Excellence during Hort Connections in Melbourne next month.

The national award recognises the next generation of the Australian horticulture industry. 

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website
A growing number of farmers are rejecting modern agricultural practices, instead relying on more natural methods to improve their land and increase biodiversity.

Queensland banana growers Frank and Dianne Sciacca say they have quit their chemical "addiction" to grow bananas the way they were grown 60 years ago.

"We were putting chemicals in the soil and on the plants but it had a severe impact on the environment," Ms Sciacca said.

"You end up being like an addict, you're depending on these things to grow your crop and you're just caught up in that circle, which is just about producing bigger and more, and bigger and more."

Fifteen years ago, the Innisfail growers ditched fungicides, mitacides, pesticides and any fertiliser that killed organisms in the soil.

For the full story click through to the ABC website.
Agricultural shows, with their ballyhoo and eclectic mix of rustic exhibits, have long been the highlight of the social calendar in many Australian country towns, and nobody knows more about them than Maleny’s own Monica Skerman.

She’s been the familiar face in the Maleny Newsagency since 1987, always quick with a friendly jibe as you pick up your newspaper or magazine. But many locals may not be aware that Monica has not only been a mainstay of the Maleny Show for 40 years, she has also been an elected delegate of Queensland Ag Shows, the peak body for the Agricultural Show Societies in Queensland (all 127 of them!) for ten years.

Born and raised on a farm near Esk, Monica was introduced to the world of agricultural shows by her father at a very young age.

For the full story click through to the Hinterland Times website
The Cleve Area School has launched the Agrifutures program, a course aiming to develop entrepreneurial learning skills in Year 8 and 9 students this year.

The school is one of seven nationally to be accepted into the program, run by startup.business.

It is the only school in South Australia to take part in 2019, the second year of the program.

In their agriculture classes, students will develop their own business pitches for solutions to problems within the agricultural sector or their local community.

Students with outstanding pitches could be given the opportunity to travel to Sydney to compete against students from other schools.

Cleve Area School launched the program with a barbecue at Sims Farm, followed by a panel discussion with local experts from a variety of agricultural and rural backgrounds.

For the full story click through to the Eyre Peninsula Tribune website
Solar-powered Wi-Fi, laser-based indoor farm lighting systems and an online lending platform are some of the technologies being developed by the seven start-ups chosen for food and agtech accelerator SparkLabs Cultiv8’s 2019 program.

Graduates of the inaugural 2018 program have raised a total of $17 million throughout the year, and SparkLabs Cultiv8 said they are developing strong international sales and partnerships with leading companies.

One of the 2018 graduates was James Tyler, which has built a multichannel platform selling Australian produce through some of China’s largest ‘new retail’ customers, including AliBaba’s Hema store. It is now the largest exporter of fresh Australian dairy to China and raised $1.4m from Australian private and institutional investors to fund its expansion.

For more go to the Food Processing website
Warialda's Ardina Jackson will spend four weeks in Canada exploring the country's best agricultural practices.

As an Armidale TAFE graduate Ardina won a big brother movement youth support award last year allowing her the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Ardina expressed her excitement of travelling overseas for the very first time in a statement.

"Not only will I be traveling overseas for the first time, but I can't wait to explore agricultural practices, in depth, across many industry levels.

"I'll be heading to Alberta to look at precision agriculture, businesses, seed breeding, canola production, research and trials. 

"After that I'll head to Saskatoon and then Regina. My visit to Saskatoon will provide access to some entrepreneurs, university lectures and weed research scientists, while in Regina, I'll be attending a conference on innovation, machinery, technology, young farmers and women's empowerment in agribusiness.

For more go to the Moree Champion website
Small-scale and craft producers across Victoria are now better equipped to grow their businesses and spread local produce more widely, thanks to support from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today visited Strathbogie Meatsmiths near Euroa to announce that the Labor Government is backing almost 250 food, drink and produce companies from around the state as part of the first round of the Artisanal Sector Program.

Run by Fiona and Andrew Townsend, Strathbogie Meatsmiths produces rare-breed British white beef sold at farmers markets. A grant of $5000 from the Labor Government will allow the Townsends to purchase a new cool room, so they can store more produce and meet growing demand for their beef.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water The crucial role played by rural women and their valuable contribution to primary industries in Tasmania has been recognised in two agricultural scholarships announced today at Agfest.

Rebekah Frankcombe is the winner of the Tasmanian Women in Agriculture Scholarship for 2019 and Chelsea Rayner is the 2019 winner of the Tas Alkaloid Scholarship.

Rebekah lives and works on a dairy and cropping farm near Wynyard and has witnessed a reinvention of farming methods and continues to strive to improve farming practices.

Chelsea has started her own Simmental stud and her enthusiasm for her work makes her an ideal choice to take part in the Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
With the sun shining and rain staying clear, tens-of-thousands of people streamed through the Agfest gates for the final day on Saturday to witness everything from livestock handling to fashion shows, in what organisers have deemed another highly successful year 

The 2019 event may not have broken record attendance figures, but it was all positives according to Agfest media and promotions manager Dylan Bellchambers.

"Look we had some fantastic weather today which has enabled some excellent crowd results," Mr Bellchambers said. "Though that number isn't a record, talking to exhibitors across the site today was very positive and they are very happy to attend ... that's why we have a wait list with over 250 exhibitors."

A total of 28,908 attended the final day of the event, taking the figure to 63,838 across the three-day event.

For the full story click through to the Examiner website.
Queensland students are being encouraged to sharpen their pencils, unpack their paints and get set to enter the 2020 Farm Safety calendar competition! 

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the annual competition was designed to get primary school children thinking about farm safety.

“Last year, we had over 1800 entries for the 2019 calendar, and now nearly 30,000 calendars are hanging in homes and workplaces throughout Queensland as a year-long reminder for everyone to stay safe on farms,” Ms Grace said.

“Twelve winning drawings will be published in the 2020 Farm safety calendar, and the winning entrants will each receive a $250 voucher and $500 for their school.”

Ms Grace said rural properties could be dangerous places if safety wasn’t a priority.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
In the lead up to the 2019 Federal Election, today the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is launching its 2019 Farm Workforce Survey.

The very short survey will better inform the NFF about farmers’ workforce and labour needs. 

NFF President, Fiona Simson said the evidence to date showed that farmers faced difficulties finding workers, difficulties that were too often constraining productivity.

“However, without solid statistical data to quantify the extent of farmers’ labour woes it’s difficult to formulate acceptable solutions,” Ms Simson said.

This survey aims to collect evidence that will indicate the size of the problem and its impact on both individual farm businesses and the sector more generally.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
How do you provide quality food to people at a decent price without having a negative impact on the environment? This is the fundamental question that the agriculture industry constantly seeks to answer. So what are the current and future trends that will impact the industry’s ability to provide a solution?

We sat down with two senior agricultural academics at Charles Sturt University to find out what issues the agriculture industry is likely to face in the coming decade, and the ways it is potentially going to meet them. As David Kemp, Professor of Agricultural Systems at Charles Sturt University, sees it, there is an underlying factor that will influence how farming is done in the future.

For the full article click through to the Career FAQS Website
The agricultural industry is changing with the ever-increasing use of technology demanding a workforce with a higher degree of digital literacy and STEM skills.

While tech’s impact in the industry is gaining a significant foothold, it’s imperative that educators are savvy with new advances, and it’s with this in mind that the Women in Agri-tech Symposium took place in Brisbane in early February.

The project has seen delegates learn about the latest and emerging agri-tech and participate in a program looking in-depth at the entrepreneurial process.

Orange High School educator Melanie Campbell (pictured above, back row, third from right) joined 14 other female teachers for the project.

“So, basically researchers presented their new and emerging technology that they've literally developed and put on the market,” Campbell, a Year 7 to 12 agriculture teacher, says.

For the full article click through to the EducationHQ Website
Join us for the first episode of Food for Thought a new podcast exploring the future of agriculture and talking to the leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs who have big ideas to tackle the big challenges the lay ahead for Australia's farmers.

Up first is Aussie icon Dick Smith. Podcast host Damian Morgan travelled to Dick's home in the outer suburbs of Sydney and spent a morning with Dick, in his office and helicopter hangar.

In this podcast Dick offers some insights into what he sees for the future of agriculture, and he's very positive despite the challenges the world and agriculture faces.

Dick talks about how, if he was starting out again in business, he'd be in farming food and not necessarily in electronics. He sees potential for selling our clean, green produce to the world.

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website
TECHNOLOGY adoption in the Western Australian farming sector has been given a $500,000 kick along.

In a major boost, 13 growers groups and agricultural colleges will receive funding through the State Government's Internet of Things (IoT) DecisionAg grant.

A total of $582,833 has been provided to eight grower groups and five secondary education institutions from across the agricultural regions to explore a range of agtech opportunities and challenges.

The grants will assist recipients to trial connectivity solutions and internet-based technology, including IoT apps and devices and systems to collate, store and analyse generated data.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
Australia’s ability to reliably produce food for an ever-increasing population is a growing concern amid droughts and increasingly volatile climate conditions.

Australian agriculture practices rely heavily on groundwater, even though this water source is becoming increasingly saline at many locations, making it impractical to use.

