Posts

2022 John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarships now open!

John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarships Now Open for Riverine Plains’ Region Ag Students.

Riverine Plains is inviting applications for the 2022 John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarships.

The Scholarships recognise and encourage agricultural excellence in the Riverine Plains region by supporting local students through their studies.

The John Hanrahan Scholarship was established by Riverine Plains in honour of the late John Hanrahan from Coreen, whose community spirit, passion for agriculture and thirst for knowledge was renowned. The Scholarship is now coming in to its fourth year, and has already supported local students Mitchell Priestly (2019), Sophie Hanna and Lachlan Quibell (both 2020), and Jessica Ryan (2021).

Riverine Plains is also partnering with Uncle Tobys to deliver the 2022 Uncle Tobys Scholarship. The Inaugural Uncle Tobys Scholarship was awarded to Thomas Hatty during 2021, and we are excited to offer this Scholarship in support of agriculture’s future leaders.

Applications for the 2022 John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarships are open to first year Agriculture or Agribusiness Degree or Diploma students beginning their second year of study in 2023. Applications close on 15 June, 2022.

Each Scholarship include a $5,000 bursary, work experience, networking and mentoring opportunities with Riverine Plains (through the John Hanrahan Scholarship or with Uncle Tobys (through the Uncle Tobys Scholarship).

Students aged between 18 and 30 from the Riverine Plains region of north-eastern Victoria and the southern Riverina region of NSW are eligible to apply.

Click on the following links for further details about the John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarships.

2022 John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarships now open!

2 May, 2022

Word Count: 401

John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarships Now Open for Riverine Plains’ Region Ag Students.

Riverine Plains Inc is pleased to invite local tertiary students working towards a degree or diploma in agriculture or agribusiness to apply for the 2022 John Hanrahan Scholarship and Uncle Tobys Scholarships.

Riverine Plains Chief Executive Officer, Catherine Marriott, explained that both Scholarships were intended to recognise and encourage agricultural excellence in the Riverine Plains region and to support local students through their studies.

“The John Hanrahan Scholarship was established by Riverine Plains in honour of the late John Hanrahan from Coreen, whose community spirit, passion for agriculture and thirst for knowledge was renowned”, said Ms Marriott.

“The John Hanrahan Scholarship is now coming in to its fourth year and has already provided financial support, work experience and other opportunities to four talented local students including Mitchell Priestly (2019), Sophie Hanna and Lachlan Quibell (both 2020), and Jessica Ryan (2021)” she said.

Riverine Plains also partnered with Uncle Tobys during 2021 to deliver the Inaugural Uncle Tobys Scholarship, which was awarded to Thomas Hatty, and the group is pleased to be able to again deliver this scholarship for 2022 to support future leaders in agriculture.

Nestlé Wahgunyah factory manager, Jean Carlo de Lima described the support of future leaders in agriculture, especially those from the local region, as being crucial to the success of the food industry.

“As agriculture continues to change through advances in technology, a greater focus on sustainability, and changes to supply chains, having first-hand, local industry experience will be invaluable” he said.

Applications for the 2022 John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarships are open to current first year Agriculture or Agribusiness Degree or Diploma students until 15 June, 2022.

Both Scholarships include a bursary of $5,000, access to work experience, networking and mentoring opportunities with either Riverine Plains through the John Hanrahan Scholarship, or directly with Uncle Tobys through the Uncle Tobys Scholarship.

Students aged between 18 and 30 from the Riverine Plains region of north-eastern Victoria and the southern Riverina region of NSW are encouraged to apply.

“We are so excited to be able to support our region’s young people, who will also be agriculture’s future leaders, through their studies and especially look forward to watching their individual careers develop over the coming years” added Ms Marriott.

Further details about both the John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarships are available from www.riverineplains.org.au

….ends………………

Riverine Plains Inc is an independent farming systems group specialising in farmer driven research and extension across north-east Victoria and southern New South Wales. For more information, or to become a member, please visit www.riverineplains.org.au

More Information or Interview:

Emily Thompson, Director of Communications, Events and Marketing, Riverine Plains (03 5744 1713) or email emily@riverineplains.org.au

Riverine Plains Innovation EXPO 9-11 February

7 January, 2022

Word Count: 533

Innovation has always been a key part of farming and Riverine Plains Inc are excited to be hosting the inaugural Riverine Plains Innovation EXPO in Yarrawonga/Mulwala, from 9-11 February, 2022.

