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AgriFutures On Air
The official podcast channel for AgriFutures Australia.
3 days ago
Sustainable farming using solar energy
AgriFutures Australia has been a sponsor of the 2021 National Renewables in Agriculture Conference, a bi-annual event that examines the very latest in this rapidly changing sector. Over the coming weeks we will feature some of the key speakers from this event, which this year was held in Dubbo, NSW. In this week’s podcast we speak with two winemakers, Justin Jarratt from See Saw wines in Orange, NSW and Paul Squires from Squires Winery near Yarrawonga on the NSW, Victorian border. Both have moved their wineries to sustainable models, and both share practical tips for farmers and producers thinking about using solar but are not sure where to begin. Learning from their mistakes, they say the first step is access to information by talking to people who already use solar, carefully considering your options and then implementing your strategic plan so that it is line with the needs of your business. They discuss their cost savings, grazing and growing underneath their panels, the location of their panels, their specific power requirements, and their solar story for consumers. Although they both have different approaches to using solar, they share a common vision that solar is an important part of agriculture.
Jun 9, 2021
Next gen rural leaders look over the horizon in Northern Australia
AgriFutures Australia has been a major sponsor of the Northern Australia Food Futures Conference, with a particular focus showcasing industry partnerships in the north in Emerging Industries. Last month we spoke with *Laura Skipworth*, Manager of Emerging Industries for AgriFutures Australia and *Paul Burke*, CEO of the Northern Territory Farmers Association; M*ic Jakobi, *the Operations Director for Northern Territory Hay Seed & Grain (NTHS&G); and *Matt Hall*, the Director of Plant Industries with the Northern Territory Government. Matt is also a member of the AgriFutures Australia Emerging Industries Advisory Panel. Following the conference, we wanted to hear from young people about the opportunities now emerging in this region. In this conversation, we hear from two next gen leaders who are part of the AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship Program and who attended the Northern Australia Food Futures Conference. Both Horizon Scholars are sponsored by Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA). *Rebekah Ash *has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) at University of Queensland and *Paris Capell *is studying a Bachelor of Science/Master of Science at Australian National University. Rebekah and Paris provide their insights into the emerging opportunities in the north for young people, their hopes and dreams and why studying agriculture is a degree that can change the world.
Jun 2, 2021
Leadership and why seeing the bigger picture matters
The Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) is a dynamic experiential learning program focused on the development of leaders who are contributing to the future prosperity of rural, remote and regional Australia. In this week’s podcast we hear from Sally Leigo who has just completed Course 26 of the ARLP Program. Sponsored by AgriFutures Australia, Sally’s leadership journey has had many twists and turns, crossed two states and taken longer than expected due to Covid-19. We caught up with Sally at the recent Renewables in Ag Conference in Dubbo, NSW, which you will hear happening in the background. Like all great stories, it begins with a single step.
May 25, 2021
Out of this world: why ag is the next frontier for space tech
Space has traditionally been the realm of sectors like mining and defence and we are only on the cusp of unlocking opportunities for the rural sector. An AgriFutures Australia funded report, Space-based technologies – opportunities for the rural sector, highlights that space technologies are already making their mark in Australian agriculture. Producers are routinely using satellite imaging, low bandwidth sensors, GPS tracking, autosteer, paddock level imagery and weather forecasting to drive better decision making. For most producers, many of these turn-key technologies rely on space and we don’t even realise it. We encourage you to read the report, explore the industry specific fact sheets and be part of discussions with space companies and tech developers to explore how technology can be applied to solve your agricultural challenges. In this podcast we hear from: * Martin Amidy, Senior Fellow Agri-Technology Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology, The Australian National University and is one of eight authors of the AgriFutures Australia report * Tom Rayner is from Myriota, a company that facilitates satellite communications * Philip Tickle, Managing Director Cibo Labs Pty Ltd, an agricultural data analytics company.