To combat this issue and make fresh water readily available to the farming sector irrespective of the quality of the local groundwater supply, UNSW’s Global Water Institute (GWI) is developing an innovative, solar-powered version of a desalination technology called Capacitive Deionization (CDI).

CDI has significant potential to revolutionise irrigation and ensure that Australia can continue to meet growing food production demands and, in doing so, protect Australia against food shortage during drought.

To read more visit The University of New South Wales website.
Not many farmers would have ever seen their name in lights, and even fewer would have seen a billboard-sized picture of themselves in one of Perth’s busiest spots.

But their photographic nature and the interesting stories farmers’ pictures tell has earned them a spot on a giant, 30.5m-wide, 14m-tall screen at Perth’s Yagan Square.

Pictures of shearers, farmers, wool classers, and even a kelpie from Darkan have been on rotation on the circular screen which hugs the 45m tall tower since February.

Many of the photographs were captured by Moodiarrup photographer Astrid Volzke, who is on a mission to document life in country WA and bring communities closer together.

To read more click trough to the full article on The West Australian website.
It's been a gruelling few years for the children of Coolah, a small town in central west New South Wales.

Bushfires in 2017 burnt through 55,000 hectares of land in the region — immediately followed by 18 months of crippling drought — and there were fears the local school would have to close.

But students at Coolah Central School were finally given something to smile about, winning an all-expenses trip to Sydney's Royal Easter Show.

For the town with a population of 1,300, it was a huge victory after difficult times.

"It just really bust us up … the bushfires, with all the dry feed, and then the drought came into effect straight after … it's been tough," student Hugh Wesley said.

For the full story click through to the ABC website.
Agtech in Western Australia is set for a major boost, with 13 growers groups and agricultural colleges to receive a State government Internet of Things (IoT) DecisionAg grant.

A total of $582,833 has been provided to eight grower groups and five secondary education institutions from across the agricultural regions to explore a range of agtech opportunities and challenges.

The grants will assist recipients to trial connectivity solutions and internet-based technology, including IoT apps and devices and systems to collate, store and analyse generated data.

Initiatives include using remote sensors to monitor and collect real time weather and soil moisture conditions, investigating Wi-Fi repeaters and long range low power networks, and establishing Smart Farming demonstration sites.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
EVEN though she went about it in a roundabout way, Katrina Weir is now living her dream.

Growing up on a Merino farm in Yass, New South Wales, Katrina always harboured the goal of working as a jillaroo on a station in the Northern Territory.

That aim eventually led her to Minderoo station in the Pilbara, but it is the journey she embarked on and the skills and life lessons she accumulated on that journey that is the real story.

Katrina provided an inspirational address to more than 100 ag college students at last month's Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge, in Albany, where the theme of the day was providing guidance and tips to land a dream agriculture job.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
One of Australia's leading agricultural research scholarships, the Nuffield Scholarships program is open to the next generation of farmers looking to unearth innovative practices and cultivate the global networks they need to drive change in their businesses.

Nuffield Australia is urging young farmers with a desire to drive their knowledge and businesses forward to apply.

This year, there are more than 25 Nuffield Scholarships on offer, each valued at $30,000. The application period will run until 14 June and focus on the 2019 theme of Collaborate, Innovate and Cultivate.

For the full article click through to the Farming Ahead Website
IN December 2018, Queensland and Australia lost one of their most talented agricultural professionals - Barry White, aged 76.

Regarded as the leading agroclimatologist of his era, Barry was instrumental in redefining the quality of climate information provided to the rural sector and many other users which continues to contribute major economic and environmental gains.

An indication of his professional reputation as an agroclimatologist can be gained from his plenary paper in 2000 in an international publication Applications of Seasonal Climate Forecasting in Agriculture and Natural Ecosystems - the Australian Experience. In 2004 he was invited by the United States Academy of Sciences to participate in a workshop on seasonal climate forecasting.


For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website
With Easter fast approaching, employers need to be aware that the Easter public holidays vary from state to state:

Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays in every state and the ACT.
Easter Saturday is a public holiday in the ACT and all states, except Tasmania and WA.
Easter Sunday is a public holiday in the ACT, NSW, Queensland and Victoria only.

For detailed information about public holidays in your state, visit the Fair Work Ombudsman
The Atherton Tablelands will host the first in a series of national agricultural entrepreneurship development workshops next week.

The workshops are part of a larger program developed by Farmers2Founders (F2F) which aims to expose farmers to the latest information on emerging agriculture, food and fibre technologies, supporting farmers to transform their businesses both on-farm and through post farm-gate innovations.

Supported by the AgriFutures Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Meat & Livestock Australia, and Wine Australia, the initiative was established by thought leaders and innovation specialists AgThentic, CEO, Sarah Nolet and Food Futures Company, CEO, Dr. Christine Pitt.

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website
A new collaborative project is underway to help provide producers with 'real time' decision making tools on their mobile phones and tablets.

The project, funded by the Australian Government's National Landcare Program Smart Farming partnerships, builds on the existing South East Soil Moisture Probe Network which has been helping producers on the Monaro and Southern Tablelands make better production decisions since 2017.

CSIRO are a key partner in the project, Patrick Mitchell, senior research scientist, is part of a team building a pasture forecast system to provide the 'real time' predictions of pasture and livestock conditions.

Read the full story online at the Bombala Times website
A glowing tribute to an Ord Valley farmer’s life published in The Kimberley Echo and Countryman has scooped a national journalism prize, earning the reporter a free trip to America.

Peter de Kruijff penned the piece “Vale, spirit of the Kimberley”, which was published in The Kimberley Echo and Countryman on December 21, 2017. 

The story won the ‘star prize for excellence in rural print journalism’ at the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists Awards for Excellence in Rural Reporting today.

Raymond “Spike” Dessert was a legend in the Kimberley, a farmer and rum distiller who moved to Kununurra from California in 1972.

To read more click trough to the full article on The West Australian website.
A Ladies on the Land seminar was held in Booleroo Centre on Friday, to familiarise women with precision agriculture and how useful it can be on their farms.

Under the Upper North Farming Systems banner, the group holds frequent workshops about a variety of farming topics to top up their knowledge and to be a voice in decisions on their family farms.

The workshop held on Friday was part of a two part series called Smart Farmers, Smart Farms that was funding by the South Australian Grain Industry Trust.

To read more click trough to the full article on The Finder News website.
Unique in name and nature they may be, but this year’s WA Young Achiever Award nominees stand united in one passion — agriculture.

The awards acknowledge the positive achievements of all young people in WA, with the WAFarmers and Rural Bank Agriculture Award an opportunity for several of the industry’s brightest youth to win recognition for their work in agriculture.

Those singled out this year include two women from the northern reaches of the State, Daisy Goodwin and Mariah Maughan, both of Broome, while south of the 26th parallel are Tiffany Davey, of Konnongorring, and Melissa Charlick and Declan McGill, both of Gidgegannup horticultural initiative Roly Poly Farm.

To read more click trough to the full article on The West Australian website.
RURAL Bank has opened applications for its 2020 Ag Achievers graduate program, seeking exceptional Australian university graduates ready to launch their careers in agribusiness.

Rural Bank will increase the number of places to eight graduates in 2020, reflecting the bank’s ongoing commitment to supporting young people in the sector, and rural and regional Australia.

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to engage with Rural Bank’s executive team, industry partners and customers, while rotating through key business areas including finance, human resources, marketing, credit and lending, agribusiness and risk. 

Graduates will complete rotations throughout the organisation, each tailored to accelerate their professional development. 

All graduates will undergo comprehensive training, receive one-on-one mentoring by a senior leader and be provided with hands-on experience with leading agribusiness specialists.

Read the full story online at the Weekly Times website
BY PLANTING a seed in the classroom, Queensland high school students can grow careers in agriculture.

A new educational video developed Rural Jobs and Skills Alliance and the Queensland Farmers’ Federation showcases some of the many, varied, career opportunities offered by the ag sector.

QFF CEO Travis Tobin said the ‘Your Future in Agriculture’ video was a positive step for attracting and engaging the next generation of agricultural workers for the future of the sector.

“The video highlights the importance of food, fibre, foliage, forestry and renewable fuel production, and the endless opportunities and diverse career pathways available to young people,” Mr Tobin said.

Look at the video online at the Weekly Times website
CSIRO research into the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project has determined that shifting horticulture and processed agriculture from road to rail could reduce transport costs for the agricultural industry by an estimated $70 million per year.

Australia’s national science agency conducted a pilot study in 2018 using their successful computer logistics tool TraNSIT (Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool), along with extensive industry engagement, to focus on Parkes to Narromine in Central West NSW.

Researchers identified a baseline of existing freight movements in this area to estimate the potential transport cost savings for the entire Inland Rail project, marking the first time such a detailed analysis on road to rail supply chains in Australia has been completed.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
The second round of the Coalition Government’s Smart Farming Partnerships is now open. 

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the grants would be available to farmers, Landcare Groups, universities and others.

“We are funding substantial projects between $250,000 and $4million that improve the sustainability of Australian agriculture,” Minister Littleproud said.

“These grants fund sustainable agriculture by helping create new practices and then having farmers use those practices.

“We’re looking for applications from across all agricultural industries including cropping, livestock, mixed farming, rangelands, marine, horticulture and sugar.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
TECHNOLOGY is not the magic bullet for flood-ravaged and drought-affected farms, but an expert says it can be a good tool to help prepare farmers for tough times.

