The former Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud recently visited Wagga Wagga and met with scientists at Charles Sturt University and the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation. His message was, ‘Agriculture is sexy again’ and that innovation is the way to grow the industry. He also spoke about the recent Ernst and Young review into agricultural research and development which recommends strengthening the regions to ensure they play a greater role in Australian agricultural innovation, to fully realise its benefits and maximise our innovation uptake. The report also highlights the need for leadership and greater collaboration to deliver cross commodity outcomes.
The Graham Centre is well positioned to contribute to this vision to drive agricultural development to 2030. We are based in one of the biggest regional centres in Australia, we’re committed to capacity building and we’re already working directly with farming systems groups. Our Industry Advisory Panel and Board are supporting us to shape the strategic direction of the Centre and to ensure our research is targeted at solving issues across the value chain. The Graham Centre is also working closely with the Charles Sturt University AgriPark and stakeholders to identify opportunities for greater collaboration.
Graham Centre plant systems research pathway leader, Professor Jim Pratley was recently awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to agricultural science and education. This is well deserved recognition and it was lovely to be able to acknowledge Jim’s achievement with colleagues and friends, you can see some photos from our event later in the newsletter.
I’m also pleased to welcome Mr Jon Medway to the new role of Senior Research Fellow (Precision Agriculture). It’s anticipated this will build the Centre’s profile in precision agriculture and harness the existing capacity amongst Centre members to build a coordinated program of work. We’re also recruiting more administration staff to strengthen the Centre’s capacity to support members.
During the first quarter of the year, it’s been great to see our members discussing opportunities, starting new research projects and progressing current ones, publishing their research and taking part in industry field days and events. The centre is very fortunate to have such a great team of enthusiastic researchers working across agriculture in Australia and internationally.
Over the next few months the Graham Centre is involved in a number of events that will present new research that can be directly applied on farm and I’d encourage you to check out our Livestock Forum on the 26 July, the Agribusiness Today Forum on the 8 - 9 August and the Australian Agronomy Conference 25 - 29 August.
Acting Director, Associate Professor Marta Hernandez-Jover.
photo caption: Former Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud inspects herbicide resistance trials with Dr John Broster during his visit to the Graham Centre.