May 19, 2021
Industrial hemp as an emerging industry in Northern Australia – episode 3
During the month of May, we are looking at the future of food through the lens of the Northern Australia Food Futures Conference, in Darwin 17-20 May. AgriFutures Australia is a major sponsor with a particular focus showcasing industry partnerships in the north in emerging industries. Joining us for today’s conversation is Mic Jakobi,* *the Operations Director for Northern Territory Hay Seed & Grain (NTHS&G), who has carved out a career in farming in the NT. Initially starting with grass hay production, Mic has since transitioned into grain and seed crop production with an emphasis on commercialising new tropical grass varieties. He was recently awarded the first commercial Hemp licence in the NT and is now also experimenting with protected cropping of ginger. He is passionate about developing profitable farming systems which compliment mainstream crop rotations and enhance soil health for the long term. This conversation looks at some of those possibilities in the Top End, with a focus on industrial hemp, an emerging industry with an exciting future. Here is Mic’s story.
May 12, 2021
Jackfruit and the potential of tropical fruits in Northern Australia - episode 2
During the month of May, we are looking at the future of food through the lens of the Northern Australia Food Futures Conference, which takes place in Darwin 17-20 May. AgriFutures Australia is a major sponsor with a particular focus showcasing industry partnerships in the north in Emerging Industries as diverse as native foods, pomegranate, jackfruit, hemp, dates and camel, just to name a few. Joining us for today's conversation is Matt Hall, the Director of Plant Industries with the Northern Territory Government. Matt is also a member of the AgriFutures Australia Emerging Industries Advisory Panel. This conversation looks at some of the possibilities in horticulture in Northern Australia, with a focus on jackfruit, an emerging industry with an exciting future.
May 5, 2021
The future of food production in Australia's Top End – episode 1
During the month of May, we are looking at the future of food production through the lens of the Northern Australia Food Futures Conference which takes place in Darwin from the 17th to 20th of May. The biannual event is Australia’s leading conference on agricultural development in the north. AgriFutures Australia is a major sponsor with a particular focus showcasing industry partnerships in the north in Emerging Industries as diverse as native foods, pomegranate, jackfruit, hemp, dates and camel, just to name a few. Joining us for this conversation is Laura Skipworth, Manager of Emerging Industries for AgriFutures Australia and Paul Burke, CEO of the Northern Territory Farmers Association. This conversation is a fascinating insight into the farming opportunities now available in the Top End and AgriFutures Australia’s role in supporting industry development through RD&E.
Apr 28, 2021
Courses for horses: Improving racetrack surface selection for safer conditions for thoroughbred racehorses
In this podcast we sit down with Professor Chris Whitton, Head of the Equine Centre at the University of Melbourne to hear more about his recent work. Funded by AgriFutures Australia, the project aimed to develop knowledge about how racetrack surface selection can improve safety for racehorses and jockeys. Professor Whitton is joined by Dr Craig Suann, AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Advisory Panel member and former chief regulatory veterinarian for the NSW thoroughbred racing industry for 33 years. This conversation is about the importance of this research for the industry while touching on Professor Whitton and Dr Suann’s lifelong commitment to the thoroughbred horse industry.
Apr 21, 2021
Taking Australian research to the world
Interested in agrifood innovation and what that looks like at a global level? growAG. is a gateway that connects the world to agrifood innovation opportunities in Australia. Just launched this month, growag.com allows you to ‘go, search and find’ Australian’s world leading agricultural research, unique technologies, success stories and commercialisation opportunities in one, easy to use location. It has been developed by the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment and Australia’s 15 Research & Development Corporations, often referred to as the RDC’s with AgriFutures Australia managing the platform on their behalf. In part 2 of our series, we examine the global appeal of growag.com Featured in this episode: · Arianna Sippel, Senior Manager growAG. AgriFutures Australia · Sarah Nolet, Co-founder of Tenacious Ventures, Australia’s first dedicated agrifood tech venture capital firm.