Professor Craig Baillie, director of the University of Southern Queensland's Centre for Agricultural Engineering, said employing savvy practices allowed farmers to make more money in the good years, to help offset the burden of the hadrer, leaner years.

He was excited about the future of agricultural technology and how it could help things happen at the right time, every time; something he calls the 'holy grail' for farmers.

"But there's a reality here as well. We operate in a highly variable climate and tech is not a silver bullet," he said.

Read the full story online at the Northern Star website
IN AN Australian first, nine Japanese agricultural graduates will spend the next year exploring horticulture in and around Bowen. 

The visit is an initiative of the Bowen Chamber of Commerce, working with the Bowen Gumlu Growers Association to explore opportunities to collaborate with Trade and Investment Queensland and JAEC.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner has welcomed the group, which will spend the next year in the Bowen area as part of their training in horticulture.

“The Japanese Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC) has been sending trainees to the USA and Europe for 60 years, but this is the first time they have brought a group to Australia,” Mr Furner said.

Read the full story online at the Weekly Times website
IT’S a prime time for our ladies of the land to shine.

As celebrations roll out for International Women’s Day, we thought it was best to give a shout out to some of our tremendous female farmers.

Here’s nine stories of bold women marking change within the agriculture industry.

Ladies, we take our hats off!

Read the full story online at the Weekly Times website
Supporting innovation and growth in agriculture is a key part of the Hodgman Liberal Government’s long-term plan to grow the value of the State’s agriculture sector to $10 billion by 2050.

I was pleased to attend Sprout Tasmania’s In and Out Day, which celebrates the graduates of the Sprout Producer Program, a one-year accreditation and professional development program for small Tasmanian producers.

The Sprout Producers Program provides training and education to equip small-scale farmers with the practical skills needed to establish sustainable and profitable enterprises.

Sprout Tasmania, a not for profit organisation, also helps to connect local producers with retailers, restaurants and markets, creating networks and value adding through agri-tourism.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
Applying drone technology to regional industries is set to become part of Bendigo TAFE's curriculum following a pilot project.

Institute for Drone Technology chief executive Joel Spencer said there were a number of ways drones could be applied to industry.

"The point of this training is to give the staff the knowledge and skills to be able to create training products in a whole different range of areas, whether that's in construction, more in agriculture and conservation, land management, across the board of Bendigo TAFE's whole training programs," he said.

"Essentially, drones are gathering data, and then, if data is in a place that is impossible or difficult for a human to get to, well, you can send the drone and gather that data.

For the full story click through to the Bendigo Advertiser website
AGTECH entrepreneur Sam Duncan will gauge global interest in his innovative soil testing app in Israel this May, at a boot camp for Australian ag-tech start-up businesses.

The 33-year-old from Armidale won a pitch competition at last week’s EvokeAg conference in Melbourne and his prize was a trip to Tel Aviv to take part in the program, run by Austrade and Bridge Hub.

“I certainly didn’t expect it,” said Sam, one of 13 business founders to present to judges. 

“We are very humbled to have received it. I can’t wait to represent Australian agtech on the world stage.”

Sam launched the FarmLab app two years ago.

To read more click trough to the full article on the Weekly Times Website.
RDA Sydney has welcomed the release of the NSW Government’s Western Sydney Airport Agribusiness Precinct Feasibility Study as a potential game changer for farming in the region.

RDA Chair Dr Rob Lang said the study showed there was enormous potential to capitalise on Western Sydney’s existing world-class peri-urban agriculture sector and to leverage the opportunities arising from the Aerotropolis at Badgerys Creek.

“Western Sydney already produces around $169 million worth of agricultural produce annually and the study shows this could increase to bring in around $2.8 billion and create 14,500 jobs over 10 years,” Lang said.

Read the full story online at the Food & Beverage Industry News Website
A growing number of large agribusinesses are using virtual reality as a practical tool to do everything from training staff to selling stock.

Virtual reality (VR) is a three-dimensional environment generated by computers or cameras, which people can explore using special headsets or mobile devices.

Once the stuff of games, the technology has now proved appealing to some of Australia's biggest agriculturalists.

Major farm equipment supplier Case IH is now looking at using the immersive technology.

"Training is where we want to take it," company representative Scott Jericho said.

"With trainers in the US and Europe and everywhere else, we can interact with them on a live basis and look at product, whether it be whole goods training, parts training or service training."

For the full story click through to the ABC website.
The results of the 2019 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry have been announced.

The recipient of the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources’ Award will be announced at the ABARES Outlook 2019 conference dinner on Tuesday 5 March.

The Science Awards recognise big ideas from young rural innovators that contribute to the success of Australia’s agriculture sector.

To read more click trough to www.agriculture.gov.au
AUSTRALIA'S most famous hay runner Brendan Farrell has thanked truckies, their wives and employers for letting them head off on yet another hay run so soon after the huge Australia Day Burrumbuttock Hay Runners 2019 run.

Brendan spoke to his social media followers last night to update them on the current situation - they'd joined forces with AgForce to help deliver much needed hay and fodder to farmers who had fallen victim to the Queensland floods.

"We've had 82 trailers leaving today with donated hay going to Cloncurry," he said. 

"We're running around the clock again to pull this off again. I take my hat off to every single truck driver's wife and employer who's letting them do this again, we're running on fresh air and frog-s**t.”

For the full story click through to the Big Rigs website.
AS a young boy growing up on the edge of Carnavon Gorge, Khory Hancock could never have imagined that in 2019 he would be preparing to court the likes of National Geographic and Netflix.

But that’s the path that a passion for climate science and an interest in regenerative agriculture has led him down.

Mr Hancock, who grew up on 30,000 acre cattle station Saddler Springs, completed a dual degree in environmental science and environmental planning.

It was while he was working with a Sydney-based company to conduct vegetation assessments on cattle stations that his idea for documentary host persona, The Environmental Cowboy, was born.

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website
A BRIEF ceremony last week marked much more than a formal start to construction of a $5 million shared agriculture research laboratory and training facility at North Dandalup.

Canning MLA Andrew Hastie wielded a spade – acknowledgment of a $2.5 million Federal government contribution through its Building Better Regions fund – but the dream embraced by Peel Development  Commission (PDC), Murray Shire, Murdoch University and others is potentially far more significant than the facility about to be built.

It will form the first stage of a proposed $26m collaborative multi-disciplinary research cluster called the North Dandalup Centre for Innovation in Agriculture, to be funded by a mix of industry, philanthropic and government support.

Read the full story online at the Farm Weekly Website
Attendees at Friday night's Boscars heard about the passion of two young men to tell Australian agriculture's good news stories.

Sam Johnston, son of Forbes' Gary and Rosie Johnston, and Jim Honnor shared the story of their social media campaign Thank A Farmer for Your Next Meal.

The pair, now 23, met at boarding school in Sydney as young teens. The kids from farms formed friendships quickly but as they befriended city students, they began to spend weekends at their homes.

In turn, they invited their “city cousins” out to the farm in the school holidays.

“This is when I began to realise how little they knew about agriculture, but how interested they were in it,” Sam said.

The day he had a couple of friends help he and his dad move some sheep was an eye-opener.

For the full story click through to the Forbes Advocate website.
Ag-tech is booming.

In 2017 investment in the sector topped $10 billion and that number has continued to grow as a new generation of start-ups leads the way in solving agriculture’s most pressing problems.

It is an opportune time because as McKinsay and Company reports, agriculture is the world’s oldest and least digitally mature industry.

Australia looks to be leading the way in ag-tech development, so it is no surprise that evokeAG.

Australia’s largest international agrifood tech event is just days away from selling out as leading scientists, researchers, farmers and innovators converge in Melbourne to discuss what future generations will eat and how this food will be produced.

To read more click trough to the full article on the FINFEED website.
Four finalists have been announced for the 2019 South Australian AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award, recognising their leadership qualities and commitment to regional South Australian industries, business and communities.

The state finalists are Di Thornton, Michelle Verco, Natalie Sommerville and Deanna Lush,. 

The award allows state and territory winners to bring to life a project or initiative that will benefit rural or regional Australia, with a $10,000 bursary from Westpac.

The winner will also receive professional development opportunities and will join an impressive Alumni network.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone congratulated the four finalists, all of whom have contributed significantly to regional South Australia.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website
Food and agricultural industry leaders met with senior representatives from TAFE Queensland last week to start engagement regarding the set up an Agricultural Centre for Excellence in the region.

It was announced last year that Toowoomba was set to grow its reputation as an agriculture and health training hub with a new training centre being built, which is part of a $7 million campus redevelopment at TAFE Queensland’s Toowoomba campus.

With the Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges winding down and closing by the end of 2019 this news comes at the right time to continue the training opportunities in the Ag Industry.

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website
IT WAS a tough choice for Isaac Warren to go to university this year, now that the northern beef industry has got under his skin.

The hardworking 20-year-old spent the last two years on Barkly Downs Station, a vast ACBH owned property about 80kms outside of Camooweal in Queensland.

“I could have stayed up there my whole life,” he said. 

“But, I decided to go to uni, I want to create a good path for myself in agriculture.

“I think I will end up working back up that way anyway.”

At the start of last year’s season Isaac bought himself a GoPro.