The three-day EXPO is designed for farmers and industry with a focus on innovation, connection and knowledge sharing, under the theme “Farming Ahead of the Curve”.

Riverine Plains CEO, Ms Catherine Marriott, explained that the EXPO was all about challenging the status quo and exploring how farming businesses could grow and adapt through innovative ideas and by connecting with experts across the industry.

“Riverine Plains has a tradition of bringing new research and ideas to farmers in the region and we are thrilled that the EXPO will take this to the next level by presenting forward-thinking, practical speakers and by introducing farmers to businesses which can help address some of their most pressing production and profitability issues,” said Ms Marriott.

Day 1 of the Riverine Plains Innovation EXPO program begins with Riverine Plains – Upton Engineering Welcome Drinks on the evening of Wednesday 9 February.

Day 2 of the program features the Innovation Field Day (10 February, 2022), to be held on the Yarrawonga Foreshore, and provides farmers and industry with opportunities to interact with dozens of businesses and organisations delivering innovative on-farm technologies and services.

The Field Day will be followed by the Riverine Plains – New Edge Microbials Black Tie Gala Dinner and Charity Auction, which is a chance for farmers and industry to enjoy themselves socially, while raising money for the Riverine Plains Scholarship Fund.

Day 3 (Friday 11 February) includes the headline event, the Riverine Plains – Seed Force Innovation Conference, which features an impressive line-up of industry leaders and knowledge powerhouses who will challenge and inspire.

Conference speakers include Mary O’Brien (Are you bogged Mate?), who will speak on men’s health, Hannah Janson (Rural Bank) who will provide a different perspective on farm assets, and Richard Heath (Australian Farm Institute) who will address sustainability markets.

There will also be a strong focus on technology, with Phil Tickle (Cibo Labs) presenting on agtech in supply chains, Fiona Lake (Rural Drone Academy) addressing drone myths, and Jon Medway (Charles Sturt University) speaking on making agtech pay. Cam Nicholson (Nicon Rural Services) will also address decision making on farm, before a panel session featuring John Wood (GRDC), Jason Strong (MLA), Tony Mahar (NFF), and Tim Reeves (UoM) will focus on how innovation, research and agtech can help individuals and the industry capitalise on opportunities.

“From leveraging personal value, farm assets, and natural resources to optimising profits through on-farm tech and understanding externalities to better manage your farm enterprise, there will be something of value for everyone” said Ms Marriott.

“We look forward to joining with the local farming community at the EXPO in February and encourage people to come along and connect with some of the inspiring speakers and businesses that will attend this event” she added.

All-inclusive or individual event tickets can be purchased at https://riverineplains.org.au/rpexpo21/

The Riverine Plains Innovation EXPO is supported by funding from AgriFutures Australia and by funding from the Australian Government’s National Recovery and Resilience Agency and is brought to you with the support of Strategic Sponsor, Destination NSW.

ENDS
Riverine Plains Inc is an independent farming systems group specialising in farmer driven research and extension across north-east Victoria and southern New South Wales. For more information, or to become a member, please visit www.riverineplains.org.au

More information or interview: Emily Thompson, Riverine Plains Inc (03 5744 1713) or email emily@riverineplains.org.au

Meat & Livestock Australia Survey

Managing stubble at harvest

The best time to manage a drought is before a drought

The best time to manage a drought is before a drought

Farmers urged to act now to get ahead of the cycle while times are good

Yields are high and commodity prices are generally strong across the board. Rural confidence is at a 20-year highi. So many are saying ‘let the good times roll’.

Well, yes and no – that’s according to Professor Tim Reeves, Co-Director of the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, a new collaboration between government, academia, industry and community to ensure farm and related businesses are better informed, more productive, and more profitable in the face of future droughts.

Professor Reeves urges producers to act when their farming business is in a favourable position to enhance future drought resilience, as this is when farmers can have the biggest impact in preparing for the inevitable, difficult times.

“It’s wonderful to see Victoria’s farming communities generally doing well. Part of our job now is to ensure this continues when the seasons inevitably turn,” Professor Reeves said.

