The Australian Farm Institute’s Australian Agriculture Roundtable Conference was held at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th of November 2017.
The 2017 Australian Agriculture Roundtable Conference is an important networking opportunity for innovative agricultural producers, supply chain leaders, agribusiness, policy-makers and lead researchers. Conference attendees were hosted by the Institute at the new International Convention Centre Sydney surrounded by the iconic Darling Harbour.
This year’s roundtable conference brought together the key minds of Australian agriculture and agribusiness to discuss the role of effective partnerships in significant agricultural and regional issues.
This event has now completed.
The Australian Agriculture Roundtable Conference this year discussed the role of effective partnerships in four key agricultural and regional issues.
Australia is one of the world’s most urbanised nations, and despite a multitude of different schemes and initiatives developed over the past century, there seems little prospect of increasing population growth in regional areas. However, the rapidly emerging digital era, in combination with improvements in transport and telecommunications should enhance regional growth prospects. This session involved contributions from a range of different perspectives about the partnerships required to make regional population growth a reality.
Large increases in electricity and gas prices, coupled with technological change has led to an increase in the economic potential for farm businesses to be significant generators of energy. To capture the full benefit of that potential, partnerships between energy infrastructure providers, large energy companies and farm businesses need to be formed. Current uncertainty in energy policy is a barrier to the development of those partnerships and this session heard from a range of businesses in how they are dealing with this issue.
The Future Agricultural Workforce
There are many indicators pointing towards a significant shift in the capabilities that will be required in the future agricultural workforce. These include the digitisation of agriculture, changes in farm business structures and demographic shifts in both farm and non-farm populations. This session explored the partnerships that exist between the farming community and education providers and trainers, and the whether the workforce more generally is sufficient to ensure that agriculture attracts and retains the people it needs to grow and prosper.
Corporate Investment in Agriculture
Too often, discussion of corporate investment in Australian agriculture has focused on the investors rather than the people and businesses benefiting from investment. Successful corporate investment models are highly dependent on effective partnerships with farm managers, lessees and consultants. A range of partnership models were presented in this session that are potentially redefining how farming businesses are developed.
Gala Dinner Speaker: Ali Capper
In Partnership at Stocks Farm, Suckley, Worcestershire UK with her husband Richard and his father Mark, the Cappers specialise in growing hops and apples. They farm dessert and cider apples and hops.
Ali’s former career was in advertising and marketing. Today, in addition to numerous roles at the farm, her work includes membership of the Boards of Wye Fruit, the British Hop Association, the Hop Industry Committee, the Norton Cider Growers Association and as Chairman of the UK NFU’s National Horticulture & Potatoes Board and Wye Hops. Ali is a Nuffield Scholar, a Trustee of FACE and the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust.
Breakfast Speaker: Bob Young
Dr Bob Young joined the American Farm Bureau Federation in 2003 as the chief economist, coordinating the activities of the Economic Analysis Team. The team provides support of the policy implementation effort and helps to maintain the longer-term view of factors that are driving the overall farm sector.
Bob has also served as the chief economist of the US Senate Committee on Agriculture. There he was active in the development of the 1990 Farm Bill, as well as various budget and disaster assistance bills. He also served as an associate professor in agricultural economics at the University of Missouri.
Jack Archer, CEO, Regional Australia Institute
Andrew Beattie, Director, ProAdvice
Rob Bradley, Farmer and Director, Nuffield Australia
Matt Brand, Chief Executive Officer, NSW Farmers’ Association
Scott Hansen, Director General, NSW Department of Primary Industries
John Harvey, Managing Director, AgriFutures Australia
Mick Hay, Managing Director, Rimfire Resources
Pip Job, Senior Project Officer Business & Social Resilience Programs DPI NSW
David Mailler, Farmer and developer of on-farm power stations
Gavin McMahon, Chief Executive Officer, Central Irrigation Trust
Dr Kelly Manton-Pearce, Farmer, Agriculture Scientist, and Chair, Grower Group Alliance
Kim Morison, Managing Director, Blue Sky Alternative Investments
Andrew Skinner, Manager Solution Design and Information Architecture, Meat & Livestock Australia