The camera now has the scars from being worn by ringers for 12 months — scratches from branches and dints from motorbike stacks — but has recorded memories that will last him a lifetime.

In a short seven-minute clip, Isaac created a highlight reel from his time as a station hand.

“I think it shows what station life is like,” he said.

To read more click trough to the full article on the Weekly Times Website.
4/2/2019
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said he was pleased the Government is continuing to improve and refine its assistance to farmers in drought.

“Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has just announced FarmHub, an online resource enabling farmers to have a single and straightforward place to find out what drought assistance is available to them,” Mr Ramsey said.

“Even though we urge farmers to contact the Rural Financial Councillors to help assess their eligibility for drought assistance, many do not because they are simply not aware of the scope of assistance available.”

Mr Ramsey said the new resource would bring together information on drought support available for individual farmers.

For the full article click through to the Northern Argus Website
Extended Blundstone Scholarship to support agricultural education and jobs A scholarship established to help address skills shortages in Tasmania’s agricultural sector has been extended for a further six years, and I urge those considering a career in agriculture to apply now.

The Tasmanian Government, University of Tasmania and iconic Tasmanian business, Blundstone, have reaffirmed their commitment to the Blundstone Scholarship for Agribusiness.

Minister for Primary Industries, Guy Barnett, said the Tasmanian Government has been working to attract appropriately trained people to work in the State’s expanding agricultural industry.

For the full story click through to the Mirage News website.
The survival of regional towns revolves around the need to train and retain the next generation of willing workers — but are there enough jobs to go around?

Police officer Mick Samson has worried for the longevity of rural communities since he began visiting small towns around Parkes in the central west of New South Wales.

Speaking with ageing farmers, he learnt their children were often uninterested in taking on agriculture and were likely to move away to find employment.

He witnessed this urban migration had a flow-on effect on the wider community.

"I slowly saw the demise of businesses in country towns and a lot of those were due to poor sales because the towns were shrinking," Mr Samson said.

For the full story click through to the ABC website.
FARMERS from across Tasmania have been getting on board with the state’s burgeoning hemp industry this season.

Hemp production company Red Agriculture has recruited new growers stretching from Smithton right through to York Plains.

Red Agriculture’s director of field services Ted Jones said they had contracted a number of new growers of hemp this season.

“We’ve got all new growers this year,” he said. “The season has been going quite well so far.”

Mr Jones said across the industry there was about 2000ha being grown this year and that is expected to increase significantly over the next five years. they were initially aiming for, he is confident the crop area will grow as more farmers gave the crop a try.

To read more click trough to the full article on the Weekly Times Website.
The CSIRO and rural technology start-up Digital Agriculture Services have jointly created an analytics platform to provide reliable, independent and robust farm data.

In a statement, the CSIRO said the new Rural Intelligence Platform used artificial intellignece, machine learning and cloud-based geospatial technology to deliver its results.

It will draw on trusted data sources to obtain statistics on productivity, water access, yield, land use, crop type, rainfall and drought impact.

The Rural Intelligence Platform uses satellite imagery to track paddocks and their performance over time. It also incorporates information from Australia’s digital soil map while climate information is interpreted to show drought, frost, heat stress for livestock and other risks.

For the full story click through to the ITwire website.
AgriFutures Australia managing director John Harvey knows better than most how much great work is being done in agrifood tech across Australia.

To help shape the future of Australia’s food and fibre industries AgriFutures Australia has created evokeAG, an international technology event to be held on February 19 and 20 in Melbourne to bring the world’s brightest agriculture and technology minds together.

“Both Australia and New Zealand have the right ingredients to play on the world stage in food and farm for the future,” Mr Harvey said.

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website
Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) have banded together to find new ways to improve health and safety in the farm sector.

The Rural Safety and Health Alliance will use a competitive process to source and select health and safety projects that target new research, development and extension initiatives.

Safety Institute of Australia chairman Patrick Murphy will head the new alliance.

Health and safety performance has hardly changed in the past 15 years and the direct and indirect financial impact of agricultural workplace deaths is estimated to be $1.5 billion over this period,” Mr Murphy said.

For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life website.
23/1/2019
Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes visited Blue Tongue Berries in Seymour on Friday.

The small boutique farm received support through the first round of the Labor Government’s Artisanal Sector program.

Victoria’s best artisanal producers are receiving funding to employ more staff, upgrade equipment and grow their businesses to take Victorian produce to the world, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Blue Tongue Berries is an eight hectare organic blueberry farm which produces premium quality organic blueberries and sells to the local region.

For the full story click through to The Telegraph website.
AGRICULTURAL educators and industry leaders from across Australia gathered in Brisbane for the final Food, Fibre and Agriculture Educators Conference networked at a gala dinner on Monday night.

The conference, which is an initiative of the AgForce School to Industry Partnership Program, aims to provide professional development for teachers and agriculture assistants interested in agriculture, science and technology.

The conference and associated events started on Sunday and will wrap up tomorrow.

For the full article click through to the Queensland Country Life Website
Scholarship applications for students studying an agriculture-related degree are open now.

The AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship provides a $5,000 bursary and professional development opportunities for eligible university students.

Students studying traditional farming degrees such as rural science, animal science and agribusiness are eligible as well as those studying agriculture-related degrees such as science and math areas of study are eligible.

Students must be entering their last two years of university to apply.

For more info read the full story online at The Esperance Express website or fill in an application form at agrifutures.com.au/horizon.
AUSTRALIAN agriculture is set for a bumper year with forecasts predicting cattle prices to strengthen, farmgate milk prices to push upwards and lamb and mutton to set new annual average records.

That’s according to Rural Bank’s Australian Agriculture Outlook 2019 released today.

Download the report from the Rural Bank website

AUSTRALIAN farmers exporting overseas will be better off as tariffs have been slashed or abolished.

Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud said the good news for our farmers comes as changes are made under the Trans Pacific Partnership and the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).

"Tariffs on our farm produce going into China will be largely eliminated on January 1,” he said.

The changes to the tariffs means our farmers who export goods to China will become more competitive.

"Key exports including wine, most fruit and vegetables, seafood and some dairy will no longer cop a tariff in China,” Mr Littleproud said.

"Which means our produce will be more affordable for Chinese consumers.”

ChAFTA has contributed to significant growth in exports over the last 12 months.

Read the full article online at the South Burnett Times website

New research from the Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics Sciences has shown Australia’s agricultural workforce to be growing and getting younger.

The recently released statistics have shown the proportion of under 35 year olds working in agriculture had risen to 24 per cent, 30 per cent of which were women.

The Bureau’s Executive director Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds said the paper provided a snapshot of the characteristics and diversity of people that contribute to the industry.

“Around 11 per cent of the agricultural workforce is from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, one per cent were Indigenous and 30 per cent were women in 2016,” he said.

“More people are also entering the agricultural industry with numbers rising four per cent between 2011 and 2016, with 82 per cent of them living outside of capital cities.

“The share of women is up very slightly, accounting for 32 per cent of the workforce.

“The contribution that 87,525 farm families make to Australian agriculture is very important.

To read the full article online click through to the Esperance Express website
They say a picture speaks a thousand words, but Alice Mabin’s latest two books speak volumes.

The rural photographer documented the Australian Agricultural industry in a two book series called The Grower The Heartbeat of Australia and The Grower: Roots of Australia.

The images have captured the essence of what it means to live on the land.

They are a photographic insight into the farming industry with the purpose to help people understand the hardship our primary producers face.

Ms Mabin began her journey travelling across Australia to more than 550 properties to document life on the land in June 2017.

She visited stations throughout the rugged outback called Gypsy Plains, Qamby, Iffley Station, Tobermorey Station, Rockhampton Downs and Bull Creek to name a few.

“It takes courage to have the hard conversations and challenge public perceptions for the betterment of farmers and our nation as a whole,” she said.

For the full article click through to the North West Star website 

Women in agriculture are getting better educated than men, they are older than the average farm worker, and they are veering away from management.

Those are the findings from the latest snapshot of agricultural workers, put together by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

The study found that while the number of women in agriculture rose between 2011 and 2016, the number of managers fell from 41,982 in 2011 to 37,787 in 2016.

Women made up 28 per cent of all managers in the industry in 2016, with about half the women in agriculture working as managers.

Read the full story online at The Advocate website.

INCORPORATING hemp into a crop rotation could deliver a myriad of benefits to farmers, boosting soil health and adding value to their business.

That’s the message from Australian Primary Hemp farming manager Mitch Costin.

Australian Primary Hemp works with farmers to grow hemp across the country, and also operates Australia’s first hemp de-huller at a facility near Geelong.

“One of the biggest advantages of hemp is its versatility,” Mr Costin said.

“It can be grown in so many areas under so many different conditions. It has a rich history, and it’s been spread all over the world.”

Mr Costin said hemp has the potential to be grown across a variety of climatic conditions, with crops successfully grown as far north as Queensland and as far south as Tasmania.

Read the full article online at the Weekly Times Now website

ALL schools need to teach agriculture subjects to ensure the sector’s future, a central Victorian advocate says.

Arnold primary producer Carly Noble wants all schools to introduce agriculture subjects as electives in years 7 through to 12 in Victoria.

It is a time of uncertainty in parts of the sector, Mrs Noble said, noting the dairy industry has declined and there are pests and diseases affecting horticulture.