“It is critical farmers take action regarding decisions or investments that can set themselves up for the long term, while cash flow is good and there’s opportunity to invest.

“It could be long-term fodder supply, building stock containment infrastructure or looking at options to diversify the farming business, through geographic location, or transitioning into different production systems. Renewable energy could also be an option, reducing energy bills while investing in environmental outcomes, while other off-farm investments can deliver a return, spreading risk.

“Planning for the future is fundamentally important.”

Professor Reeves said there are four key stages of the drought cycle, and steps must be taken at each stage of the cycle to truly build drought resilience and preparedness.

“There are the good times when there’s a dollar in the pocket, and there are the uncertain periods, where an El Niño might be forecast and the future is uncertain. It’s during these periods where the rubber hits the road, with prompt, effective decision-making essential to limit drought’s impact on a farming business.

“There is the drought itself, where risk and cost are front of mind – and mental health must be looked after – and the recovery where ‘green shoots’ are signalling things are possibly on the way back. Here, farmers can ramp up effectivity, generate cash flow and set themselves up to go again.

“The Victorian Drought Hub will give farmers and rural communities tools to address vulnerability to drought through this cycle, with five regional nodes developing new ways to collaborate and drive on the ground outcomes for farmers and communities.”

The North-East Node is being led by Riverine Plains Inc and the group’s Director of Research, Dr Sara Hely, said that farmers and agribusiness in the region are gaining confidence with managing drought years.

“Farmers learnt from the millennium drought and 2018’s big dry, and one of the key lessons was that their best tool for weathering drought is keeping cash in reserve,” said Dr Hely.

“The importance of diversifying farm incomes, through having a member of the farming family with another income stream, and/or leasing machinery to farmers in other regions with an earlier or later season, has also been raised as a key strategy for dealing with drought” she said.

Consultations with farmers in the North East Node have highlighted the role that social and business events play in supporting farmers and agribusiness during drought, when mental and financial stress is high, as well as the value of education, training and upskilling while times are relatively good.

“Right now is a terrific time to take up educational and training opportunities, and I’d encourage farmers and agribusiness to make the most of this in-between period to upskill their business and financial management or operational qualifications, and by researching and developing new ideas,” added Dr Hely.

The Victorian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub is funded by the Commonwealth Government and will contribute $8 million over four years through the Future Drought Fund.

The program is led by the University of Melbourne’s Dookie Campus and is conducted in association with Deakin, La Trobe, and Federation University and Agriculture Victoria; and is supported by five regional nodes across Victoria. These regional nodes are all led by highly respected farming/industry groups – BCG (NW Node); Riverine Plains (NE Node); Food & Fibre Gippsland (Gippsland Node); Southern Farming Systems (SW Node), and Mallee Regional Innovation Centre (NW Irrigated Horticulture Node).

Each node is currently consulting the agricultural industry through farmers, councils, businesses, health organisations, and community groups in their region about how to meet local needs best.

Professor Reeves said the feedback was already uncovering key priorities for action and possible seed funding, from learning from the last drought, new R&D priorities, extension and capacity building, community development, and health and mental health support.

“To get involved and to share your thoughts or ideas for building more resilient farming businesses and communities, get in touch with your local node or any other Hub partner that you wish.

“Together, we will deliver the biggest impact for producers and the community. That’s what this is all about,” Professor Reeves said.

Anyone interested in getting involved in the consultation is encouraged to contact their node at:

i https://www.rabobank.com.au/media-releases/2021/210615-expectations-of-another-big-year-fuelling-confidence-in-australias-farm-sector/

The best time to manage a drought is before a drought

25 November, 2021

Word Count: 909

The best time to manage a drought is before a drought

Farmers urged to act now to get ahead of the cycle while times are good

Yields are high and commodity prices are generally strong across the board. Rural confidence is at a 20-year highi. So many are saying ‘let the good times roll’.

Well, yes and no – that’s according to Professor Tim Reeves, Co-Director of the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, a new collaboration between government, academia, industry and community to ensure farm and related businesses are better informed, more productive, and more profitable in the face of future droughts.

Professor Reeves urges producers to act when their farming business is in a favourable position to enhance future drought resilience, as this is when farmers can have the biggest impact in preparing for the inevitable, difficult times.