Apr 14, 2021
growAG. – showcasing Australian innovation to the world
From google maps to wifi, the winged keel, ultrasound, and the black box recorder, Australia is a country of innovators. Our isolation has propelled us to find new ways of doing things, and this is especially so in agriculture with some of our world-class inventions like water efficient crop varieties, the Header Harvester and no till farming practices, through to producing world leaders in digital farm management, satellite technology, blockchain and biosecurity. Now we can add another, digital innovation to the list. growAG. is a gateway that connects the world to agrifood innovation opportunities in Australia. In an Australian first, growAG.com allows you to ‘go, search and find’ Australian’s world leading agricultural research, unique technologies, success stories and commercialisation opportunities in one, easy to use location. It has been developed by the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment and Australia’s 15 Research & Development Corporations, often referred to as the RDC’s with AgriFutures Australia managing the platform on their behalf. This podcast reveals why growAG. is a game changer for Australian agriculture. Featured in this episode: · John Harvey, Managing Director, AgriFutures Australia · Jason Strong, Managing Director, Meat and Livestock Corporation (MLA) · Arianna Sippel, Senior Manager growAG. AgriFutures Australia · Sarah Nolet, Co-founder of Tenacious Ventures, Australia’s first dedicated agrifood tech venture capital firm.
Mar 31, 2021
A conversation starter: The future of Australian ag
AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, John Harvey calls this story, a conversation starter. John is referring to the future of Australian agriculture and how agriculture should be funded in the future: do we want it to be corporate farms or family farms, or do we want it to be family corporates or something else? That conversation has begun following the release of the AgriFutures Australia’s funded report, Capital requirements of Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector report. Written by Natural Capital Economics, the report identified an additional $7.5 billion in net capital investment per year is needed if the Australian agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector is to achieve the National Farmers’ Federation $100 billion vision by 2030. Currently a lot of investment that goes into ag is through debt funding and borrowing against equity in the farm. While that model has been successful to-date, to achieve the NFF’s $100 billion vision, there will need to…
Mar 24, 2021
The global potential of insects
AgriFutures Australia is growing the long-term prosperity of Australian rural industries and Catalysing a $10 million Australian Insect Industry. One of the projects AgriFutures has invested in, is the Nutritional quality of edible insects and development of pet foods. This project is the first of its kind in Australia, processing insects as pet food. Watch our video here. The Australian pet food industry is estimated to be worth $2.4 billion. In this podcast we hear from some of the people involved in processing insects as pet food project and why there is so much excitement about its potential. We hear from insect producer, Mick Thornett, Insect Protein Association of Australia chair, Olympia Yarger and pet food manufacturer, Shaun Eislers. First-up though, AgriFutures Australia’s Senior Manager, Emerging Industries Tom McCue sets the scene for what is happening in this Emerging Industry.
Mar 16, 2021
Know the risks: Be safe on-farm
What are the critical safety risks on your farm? It is an important question and one that could save your life, the lives of your family or anyone coming onto your farm. Farm safety is in the spotlight following the release of the 2020 report Non-intentional Farm Related Incidents in Australia which highlights the total on-farm deaths, causes of injury, fatalities by age and gender, as well as the estimated economic impact of fatal injuries. The report shows while progress is being made, deaths from quad bikes and side by sides continue to take lives, in fact 58 lives were lost last year. See more here This is a challenge not lost on the rural Research Development Corporations (RDC) which fund research through the Rural Safety Health Alliance (RSHA) to review the data and use an evidence-based approach to improve safety across our agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries. AgriFutures Australia is a partner member of RSHA. RSHA Executive Officer, Andrew Barrett says the fi…
Mar 9, 2021
What makes a great leader?
For the week of International Women’s Day, we are showcasing what inspirational leadership looks like. Our next guest is a leader in Australian agriculture who wears many hats. Jess Fealy is an avocado and mango grower in Far North Queensland, who runs a family business. Jess is also just about to complete the National Farmers’ Federation Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program. Jess is also a member of the AgriFutures Ignite Advisory Panel, where our thought leaders gather to share their opinions on emerging issues in Australian agriculture. Whatever the day/week means to you, we hope Jess’s story inspires you to get involved in creating a more equal future. Choose to challenge here: #womenlead #choosetochallenge
Mar 2, 2021
2020 WA RWA Winner Cara Peek: Changing young Indigenous lives one rodeo at a time
During February we’ve been sharing some of our success stories in the evokeAG. startup community. This week we return to the last in our series of profiles on the 2020 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award state winners. Our next guest is the 2020 WA RWA Finalist, Cara Peek. Cara is a Yawuru Bunuba woman who is the founder of Saltwater County Ltd and co-founder of the Cultural Intelligence Project. A native title lawyer by profession, Cara has travelled the world to work closely with other Indigenous nations such as the San Carlos Apache Nation. Now back home in the Kimberley, this born “advocate” is re-engaging at-risk Indigenous youth and connecting them back to country by using practical, hands-on skills such as bull riding, rodeos, camp drafting and country music. Here is Cara’s powerful story.