She feared that not enough children were being prepared to face future challenges.

“You’ve got all of these issues that we really should be talking about in schools so that kids are up to date,” Mrs Noble said.

Her calls were triggered by frustration her children would not be able to easily build the skills they wanted for their anticipated careers.

Read the rest of the article online at the Bendigo Advertiser Website

HAWKESBURY might once again be the home of agriculture technology.

Now a campus of Western Sydney University, Hawkesbury was originally the site of Australia’s first agricultural college, opened in 1891.

The campus is also slated to be the new location of Hurlstone Agricultural High School, an academically selective boarding school set to re-open at its new home in 2021.

Now firmly focused on the future, Hawkesbury recently played host to a field tour as part of the ANZ Smart Farms and Agtech Forum.

A highlight of the tour was the University’s new sensor system provided by The Yield.

A media spokesperson from the University said The Yield is a system of sensors, nodes and cloud computing hardware and software that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning.

For the full story click through to the North Queensland Register website

Building a sustainable workforce is an ongoing, complex and challenging issue for Queensland’s agriculture sector. To realise the workforce it needs for the future, the sector must attract and set up potential employees for success in their chosen field.

The Queensland Government’s decision to close the Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges (QATC) in Emerald and Longreach and cease all operations by the end of 2019 challenges this aim and is disappointing for the sector and the regional communities the colleges support.


For the full story click through to the Queensland Country Life Website

Western Queensland councils have moved quickly to fill the agricultural training void left by last week’s news that the Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges will cease operation at the end of 2019.

Meeting at the weekend, the Remote Area Planning and Development Board, made up of the seven western Queensland councils, has announced that it is “ready, willing and able” to work proactively with the state government to be part of the solution immediately.

Chairman Rob Chandler will be seeking pre-Christmas meetings with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her ministers to secure what it sees as the right combination of interested parties to deliver an education service that meets the needs of the region to economically diversify.

To read more click through to the Queensland Country Life Website

Australian farmers are expected to produce $58 billion worth of goods in the current financial year, marking a decline from earlier forecasts.

But the latest prediction from the federal government's agriculture forecaster ABARES for 2018-19 remains above the 10-year average of $56 billion.

Increases in farmgate prices and strong production in Western Australia are tipped to contribute to the solid result, offsetting the impact of a drought scorching farmland across the county's east.

The value of crops produced is expected to drop by seven per cent to $29 billion in the year, as a result of the big dry affecting NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

At the same time, the value of livestock and livestock products is forecast to rise by two per cent to almost $30 billion.

The drought is set to lead to greater meat production, but lamb and wool prices are high.

Export earnings for 2018-19 are tipped to decline by seven per cent to $45 billion.

For the full story click through to the Katherine Times Website

Foreign workers will fill unwanted farming jobs in a pocket of regional Victoria under a special visa agreement.

The state's south-west is the first region outside the Northern Territory to receive the five-year Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) to ease a workforce shortage, particularly in food processing, agriculture and hospitality.

Federal Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan, said workers would be provided with four years of work, relevant training and community support services and possible permanent residency.

For the full story click through to the ABC website

AGFORCE general president Georgie Somerset is calling on the Queensland Government to hand the Longreach and Emerald ag colleges back to industry, as they are too important “to be axed”.

She said the State had “thrown their hands in the air” and decided to close the colleges.

“We believe these are unique, irreplaceable assets and we are currently engaging with organisations and community groups around the State to elicit their support and ideas to save them. The response so far has been overwhelmingly in favour of an industry-led solution,” she said.

For the full story click through to the Weekly Times Now website

Applications close soon for the 2019 MFS (Monaro Farming Systems) farm scholarship.

The scholarship worth $2000 is for a young local person already working agriculture or interested in a long term career in the industry, to attend the Hay Inc Rural Education Program.

The Hay Inc Certificate includes a range of ‘hands on’ workshops and workplace mentoring, delivered on rural properties throughout the district.

To apply contact MFS executive officer, Nancy Spoljaric on 0438 066 322 or executive@monarofs.com.au

THERE is a tinge of sadness as this writer confronts the changing face of agriculture.

The change, of course, concerns precision farming, which within the next decade, will be an industry characterised by autonomous vehicles (AVs).

Young farmers are enthusiastically embracing this technology, but for the old timers, we can see where it is leading – to a diminishing rural population as the AVs take over.

If sporting teams are struggling for numbers now, consider the future.

West Scaddan farmer Kirk Jeitz and his wife Lisa, agree.

But the cold hard facts demand a response to technology to maintain a profitable farm.

“The next big thing in agriculture will be robots,” Mr Jeitz said.

For the full article click through to the Farm Weekly website

WHEN Kim Storey travelled around rural Australia, she found that while farmers might look different and make their living in different ways, they are united by a common thread.

Despite the drought, ­despite all the challenges they face, they are still positive about farming.

It is something that shines through in the photographer’s book What Does a Farmer Look Like?, where she presents a range of resilient and diverse farmers.

For the full story click though to the News.com.au Website.

Learning and exploring agricultural industries from foreign countries is the aim of the Young Agricultural Professionals Network’s (YAPN) monthly North-West ag meet ups.

This month’s guest speaker will be agronomist Kurt de Jonge. He recently returned from touring Denmark as part of the Rotary Professional Development Exchange program.

“There’s a lot I can talk about. I’ll be touching on ag in Denmark and how it operates. I’ll highlight some of the good things and some of the different things,” Mr de Jonge said.

“I think it’s important to share my experiences because Rotary has sponsored the trip and have invested a lot of money (for me) to go away. As an obligation to rotary, we need to share the investment.”

Mr de Jonge said he learnt a lot on his exchange and would encourage others to apply.

For the full story click through to the Advocate website

Grants are available to eligible farm businesses for projects that achieve energy efficiency or provide the business with energy productivity improvements to support longer-term sustainability.

Tier One on-farm energy grants opened on August 17 this year and address the immediate needs of farmers seeking to make simple investment decisions on-farm with funding of up to $50,000 available for eligible farmers and relevant projects.

Tier Two on-farm energy grants of $50,000 to $250,000 (excluding GST) will provide support for energy improvements across farm systems that implement recommendations from farmers’ Type Two energy assessment.

Tier Three on-farm energy grants of $250,000 to $1 million (excluding GST) are available for strategic projects that benefit multiple farm businesses and make a positive contribution to the region.

Click through to the Surf Coast Times website for the full story

SMART FARMING and digital agriculture are challenging agricultural educators to prepare students for a disrupted workforce.

Food Agility chief scientist and University of New England precision agriculture researcher, Professor David Lamb said students need to be prepared for the future.

“Digital agriculture is everywhere in the agricultural food sector,” he said.

“Students need more technical confidence, digital literacy and they have to be more numerate.”

Prof Lamb said because digital agriculture was such a fast moving space, teaching digital literacy and laying down the foundations for life long learning was fundamentally important.

Click here to read the full article on the Queensland Country Life website

With rising uncertainty putting pressure on farmers across the nation, it is small-scale farms like Harcourt’s Tellurian Fruit Gardens that are coming up with sustainable solutions.

Previously Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens, the orchard was recently re-branded under new owner Ant Wilson, as part of an organic farming co-op which includes a community vegetable garden and micro dairy.

In addition to the re-brand, the organic fruit orchard recently launched an innovative Community Supported Agriculture program which will see a number of hubs established across Central Victoria, including in Daylesford.

Australian startups will soon be leading the way in global agricultural technology, according to those working most closely with them. But that doesn’t mean they’ve got an easy road ahead.

Agtech has been an ongoing theme of 2018 so far, with several startups cropping up (pun intended) and raising millions to make life easier for the Australian farmers, producers and distributors.

In February this year, Agridigital, a startup using blockchain technology to track the grain supply chain, and to verify all deals throughout the chain, raised $5.5 million in a raise led by Square Peg Capital.

In April, another blockchain startup, BlockGrain, raised $3.5 million in an ICO pre-sale

Read the full article on the Mart Company Website

The Andrews Labor Government has unveiled its plan ensure Victoria’s $14 billion agriculture sector is best-placed to capitalise on new technologies, placing our farmers at the forefront of the digital revolution.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford launched the Labor Government’s Digital Agriculture Strategy today in Tatura to ensure our agriculture sector is supported and encourage farm businesses to embrace technology.

Digital technologies have huge potential to make farming more productive and profitable, and help the agricultural sector meet the challenges of climate change and extreme weather.


Click to read the full article on the Mirage News website

agriculture.vic.gov.au/digitalag
THERE are plenty of good stories in Australian agriculture and Belinda Hazell wants more of them to be told. After working in the horticulture industry for most of her career, Mrs Hazell has now embarked on a project to help farmers use on-farm quality programs to maintain and develop their social licenses.

Mrs Hazell was recently awarded a Churchill Scholarship, which will allow her to travel to a number of countries to research ways to do this.Growing up in the orcharding region of the Huon Valley, Mrs Hazell saw first hand how much work goes into quality- assurance systems.

“The key learnings I’m looking for are how farmers are being proactive around leadership, compliance standards and using their marketing tools as well, and how they use those to stay ahead of social licence demands,” she said.

Click here for the full article on the Weekly Times

Queenslanders are being urged to help save a long-running children's agricultural education program facing the axe as a result of State Government funding cuts.

AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said the School to Industry Partnership Program (SIPP) had been operating since 2004 and engaged with more than 10,000 Queensland school students and teachers every year to showcase where food comes from and to highlight job opportunities in agriculture.

"This is a unique program that works across Queensland to connect school students of all ages with agriculture and show them the important role it plays in their lives," he said.

To read the full article click here to open the My Sunshine Coast Website

AGRIFUTURES is redefining its role as one of Australia’s fifteen Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) by positioning itself strongly in agricultural technology. 

Following on from its successful GrowAg conference held in 2016, the body previously known as the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, will be hosting the EvokeAg conference in Melbourne next year. 

As part of the agtech extravaganza, AgriFutures are currently seeking applications for its technology “pitch tent” as well as the Future Young Leader program. 

For more info click through to the full article on the North Queensland Registers website

Agriminders is a new podcast released this week (Monday 21 September) that sets about tackling the big issues pertinent to the agricultural industry. Scientists Chris Russell (think ABC program New Inventors judge) speaks to industry leaders and custodians of Australian natural resources and food production to grapple with the task which lies ahead; how to feed mankind into the future in a sustainable, economical and ethical way. For example, he covers topics such as animal welfare and farming, speaking to the RSPCA and government officials and broaches the issue of water security around our large continent, speaking to the Honourable Neil Andrew AO, Chairman of the Murray Darling Basin Authority about that.

For more info click here to visit the TripleM News Webpage

Grant applications are now open for the 2019 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. If you’re 18-35, this is your chance to apply for a grant of up to $22,000 to fund your project on an innovative or emerging scientific issue that will benefit Australia’s primary industries.

The Hon. David Littleproud MP, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, launched the 2019 Awards​.

The Science Awards encourage young scientists, researchers, innovators and others active in the agriculture sector who have an original project that will contribute to the ongoing success and sustainability of Australia’s agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries.  The Science Awards have already helped more than 230 young Australians make their ideas a reality and showcase their talent to the world.

For more information on how to apply click here for the ABARES website

Time is still available to those who have considered applying for scholarships offered by The Agricultural Bureau. 

The Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship for Young Farmer will provide an $8000 grant to SA farmers aged 18 to 40 with the opportunity to improve personal and professionals skills. 

The Rural Youth Bursary is a $5000 grant for rural young people aged 18 to 30 working in a rural community to undertake further study or develop a special project. 

Find out more: www.agbureau.com.au/awards or email agbureau@ruralbusinesssupport.org.au and apply before September 17. 

At the 25th annual Muresk Institute lecture two weeks ago Mr McKillop described his journey to become chief executive officer of Hassad Australia.

Growing up in the Macquarie Valley, in the New South Wales central west, Mr McKillop’s early ambition after finishing school was to go back to the family farm.

“My family had been in that district since they came out from Scotland in 1838 and somehow every generation had got their own block or gone back onto the original block,” Mr McKillop said.

For the full story click here to open the article on the Farm Weekly website

Agricultural groups in Grey will benefit from Landcare Smart Farms Small Grant funding to adapt to change, innovate and become more sustainable.

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the Agricultural Bureau of South Australia has been successful with two grants under the program totalling almost $140,000 to implement more sustainable farming practices. 

Read the full article online at the Flinder's News

The Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days is not only a showcase for the latest agricultural machinery, it also highlights the depth and breadth of careers available within the industry.

With this in mind, the Field Days Committee this year has brought a new competition into the fold, the Young Farmers Challenge.

Event co-ordinator Suzanne Blay said the aim was to build the field days’ focus on youth.

Read the full article online at The West Australian

SHE makes her way around Australia in an eye-catching matching silver LandCruiser and 23-foot van that readily converts between living space and gallery space, on a mission to document the diversity and reality of Australia’s many agricultural sectors and regions.

Released this month, The Grower is Al’s third publication, a two-volume pictorial that explores all that grows, whether by roots or heartbeat, across the length and breadth of the nation.

Read the full article online at the Weekly Times. 
“Not everyone wants to work in the city,” said Ross Sticklen, which is just as well because his job is to recruit staff for cattle stations in some of the most remote areas to be found throughout the outback in Northern Queensland.

“Those drawn to agriculture can come from diverse backgrounds. We attract Ag. College graduates, tradesmen and those off family properties wanting to develop a career in agriculture, to name a few.

“It’s more than horse work these days; a wide range of skills are required to work on a cattle station.”

Read the full article online at HRD Australia

Dimity has always wanted to improve the community’s sense of belonging, especially given the trend of small towns getting smaller.

“My big aim this year is to try to bring everyone together,” she said. With this mission in mind it’s no wonder Dimity jumped at the idea of starting a Country Women’s Association (CWA) for Gnowangerup, Borden and Ongerup.

“All the towns are getting smaller and everyone has to start coming together and working together,” she said.

“So we talked about starting the CWA to bring all the girls together and do something to reunify all the towns.”