“It’s wonderful to see Victoria’s farming communities generally doing well. Part of our job now is to ensure this continues when the seasons inevitably turn,” Professor Reeves said.

“It is critical farmers take action regarding decisions or investments that can set themselves up for the long term, while cash flow is good and there’s opportunity to invest.

“It could be long-term fodder supply, building stock containment infrastructure or looking at options to diversify the farming business, through geographic location, or transitioning into different production systems. Renewable energy could also be an option, reducing energy bills while investing in environmental outcomes, while other off-farm investments can deliver a return, spreading risk.

“Planning for the future is fundamentally important.”

Professor Reeves said there are four key stages of the drought cycle, and steps must be taken at each stage of the cycle to truly build drought resilience and preparedness.

“There are the good times when there’s a dollar in the pocket, and there are the uncertain periods, where an El Niño might be forecast and the future is uncertain. It’s during these periods where the rubber hits the road, with prompt, effective decision-making essential to limit drought’s impact on a farming business.

“There is the drought itself, where risk and cost are front of mind – and mental health must be looked after – and the recovery where ‘green shoots’ are signalling things are possibly on the way back. Here, farmers can ramp up effectivity, generate cash flow and set themselves up to go again.

“The Victorian Drought Hub will give farmers and rural communities tools to address vulnerability to drought through this cycle, with five regional nodes developing new ways to collaborate and drive on the ground outcomes for farmers and communities.”

The North-East Node is being led by Riverine Plains Inc and the group’s Director of Research, Dr Sara Hely, said that farmers and agribusiness in the region are gaining confidence with managing drought years.

“Farmers learnt from the millennium drought and 2018’s big dry, and one of the key lessons was that their best tool for weathering drought is keeping cash in reserve,” said Dr Hely.

“The importance of diversifying farm incomes, through having a member of the farming family with another income stream, and/or leasing machinery to farmers in other regions with an earlier or later season, has also been raised as a key strategy for dealing with drought” she said.

Consultations with farmers in the North East Node have highlighted the role that social and business events play in supporting farmers and agribusiness during drought, when mental and financial stress is high, as well as the value of education, training and upskilling while times are relatively good.

“Right now is a terrific time to take up educational and training opportunities, and I’d encourage farmers and agribusiness to make the most of this in-between period to upskill their business and financial management or operational qualifications, and by researching and developing new ideas,” added Dr Hely.

The Victorian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub is funded by the Commonwealth Government and will contribute $8 million over four years through the Future Drought Fund.

The program is led by the University of Melbourne’s Dookie Campus and is conducted in association with Deakin, La Trobe, and Federation University and Agriculture Victoria; and is supported by five regional nodes across Victoria. These regional nodes are all led by highly respected farming/industry groups – BCG (NW Node); Riverine Plains (NE Node); Food & Fibre Gippsland (Gippsland Node); Southern Farming Systems (SW Node), and Mallee Regional Innovation Centre (NW Irrigated Horticulture Node).

Each node is currently consulting the agricultural industry through farmers, councils, businesses, health organisations, and community groups in their region about how to meet local needs best.

Professor Reeves said the feedback was already uncovering key priorities for action and possible seed funding, from learning from the last drought, new R&D priorities, extension and capacity building, community development, and health and mental health support.

“To get involved and to share your thoughts or ideas for building more resilient farming businesses and communities, get in touch with your local node or any other Hub partner that you wish.

“Together, we will deliver the biggest impact for producers and the community. That’s what this is all about,” Professor Reeves said.

Anyone interested in getting involved in the consultation is encouraged to contact their node at:

i https://www.rabobank.com.au/media-releases/2021/210615-expectations-of-another-big-year-fuelling-confidence-in-australias-farm-sector/

ENDS

Riverine Plains Inc is an independent farming systems group specialising in farmer driven research and extension across north-east Victoria and southern New South Wales. For more information, or to become a member, please visit www.riverineplains.org.au

More information or interview:

Dr Sara Hely, Riverine Plains Inc (03 5744 1713) or email research@riverineplains.org.au

Workshops to help farmers & communities manage drought, climate challenges

Riverine Plains Inc has begun delivering workshops to help farmers and communities across southern NSW and north-east Victoria address future drought and climate challenges.

