FARM INSTITUTE INSIGHTS

Vol. 16 | No. 3 | August 2019


Reorienting animal agriculture in Australia

Australia is great at animal agriculture. Between our past history of ‘riding on the sheep’s back’ and being amongst the greatest beef exporters in the world, we know how to do it well.

It’s noteworthy that we know how to do it well despite our challenging circumstances; particularly our relatively poor soils, tyrannical distances and difficult climate. However, tomorrow is going to be different and our successful history won’t ensure a successful future.

The global population continues to rise and continues to generate greater demand for animal agriculture through a rapidly expanding middle class in many parts of the world. The climate seems inevitably to be shifting as well, making our agricultural lives more difficult. (more)


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IN MY VIEW

Professor Sergio Garcia (Yani) and Katherine Teh give their views on future challenges for animal agriculture. Discussing issues of community trust; engaging with consumers about livestock's role in climate change; and the role for intensive animal agriculture systems in modern food production. (more)


IN THE PIPELINE

Agriculture has entered the fourth wave of innovation, the digital wave. While some farming businesses are becoming digitally competent, surfing this wave, falling off and paddling out for another ride, many are still standing on the beach trying to understand the appeal or lack the skills to ‘go catch a wave’. (more)


DISCOVERIES

“People ask if I believe in climate change – no, I say, I’m an Anglican.” Lucinda Corrigan’s quip at the AFI’s recent mid-year conference on ‘Farming in a risky climate’ not only elicited a laugh from delegates but also resonated on social media. The point Lucinda made about scientific evidence not requiring belief ran throughout the conference sessions and keynote speech. (more)


AFI RESEARCH FELLOWS

The AFI is excited to announce that it is adding significant capacity to our small but dedicated team of researchers. Nine new Research Fellows will bring a diverse range of farm business and agricultural policy skills, knowledge and experience to the Institute: Claire Booth, Matt Cawood, Fiona Dempster, Thom Goodwin, Emma Leonard, Kelly Pearce, Oscar Pearse, Ed Perrett and Sarah Sivyer. (more)


CROSSING THE DIVIDE

The Australian agriculture sector is delivering more action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions than every other sector of the economy apart from waste. You could be forgiven for being surprised by this fact given the focus on agriculture as one of the main contributors to climate change and the characterisation of agricultural communities as being resistant to climate action. (more)


INSTITUTE ACTIVITIES

The Institute’s ‘Farming in a Risky Climate’ conference featured in a range of media, including Gabrielle Chan’s article in The Guardian – ‘Action now’: the farmers standing up against ‘wilful ignorance’ on climate; articles in Queensland Country Life, The Weekly Times, and Western Magazine; a radio interview with Alex James on 2SER; and ABC’s Queensland Country Hour broadcasting live from the conference. Further coverage can be found at ‘In the news’. (more)