Read the full article online at Farm Weekly

There is a looming possibility of a free trade deal with European for Australian farmers. Malcolm Turnbull, the Prime Minister made it clear that the Australian agricultural market needs open access to the European Union’s agricultural markets. Mr Turnbull is set to tell the German political Foundation of just how important it is for this free trade deal between Australia and the European Union. He is set to do this in an address that will link the free trade deal whilst holding back political populism right across the planet.
Melbourne University had a recent Food and Fiber Careers Day which was attended by hundreds of secondary students from various parts of Victoria. The event was held at the Dookie Campus and included a dozen workshops under the topics of technology and agriculture with a focus on modern innovations in both.
Up and coming startup companies in WA have a new opportunity. They just wrapped up the inaugural Harvest AgTech Accelerator program in Perth. The initial round of the program included 8 companies that presented their final business pitches to possible investors. Only three of the startups were awarded; these included Grubs Up, ScientificAerospace and MALDIID.
The Goulburn Young Farmers Network have been very successful for the past two years. They have taken 1st place in NSW and 2nd place overall at the national competition of the Australian Young Farmers Challenge which showcases high level on-farm skills.
Mixed Enterprise farming includes a bit of cropping and a bit of animal rearing. While different forms of agriculture each bring their own ups and downsides, employing multiple streams can help to mitigate the risk of a poor season. Wagin farmer Clayton South has implemented mixed enterprise farming, rearing sheep and growing grain. He explains that this allows his family to have a stable income throughout the year even though it does come with its challenges.
It’s one of the best times to start a career in agriculture according to the National Center for Vocational Education Research’s study. The findings show that managerial jobs in the agricultural industry are expected to have openings of 10,100 each year for a total of 81,000 jobs by the year 2024.
Richard Devlin grew up in Perth. His farming roots sparked an interest in an agricultural career which led him to become part owner of one of the most successful agricultural consulting and research firms in Australia; Living Farms. The company Living Farms was started in 2007 and is based in York in Australia. It was established in conjunction with John Foss who wanted to provide information to members of a growers group. Richard was bought on as an equity partner and joined the business just a year before taking on the role of managing director.
Peter Knoblanche the CEO of Rabobank in Australia cautions the agriculture industry that leadership skills and business management are going to be key skills for the success of Australia’s agricultural operations.
This year there has been a noticeable increase in the number of young people enrolling in farm schools across WA. Statistics from the Education Department show that this year there was an increase by 37 students over the number of students on the previous record intake list of 2015. Another noteworthy fact about this year’s intake is that it has had the 2nd highest amount of female students with 34% of the total enrollments being female.
Farmers in Australia are looking at a new model for their agriculture businesses that enables farmers to purchase shares in the produce from a farm. They are using what is called CSA – Community Supported Agriculture business model.
Work is in the pipeline by WorkSafe New Zealand to put in a major project that will aim to cut down the amounts of deaths and injuries that take place on farms which involve vehicles
Curtin University is on track to get an Agribusiness course offered in their curriculum. They have started the consultation process with some key industry stakeholders to help determine what the course outline will be for the new degree.
There are many technology companies from Australia that have made their mark in the market for business to business services. Corporations such as Aconex, Wisetech Global and Atlassian are already in the field, but there are so many sectors that could benefit from this as well.
The AgWork Tour Pilot was designed to help people who are looking for a long-term future in agriculture by providing them with first-hand experience in the field.
It has been a long-held opinion that the agricultural industry is adverse to change and reluctant to embrace new technologies. But agriculture faces a big future, the food demands of an increasing world population is fuelling development opportunities that will propel Australian farming into a new technological age.
17 years ago Dr Wendy Quayle came to Australia as part of her work in the British survey team in Antarctica.
A new crowdfunded television campaign hit Regional screens on March 24. Funded by not-for-profit advocacy organisation Farmers for Climate Action the key message of the TV ad campaign was that "business as usual" is no longer an option. The television campaign is highlighting the delicate position of Australian agriculture in relation to climate change.
Farmers are always on the go, and their work almost always goes unappreciated. For most city dwellers farms and farmers work are out of sight and out of mind. In the past few years though, a movement has grown to showcase the work of farmers on social media.
The 2018 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award for South Australia was awarded to Alex Thomas. Alex will go on in September of this year to represent the state at the National Final in Canberra. The award includes a $10,000 bursary that is provided by AgriFutures Australia. The award is designed to provide funding for a project to prevent permanent injuries and deaths in agriculture industry workplaces.
Nicola MacKay, a girl from Tully with a passion for the banana industry, is now the proud awardee of the Mort Johnston Scholarship for 2018. The scholarship has given her the opportunity to follow her family's footsteps in the banana industry. This scholarship will provide her with $5000 in financial assistance, giving Nicola financial support while perusing work experience on a commercial banana farm.
The Western Downs region now has a new agriculture group thanks to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). The group aims to bring together persons aged 15 to 35 years old that are working in the agriculture industry. In the group, they will get the opportunity to share ideas and experiences and use this shared knowledge to make a better future for agricultural innovations and to ensure that the industry has a right amount of younger players as well.
Despite a setback in the total value of Australia's agricultural sector, the new agriculture Minister David Littleproud was enthusiastic as he opened proceedings on his first Outlook conference at the head of the portfolio.
Australian Agriculture's continued success is based on it's ability to adapt to the challenges of a changing world according to a ABARES Executive Director, Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds. Speaking at the 2018 Outlook conference in Canberra he identified the five key areas that will have the most impact on the future of agriculture.
Russel and Nicola Crago are farmers in Coomberdale that have soil preparation as one of their top priorities for managing the effects of rain. The Crago's have three children; Sophie age 6, Millie age 11 and Jack age 13. Together the family operate "Trewin" where they grow hay and grains and produce prime cattle and lambs.
The first set of hemp crops grown since the changes in legislation late last year are at the point of being ready to harvest. The law came into effect on the 12th of November and allowed hemp to be consumed by humans legally in Australia. There has since been an increased interest in the products at either end of the supply chain.
The Game of Drones is a competition run by Hermitage Schools Plant Science. With entry open until the 29th of June, this contest provides an excellent opportunity for young science minds to shape the future of the agriculture industry. The tournament will be engaging while making agricultural science a lot more fun for young minds.
There is a huge disparity when it comes to gender in the field of farming based on results of a study done by Leonnie Blumson from the University of South Australia. The research shows that a mere 10% of farm successors are daughters of farm owners. Sons get the farm worth sometimes millions of dollars and girls get any leftover assets when the parents die.
Christie Stewart wants to make a difference in the agricultural industry thanks to her childhood growing up on a farm. She holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and plans to use her expertise to tackle some farming problems that farmers face.
On Saturday the 20th of January the first event for 2018 hosted by AGCONNECTWA was it's yearly cocktail party. The focus of the night was to increase social opportunities for the younger population of the agricultural industry.
The Student Edge organisation presented results from research collected from four focus groups. They gathered data from students in Western Australia; grades 10 to 12 and students in their first year of university, as well as a survey of 500 students from grades 9 to 12. The results showed that most students think of agriculture as a lonely and remote job with few options for career progression.
“I thought I’d have a few months up here as a break. Then Black Saturday came through and I haven’t gone back yet – that was 10 years ago nearly.”
First-year students of agriculture-related degrees and senior students studying financial services for use in the ag sector are encouraged to submit their application for the 2018 AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship. Applications close at 2 pm on Friday, February 23, 2018. The online application form and terms and conditions can be found at agrifutures.com.au/horizon
The Young Farmer Business Boot Camp is now open for registration to young farmers from across the Wimmera area.
The freedom of farm life led to a love of agriculture for 19 yo Matthew Hyde. Growing up on his family property of 13,000 acres in Dalwallinu Matthew grew to appreciate the different opportunities that were not available in the city where Matthew attended high school.
The first ever universal cross-sector collaboration of all 15 rural research and development corporations (RDCs) has delivered some very promising results.
For Georgia Osborne, like many inner-city kids, Agriculture was never on the radar as a study option after high school. The 20-year-old had her sights on something in the humanities. An all-round student she applied for a Bachelor of Arts/Science but put Bachelor of Ag as a second preference at her Mums prompting “my Dad had studied it at the University of Sydney and really enjoyed it,” she said.
SproutX; Australia’s premier tech incubator and co-working hub focussed on AgTech start-ups has announced it’s first round of launches. The startups include several innovative “Internet-of-Things” (IoT) applications for Agriculture.
Dr James Hunt is the co-ordinator of the Bachelor of Ag Sciences at Latrobe University sees big challenges ahead in the area of food security. This is compounded by the lack of new blood coming into the area of research science.
On the 30th of November 2017, a new service was officially launched to help workers to transition into employment in the agriculture industry in Lockyer Valley. The new facility FarmReady will help those seeking a job at every stage of the employment process. They have help from the time they leave their homes to the time they have completed their roles in the region.
Mr Rockliff thanked Blundstone for their offering $60,000 to go toward the 2018 scholarships to which the government is matching dollar to dollar for a total of $120,000. Blundstone is happy to be funding the scholarships as it provides them with a way to give back to the local community in their home state of Tasmania.
The internet has been taken by storm by a small Lego farmer who has managed to garner a following of over 13,000 on social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
On the 23rd of November 2017, a forum to discuss Smart Farm Grants funding was held at the Katanning Leisure Centre. Member of O'Connor Rick Wilson organised the conference. The panel aimed to address the offering of some grants for the agriculture industry on the whole.
The most recent announcement of a partnership with Monash University has been welcomed as a collaboration that brings with it a unique facility. Both Bosch and the Monash University will partner to establish a space that will have as its focus the use of innovation and technology in agriculture.
The sheep and wool industry is no longer one that is being pioneered by older folk. The younger generation is now highly interested and passionate about the industry as well. Young people now want to make a difference in this industry, and they are being encouraged to apply for the 2018 Peter Westblade Scholarship.
The amount of agriculture data that is being collected has seen a significant increase of late, but there is still the challenge of adopting technology on farms.
Get ready for and be up to date with all the official public holidays in your state this Christmas and into New Year 2018
By necessity and nature, rural Australians are innovators having always had to create solutions quietly while working with constraints with resources as well as with their geographic isolation
You might for a moment imagine a sci-fi future of Agriculture, one that isn’t just lab-grown food. A future where autonomous vehicles buzz to life as you switch them on from your laptop km’s away from the paddock. Harvesters start to work in a field of corn, all the time communicating wirelessly with a self-driving grain cart that works its way between the combine and a waiting semi truck.
New technology has heralded the recent addition of newborn calves into the James Sheahan Catholic High School's agricultural program.
A love of agriculture has led 6th generation farmer Toby Field to uncover a new passion for Flying Drones. Toby saved money for is first drone raising and selling lambs and bagging manure. After a lot of research and saving he was able to purchase a DJI Phantom 4.
Seaweed just may be the future of Australian agriculture. At the AgriFutures Stakeholder Forum held in Wagga in October Seaweed was the star of the show. Along with seaweed, we could see goats milk as well as some native botanicals driving the booming agriculture industry.