Feb 23, 2021
Creating the brains, eyes and hands for smart robots
Australian robotics company LYRO Robotics has designed a world-leading pattern-packing robot for general fresh produce. The LYRO Machine Intelligence can pick and pack any fruit and vegetable, at any time, and pack them into any pattern or box. Co-founder Dr Juxi Leitner estimates the machine has packed more than 100,000 items, from avocados to chillies, from passionfruit to punnets of tomatoes. During the month of February, AgriFutures on Air has been showcasing amazing innovators making a difference in Australian agriculture. And the one thing they all have in common is their involvement in evokeAG., either in Startup Alley or the Startup Showcase. Check out the new evokeAG. website and our two-part Startup Program in 2021 which is taking place completely online. Here is the story of Lyro, the brains, eyes and hands of a robot.
Feb 16, 2021
Farm safety and compliance warrior: Katy Landt
During February, AgriFutures on Air is showcasing amazing innovators making a difference in Australian agriculture. The one thing they have in common is their involvement in evokeAG., either in Startup Alley or the Startup Showcase. Check out the new evokeAG. website and watch out for our two-part Startup Program in 2021 which is taking place completely online. This week we are profiling Safe Ag systems. As the name implies, Safe Ag Systems is about safety in agriculture, but this home-grown Aussie business has grown to become so much more. Its product road map now includes tackling a broad range of compliance issues using an online digital tool for farmers. Co-founder and CEO Katy Landt says she is on a mission to remove the paperwork associated with compliance for agribusiness globally without compromising their productivity. Here’s how Katy is making a difference.
Feb 9, 2021
Putting the power of AI into the hands of every farmer
During the month of February, AgriFutures on Air is showcasing amazing innovators making a difference in Australian agriculture. The one thing they have in common is their involvement in evokeAG., either in Startup Alley or the Startup Showcase. Check out the new evokeAG. website and watch out for our two-part Startup Program in 2021 which is taking place completely online. GoMicro is a company helping Aussie farmers identify and detect pests, leaf disease and food quality in their paddocks by using their smart phones and artificial intelligence. Co-founder, Krishnapillai Anandasivam says GoMicro is putting the power of AI into the hands of every farmer. Anything that can be detected by the eye can now be detected by AI in ways never imagined.
Feb 2, 2021
Bee Innovative is an Australian agrifood tech company that is using artificial intelligence to track bees to boost crop yields and quality, with amazing results. Bees don’t always pollinate every part of every crop and pollination rates can be patchy. So instead of leaving it to chance, Bee Innovative Co-Founders, David and Kate Lyall are arming farmers with critical information showing rates of pollination and ways to boost it. And in crops like blueberries and sunflowers they’ve had great success, boosting farmers profits and reducing waste. During the month of February, AgriFutures on Air is showcasing four amazing innovators making a difference in Australian agriculture. And the one thing they all have in common is their involvement in evokeAG., either in Startup Alley or the Startup Showcase. Check out the new evokeAG. website and watch out for our two-part Startup Program in 2021 which is taking place completely online. Here is the story of Bee Innovative which like…
Jan 26, 2021
Living remotely and changing the world one day at a time
2020 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award QLD Winner, Elisha Parker is a woman who wears many hats, juggling motherhood with a career as well as a business in a remote part of Australia. A lawyer by profession, she’s also an entrepreneur who along with her business partner, co-founded a website which is connecting the Australian cattle industry like never before. Like all good ideas, it came from personal experience. The website, cattlesales.com.au is Australia's only advertising custom designed site solely for cattle where producers and livestock agents can go to view pre-marketing saleyard cattle, online auction cattle and advertising paddock cattle. And Elisha and her business partner have plans to expand the site further. Elisha Parker lives in Clermont, around five hours west of Rockhampton where living remotely has tested her resilience and creativity long before the pandemic. Here is her fascinating story.
