In the news

The Institute’s Funding Agriculture’s Future conference held in Canberra provided some fascinating insights into the reality of investment in Australian agriculture. The conference received substantial media coverage including: two articles by Vernon Graham, ‘Corporates can’t replace family farms: Sackett’ in The Land (10/06/14) and ‘Ag needs $180b: Taylor’ in Farm Weekly (05/06/14); ‘Farmers and agribusiness have to learn to deal with “capital drought” ’ by Rob Harris in The Weekly Times (04/06/14); ‘Chinese “trophy” buyers eyeing off Australian vineyards’ on the ABC’s Bush Telegraph (30/05/14); and ‘Investments in ag more than stack up’ by Mick Keogh in Beef Central (10/06/14) reprinted from AFI’s Ag Forum blog.

An open letter written by ‘Bill Farmer’ from the Institute to celebrity fitness trainer Michelle Bridges also stirred up a fair bit of controversy. The ‘open letter’ was in response to an opinion piece written by Bridges in the Sydney Morning Herald condemning ‘the cruel way we routinely treat the cows, pigs and sheep we eat.’ The letter first appeared on the Institute’s blog, was reprinted in the Stock Journal (27/05/14), and reported in subsequent articles, including ‘Bridges crossed on ag-gag laws’ in the Australian Dairyfarmer (27/05/14).

The open letter became something of a sensation, trending on Twitter and leading to a string of responses from farmers offering an open invitation for Bridges to visit their farms. As reported in Kerri-Anne Mesner’s article for the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, ‘Fitness guru Michelle Bridges stirs up farmers’ (04/06/14):

Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion Hannah Barber is one of many producers who’ve extended an invitation to Ms Bridges to share their stories.
Gates are being open the television star in New South Wales including Ms Barber’s cattle property in Parkes, Tom Tourle’s sheep farm in Dubbo, Georgia Clark’s chooks at Lake Macquarie and Prue Capp’s horses in the Hunter Valley.

Upcoming events

The Institute’s Australian Agriculture Roundtable Conference will be held on 12 & 13 November, 2014, at the Park Hyatt Melbourne. 

Out and about

Recently the Institute’s Executive Director, Mick Keogh, has spoken at:

  • National Farmers’ Federation and Suncorp Bank Farm Finance Forum, Canberra
  • 2014 Central Queensland Festival of Innovation – ‘Cultivating our Future’, Rockhampton, Queensland
  • Campbell Town Show – Roberts Ltd Dairy Breakfast, Campbell Town, Tasmania
  • Melbourne Institute 2014 Economic and Social Outlook Conference, Melbourne
  • Rabobank Executive Development Program – Emerging Trends Panel, Macquarie Park, New South Wales
  • North East CMA and Murray Local Land Services Risk Management in Agriculture Workshop, Wodonga, Victoria
  • Rodwells Conference, Lancefield, Victoria
  • Meat & Livestock Australia panel discussion on agricultural innovation, Sydney

The Institute’s Senior Research Officer, Adam Tomlinson, recently spoke at AFI’s Funding Agriculture’s Future Conference, in Canberra. The conference discussed the future investment needs of the agricultural sector and provided information on potential farm funding models.

Richard Arnheim is the winner of the Institute’s recent new members promotion.

Images:  RSPCA Victoria, SouthCorp

Back to August 2014 Insights contents page.