You know that saying; “the apple doesn't fall far from the tree”? Well, that is very true when it comes to the Goomalling farm. Murray Siegert and three of his sons have decided to work together for the next couple years on their 6000-acre block of land in Goomalling.
There was a nation-wide call-out for individuals who are driven by a passion for strengthening their communities. In response, sixteen individuals have been announced as Heywire’s 2018 young regional trailblazers.
Vanessa Bell is a former fashion model who is exploring a new wave of potential for on-farm businesses in Australia. She is taking value-added products directly into the online world.
The idea of combining technology with agriculture by delivering on-farm experiences to students through virtual reality (VR) caught the attention of the Royal Agricultural Society of WA(RAS). To showcase Farm VR, Tim Gentle demonstrated his virtual reality experience at the recent IGA Perth Royal Show. His primary objective is to teach children and young people about the wonders of farming through Farm VR.
This year, a Barossa Valley goat meat visionary and an aspiring agricultural sciences teacher from Mount Pleasant have been recognised as future leaders in agriculture.
Gumlu, Queensland is a region in Australia that boasts the most extended growing season for horticulture. The 750ha Rocky Ponds Produce property owned by Des and Paula Chapman can produce a million cartons a year in capsicum, melon and pumpkin varieties.
Mark Julien made the move to ban quad bikes from Landcorp’s New Zealand Dairy Farms two years ago as a safety measure. He described the move to axe quads from it’s 57 Dairy Farms in 2015 as a success.
At only 20 years of age, Tiffany Davey has already established a noteworthy career in the Agriculture Industry. An author and advocate for mental health she also assists in coordinating the Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days.
Tanya Dupagne has been named the 2017 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award National winner and South Australia’s Simone Kain, the national runner up.It was announced in Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday night.
Andrew ward, co-founder of Ethical Fields said that “Cooperatives are the original social enterprise, but forming them is hard work”. With that in mind, he launched the initiative to create a new model to address the issue of many farming groups being indebted to big chemical companies and supermarket chains.
Elise Wilson being granted her highly desired scholarship helped her pave the way to a her new career path. Wilson was raised on a farm around the Coleambally region and was awarded last year the Jan Cathcart scholarship (from SunRice).
Over 20 years of tough efforts and research and rural progress were recognized in Dalwallinu in August with the participation of over 110 members who joined others to honor the Liebe’s Group 20th anniversary.
Become a part of the University of Melbourne’s  Dookie campus and experience the most current research and education in animal and plant cultivation and agriculture business studies.
Farming Together – is a great resource for primary producers to help value-add, build marketplace strength and boost returns.
Founder and Managing Director of the Chia Co John Foss relates the excitement around his switch from growing wheat to launching his own worldwide superfood venture twenty years ago.
Valuable ideas often stem from the younger generation who work and study in the sector, which is why the Innovation Awards are so important for progress in the sector.
For a world that will see a population increase of 24%, to an estimated 9.8 billion people by 2050, the most important resource is land that can support agriculture.
Running in Brisbane from the 22-24th September, the annual Women in Agriculture conference AWiA, will explore sustainability in the lives of Women working on farms and in rural industries across the country.
The National Farmer Federation have released a new guide aimed at helping the 40,000 working holiday makers each year that come to Australia and find work in the Agriculture industry.
Safework SA has recently launched a fresh 2-year initiative to upgrade the health and safety conditions in the working Agricultural field. This new action plan has been built after consultation with agriculture businesses and focuses on decreasing the number of accidents on farms and agricultural spaces all over South Australia.
Mr Janabi abandoned his home in Babylon in 1999 in the midst of civil hostility. Following working many jobs including as a fruit packer around the Mildura and Shepparton region, Mr Janabi managed to purchased his first farm at Kooroongarra next to Millmerran in 2016.
Regional agricultural sector advocates like Allan Mahoney and others are pushing for the Federal Administration to relocate the office of the Fair Work Ombudsman to Bundaberg.
Lachy Johnson, a 19-year-old apprentice mechanic from Bordertown, has been named South Australia’s Young Rural Ambassador for 2017.
Based on the Agricultural Census data published every twenty years, changing local weather conditions have had a measurable impact on crop and livestock production numbers for the year of 2015-16.
Business and agriculture teams for the first time engage themselves in a progressive dialogue for free trade agreement with Latin America nations, forecasting a large windfall for farmers and exporters alike.
A record number of 12,000 people have honored Winter Harvest Festival with their presence and joined the celebrations for Scenic Rim’s premium farm produce.
Agriculture employs less than three percent of Australia’s total workforce, but accounts for 23 percent of all workplace fatalities.
Business case studies from agricultural innovators, plus climate adaptation, trade agreements, water security and increased productivity through digital technology will be discussed at a free conference in regional Victoria, Australia on 26 July.
The young farmers in the New South Wales region will now be able to participate in workshops to help prepare them for bank and business aspects, after getting $6M in grants for 4 years through the Young Farmer Business Project.
Aussie farmers have achieved a new record as reported by Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource economics and sciences (ABARES)
There are many examples that demonstrate that hard work can result in great things. Leeton's Madison Coelli is one such example of what dedication can lead to.
New Pay rates apply from the first pay period on or after 1 July. For example, if your pay week is from Monday to Sunday, the new rates take effect from Monday 3 July.
Nicole Ong has started the Food Value Chain Innovators: Emerging Leaders Program as part of a 2 year scholarship sponsored by Dairy Australia (DA) and MLA Donor Company.
Women in regional areas will be given the chance to join an innovative program targeted at providing solutions to agricultural challenges. The program is called “Riverina Collective’s Think Big Rural Women program” and focuses in cultivating community leadership expansion in females who reside in small rural communities across the Riverina area.
Among the recent Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project visitations was the visit to Shepparton High School a few weeks ago, with the aim to promote agricultural and environmental careers to both teachers and students. Carla Miles, project supervisor, expresses her hope to sow the seed on 7 and 8 year level students concerning the exciting prospects of the Agriculture field and the developing career choices.
Coming from from the little village of Mount George in Manning Valley Dwayne Schubert explains how his career has jump-started...
Everybody considers or quotes tourism, energy, IT, and healthcare as the developing sectors of the future. However, for many experts, Agriculture should also be a part of this list.
Jessica Zieltjes, Red Bend graduate can’t wait to embrace a future in the agriculture field.
Garry Pittman with the help of Kerri Capill, manages to hurdle his subpar literacy skills to be accepted in a wool classer course.
Students were recently given the chance to examine the agricultural future on the Food and Fibre Careers Day at University of Melbourne Dookie College campus for two consecutive days Thursday and Friday.
UTA student Ashlea Schott has managed to win the annual Agricultural Institute of Australia award for students, presented in Western Australia.
Based in Bowen Qld, Stackelroth Farm is an almost all-female operation managed and operated by same-sex couple Michelle O'Regan and Belinda Williams.
24 year old Jess Andony from Harvey WA was awarded with a Western Australian Young Achiever Award on Friday. She was recognised for her contribution to the Dairy Industry in the area of research and development at a gala ceremony in Perth.
The Agricultural Start-up sector has no shortage of willing investors, just a shortage of investment friendly opportunities, according to ​Sam Trethewey the General Manager of SproutX and Agri Innovation manager at Findex.
Dr Stephen Ives, University of Tasmania research fellow was one of many researchers sharing insights around the impact of sharing Australia's agricultural knowledge in developing countries. ​
The Andrews Labor Government has announced an upgrade to the broadband, mobile coverage and Wi-Fi hubs across Victoria. ​ ​This comes as a direct response to the nine Regional Partnerships unanimously calling for improvements to digital infrastructure. As a result the 2017/18 budget includes $45 million for the Connecting Regional Communities Program (CRCP).
The future of agriculture is looking exciting to young farming professionals like Sophie Forrester. She moved back to to the family property in Qualeup WA after graduating and undertook a business apprenticeship while working part time on the farm. Initially she has no intention of making a career on the land but realised that her heart was in it and so enrolled in a Diploma of Agriculture via Charles Sturt University. Sophie has been working on the farm, Glenkeith, full-time for two-and-a-half years now.
​The highlights from the budget this year for farmers sees major spending on an inland rail and an increase in funding for the National Landcare Program. ​ Key points: - $8.4 billion for inland freight rail between Melbourne and Brisbane - $1 billion in Landcare funding over five years - New food safety requirements for importers, and new powers to hold product at the border - Farm Household Allowance remains capped at 3 years, but maxed out farmers can apply for loans - Live export industry gets $8.3 million to develop new welfare assurance program
Improved training opportunities via the campuses at Geralton and Bunbury will deliver agricultural qualification AUR30416 – Certificate III in agricultural mechanical technology. ​ ​The course will consist of 24 core and 12 elective units and will familiarise students with the maintenance and operation of a wide variety of agricultural machinery in the automotive retail, service and repair industry. ​​​
James Anderson is a typical example of what the future of Australian Agricultural leadership looks like. The 22-year-old from Ocean Grove in Victoria is tech-savvy, innovative and hard working and has his eyes set on a career in corporate farm management.
Doubling Australian agriculture production by 2050 then the greenhouse gas emissions attributable to agriculture becomes about a quarter of all emissions – about 28% ​If the energy sector’s emissions are halved to 30% and agriculture production is doubled, suddenly agriculture’s share of greenhouse gas emissions has jumped to half.
The 2017 winners of the Peter Westblade Scholarship have been announced. The was Scholarship is set up to champion practical skills needed in the sheep and wool industry and helps to provide hands-on experience to young people aiming for careers in the sector.
The federal government is making good on an election promise to provide a $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund to support professional development in the sector. Applications are open until May 17th. ​
According to ANZ's - Funding our Future report on Agribusiness in Australia an additional $109 Billion in additional investment is needed by 2025 to retain the current level of export share.
Founded in 2014 Australian startup The Yield uses sensors to feed a database with information relevant to any number of agricultural and aquaculture processes. The data is then visualised in custom apps for farmers and growers to make informed choices based on relevant conditions in their environment.
The Australian productivity commission has produced a a wide range of recommendations as the result of an investigation into the Regulation of Australian Agriculture. The most pressing reform changes involved the streamlining of animal welfare standards via a national agency formed by the states and federal government.
An alpaca farmer has signed on to a trail initiative of the NSW Department of Primary Industries, to educate city dwellers on the realities of the rural lifestyle called Visit My Farm. ​Daniela Riccio returned from 15 years living overseas to start a new life in the village of Laguna, in the Hunter Valley. Originally from Sydney they started developing the 20 acre property into an alpaca, garlic and lavender farm and in four-and-a-half years have developed a lifestyle they are keen to share with city dwellers.
The Latest report from UBS' Australian economics team see farm production rise in Q4 by 8% in December, a massive 24% higher that the same time last year. This highlights the need for greater acknowledgement of the role Agriculture plays in the greater economy. The traditional focus on Homes and Holes driving GDP via the housing and mining sectors overlooks the other contributing industries.
After decades building and running any business the thought of passing the business on can be daunting. This is especially true of Farm Businesses according to Rabobank succession planning facilitator Rosemary Bartle. "People often ask, 'why so much of an issue in agriculture and not other businesses?' "I think it's because there is so much tied up between family and business and where we live, and [farms are] often very large assets."
A man in his 70s was found trapped under a quad bike on a property near Orange on Thursday afternoon. The fatality is the fifth quad bike death in NSW this year. Geoff McKechnie the Assistant Police Commissioner issued a plea for increased caution when riding quad bikes. He said while they served as a good vehicle for farmers, some people did not understand the machines limits.
In 2016 the Agriculture industry provided the second largest export contribution to the Australian economy ​behind iron ore, but is not receiving the recognition due to it from the government according to National Farmers' Federation (NFF) president Fiona Simson.