Agriculture’s silos of science will break open on National Agriculture Day in the NSW northern rivers region, with Farming Together’s first ag R&D forum.
Up to 100 researchers and farming leaders will mingle on November 21 to share ideas on soil and plant science, engineering, farm business management, environmental science and human nutrition.
The invitation-only event is part of an Australia-wide initiative for National Agriculture Day.
Southern Cross University is hosting the event, which will include speakers from the beef, horticultural, forestry, fishing and dairy industries. The university is auspicing the Farming Together program on behalf of the Australian Government.
Program Director, and head of SCU Strategic Projects, Lorraine Gordon (pictured) said: “This inaugural event will be an important touch base for transdisciplinary research opportunities. It will address R&D capabilities across a number of universities and other agencies, as well as a variety of agricultural industry sectors.
“As government agencies shift away from agricultural R&D, it becomes more compelling for universities to take the initiative and fill the ag-science space, in close conjunction with Australian farmers.”
She noted that Australian agriculture has had a long and highly successful partnership with science. “In the past this has delivered world-leading production gains,” she said. “Into the future, science is strengthening Australian farming’s sustainability and economic integrity. Last year, Australian farmers invested $334m in industry research and the results are borne out in results such as the halving of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions over the past 20 years.
“Meanwhile, agriculture powers 1.6m jobs across the national supply chain. Farm produce accounts for one in every seven dollars earned in exports out of this country. And our farmers are among the least-subsidised in the OECD,” Lorraine said. “Ag is Australia’s greatest home-grown success story.”
The national Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration pilot program (known as Farming Together) is a two-year, $13.8m initiative from the Australian Government designed to help agricultural groups value-add, secure premium pricing, scale-up production, attract capital investment, earn new markets or secure lower input costs.
Farming Together is being delivered by Southern Cross University on behalf of the Australian Government. It comprises a highly experienced senior team drawn from a wide range of commodity groups from across Australia and is backed by an industry advisory group representing experts from Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and NSW. More? www.farmingtogether.com.au