Jan 19, 2021
The untapped potential of Aussie working dogs
The contribution working dogs make to Australian farms is well documented but how well do you really understand your working dog? 2020 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award VIC Winner, Kelly Barnes is passionate about her dogs and believes working dogs have so much more potential than we realise. Kelly has developed a Mates Working Dog School – a working dog school to build low stress stock handling skills and to create a strong bond between dogs and their owners. Improving dog performance is only part of the story with Kelly keen to investigate the social connections and networks with like-minded producers. Kelly has channelled her own personal experience with chronic pain and mental health into the concept and she is hoping it could run in multiple locations in regional Australia. This is Kelly’s moving story with her loyal kelpie, Dugald by her side.
Jan 12, 2021
Building workforce capability with the AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship
Farming systems are increasingly becoming more complex. In this podcast we explore the role of education and programs like the AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship Program in ensuring that the workforce of the future is equipped with the skills, capabilities and perspectives to meet these complexities. This week we are joined by April Browne from Dairy Australia and Julia Payne, who joined the AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship Program in 2020 and is sponsored by Dairy Australia. Applications for the 2021 AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship are still open, so if you're looking to kickstart your career like Julia make sure to get your application in before Friday, 15 January 2021. You don’t have to be studying an agriculture degree to apply for the Scholarship. You can also apply if you’re studying degrees like Veterinary Science, Agribusiness, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses with a focus on agriculture. For more information and to apply, visit our websit…
Jan 5, 2021
What’s on the horizon
Ever thought about what life is like on a remote cattle station? In this podcast, we hear from university student Emma Moss who is doing exactly that. Her dream to “go north” became a reality when she drove more than 5,000 kilometres to start work on Nerrima Station in the Kimberley region of WA. She documented the experience and, in the process has 20,000 devoted followers. Emma is passionate about Australian agriculture and is an AgriFutures Horizon Scholar, sponsored by Meat and Livestock Australia. You don’t have to be studying an agriculture degree to apply for the Scholarship. You can also apply if you’re studying degrees like Veterinary Science, Agribusiness, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses with a focus on agriculture. Applications for the 2021 AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship are open until midnight January 15, 2021 so hurry, apply now. Emma’s story begins when she went ‘up north’.
Dec 29, 2020
Inspiring the next generation of Australian scientists
Amy Kirke is the 2020 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award NT Winner and a marine biologist who is keen to take her knowledge and passion about science to the next level. Amy wants girls and women in the NT to consider science as a career and she has developed an interactive outreach program called "Let's go fishing" which has a focus on education about sustainable fishing. Based in Darwin, she is taking her passion for Science, Technology, Math and Engineering, otherwise known as STEM on a science roadshow to capture the hearts and minds of a younger generation, who may not have had the opportunities to explore this new world. Amy describes her program as the first step in a series of conversations about creating a pathway for girls and women that shows science is within their reach. Here is Amy’s inspirational story.
Dec 15, 2020
Be inspired: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone
Have you heard of Country to Canberra? It’s an organisation empowering young women living in rural, regional and remote Australia to reach their leadership potential. One of its key programs is a prestigious annual competition where the national winners receive a Power Trip to Canberra so they can be heard and mentored through leadership and public speaking training. But the program is so much more than this. AgriFutures is the proud diamond sponsor of this competition supporting ten rural women to change their own lives as well as the communities in which they live. In today’s podcast we meet Country to Canberra’s new Chief Executive Officer, Han Worsley whose own story has many twists and turns.
Dec 8, 2020
Dairy with a difference: 2020 NSW/ACT AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Winner Cressida Cains
Dairy farmer Cressida Cains has been awarded the 2020 NSW/ACT AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award for her work in promoting a profitable and secure future for Australian dairy farmers. Cressida’s family dairy is a bit different to what you might expect. Named after the Italian word for sheep, Pecora Dairy boasts Australia’s only working, pure East Friesian ewes, the most productive breed of dairy sheep in the world. Sheep milk is one of the most nutrient dense and rich milks, which makes it incredibly suitable for cheese making. Cressida is an award-winning artisan cheese maker who swapped her corporate life in Sydney’s wine industry for greener pastures. Here is her amazing story
Dec 1, 2020
Branching out with AgriFutures 2020 TAS Rural Women’s Award Winner Karen Brock
It’s been a big year for Karen Brock who has been named the 2020 Tasmanian winner of the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award. Karen grows and supplies commercial fruit trees so it’s no surprise she’s a specialist in plant tissue culture. And it’s in her work with plant tissue where magic is happening. Plant tissue culture is often grown in a gel-like substance, but Karen is changing the face of tissue culture techniques by growing plant tissue in water. Here is her amazing story which starts like all great stories with Karen being in the right place at the right time.
Nov 24, 2020
Ginny the ginger robot with a licence to kill weeds
The Australian ginger industry is hoping robotics will help solve one of its biggest challenges: the removal of weeds that compete with ginger plants for water, space and nutrients. Manual spraying and removing of weeds is costly and in this podcast we hear from Kylie Templeton, from Templeton Ginger, Australia's largest ginger grower about the impact of weeds on the ginger industry and opportunities for improving safety and efficiencies. Kylie is also an AgriFutures Ginger Advisory Panel member. We also speak with Guy Coleman, a dedicated precision weed control scientist at the University of Sydney who is teaching Ginny the ginger robot how to identify weeds and then eradicate them. It's a lot more complex than you think.
Nov 17, 2020
Superfood breakthrough: a new quinoa variety released
Rich in proteins and essential amino acids, quinoa is well deserving of its reputation as a “superfood”, and even offers a gluten free substitute for other cereals. Its wide availability and the varied uses of the seeds for consumption has led to an increase in demand for quinoa worldwide. In this episode, we speak with Dr Harmohinder Dhammu who's a research scientist with DPIRD, the Department of Primary Industries, Research and Development in Western Australia. He's the principal investigator of a project looking at a new quinoa variety, called Kruso White in WA, which is set to change the way farmers grow this popular food.
Oct 28, 2020
Opportunities from the deep blue
Just imagine that you've stumbled across a product or service that the world has been crying out for but just didn't know it. Everyone's dream right? Well that describes perfectly Australia's seaweed industry. An industry in its infancy but with help from AgriFutures Australia, and the Australian Seaweed Institute, it's ready to leap onto the world stage.
Oct 23, 2020
Building resilience with AgriFutures 2020 SA Rural Women's Award Winner Stephanie Schmidt
It's ironic that a woman from a property called "Worlds End" is dedicated to helping farmers and all rural people better manage those mental health issues that all of us face to varying degrees. Steph Schmidt is the 2020 South Australian AgriFutures Rural Women's Award Winner and she shares her story and her plans to develop a resilience program made specifically for farming couples, families and individuals, with the aim of seeing psychological flexibility grow throughout the rural sector.
Oct 20, 2020
From paddock and sea, to plate. How can food producers tell their story?
Years ago, Australian agriculture was like the dinner meal we sat down to most nights; fairly straight forward, meat and three veg. But now, Australian agriculture is like a massive smorgasbord of choice. It's that consumer choice, and how today's consumer makes their choice that we are going to talk about in this episode. We have launched a new resource which will help food producers tell their story right along the food chain up to, and including the end consumer. We'll also hear from the people who created this resource to delve deep into what is driving this desire by consumers to know more about the products they buy. And finally, how does telling your story work in practical terms? We ask a venison producer who has put this all into practice. Featured in this episode: * Jennifer Medway, Senior Manager, Business Development, AgriFutures Australia * Helen Johnston, Creative Services Director and Co-Founder, Honey & Fox Pty Ltd * Sophie Hansen, Deer Farmer and Founder and…