The workshops are being delivered through a new project, Enhancing Community Networks for Drought Resilience in the Riverine Plains, which has recently been funded by the Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience program, through donors the Australian Government, Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal and the Pratt Foundation.

The project is designed to help people in Riverine Plains’ communities make personal and business connections to help better prepare for the next drought or climate challenge.

Drought is inevitable part of farming in Australia and severe droughts and climatic events can have huge economic, social and environmental impacts on individuals and regional communities.  A key part of being able to respond is having other farmers, advisors, health and social networks or business services to turn to for advice, or to collaborate with, about key personal and management decisions during drought.

Farmers, business operators and Indigenous custodians in our community all have different experiences of managing drought and climatic events, and there are a vast range of strategies that people have adopted. The workshops will provide a forum to share these different experiences (both the successes and the failures) and will help provide new perspectives, ideas and support to farmers and  rural communities.

As part of the project, 30 workshops will be held in southern NSW and north-east Victoria to connect primary producers, landholders, support services and Indigenous custodians to increase awareness of support, share knowledge and help improve community resilience to future drought and climate challenges.

The first workshop was held as part of the Evan Moll Gerogery Field Day during November, 2021, with participants sharing their experiences in managing mental and physical health during drought, the actions taken to manage their business during previous droughts, as well as changes they are looking to implement ahead of the next drought.

Additional workshops are being planned for late 2021 and the first half of 2022. To learn more about the project and any upcoming community events, please visit www.riverineplains.org.au

The Enhancing Community Networks for Drought Resilience in the Riverine Plains project is funded by the Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience program, through donors the Australian Government, Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal and the Pratt Foundation.

Workshops to share knowledge about managing drought & climate challenges

15 November, 2021

Word Count: 440

Workshops to share knowledge about managing drought & climate challenges

Riverine Plains Inc will soon be delivering workshops to help farmers and communities across southern NSW and north-east Victoria address future drought and climate challenges.

The workshops are being delivered through a new project, Enhancing Community Networks for Drought Resilience in the Riverine Plains, which has recently been funded by the Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience program, through donors the Australian Government, Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal and the Pratt Foundation.

Riverine Plains CEO, Catherine Marriott explained that the project is designed to help people in Riverine Plains’ communities make personal and business connections to help better prepare for the next drought or climate challenge.

“We all recognise that drought is inevitable part of farming in Australia and that severe droughts and climatic events can have huge economic, social and environmental impacts on individuals and regional communities” said Ms Marriott.

“While we can’t stop drought, a key part of being able to respond is having other farmers, advisors, health and social networks or business services to turn to for advice, or to collaborate with, about key personal and management decisions” she said.

Farmers, business operators and Indigenous custodians in our community all have a different experience of drought and climatic events, and there are a vast range of strategies that people have adopted.

“Getting to know people outside of our immediate social or family circle can help expand access to new perspectives, ideas and support, while being able to tap into the experiences of others can really help when making plans to better manage future drought” added Ms Marriott.

As part of the project, 30 workshops will be held in southern NSW and north-east Victoria to connect primary producers, landholders, support services and Indigenous custodians to increase awareness of support, share knowledge and help improve community resilience to future drought and climate challenges.

The first workshop was held as part of the Evan Moll Gerogery Field Day on Thursday 11 November, 2021, with participants sharing their experiences in managing mental and physical health and the actions they took to manage their business during previous droughts, as well as changes they would like to implement before the next drought.

Additional workshops are being planned for late 2021 and the first half of 2022. To learn more about the project and any upcoming community events, please visit www.riverineplains.org.au

The Enhancing Community Networks for Drought Resilience in the Riverine Plains project is funded by the Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience program, through donors the Australian Government, Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal and the Pratt Foundation.

ENDS

Riverine Plains Inc is an independent farming systems group specialising in farmer driven research and extension across north-east Victoria and southern New South Wales. For more information, or to become a member, please visit www.riverineplains.org.au

More information or interview:

Emily Thompson, Riverine Plains Inc (03 5744 1713) or email emily@riverineplains.org.au

Events

GRDC Hands on Precision Agriculture Training (Part 2), Yarrawonga

Following on from a very successful GRDC Hands On Precision Agriculture workshop held in 2021, Riverine Plains is pleased to be able to bring you a second GRDC and SPAA precision agriculture workshop. The workshop will be held on Monday 8 August 2022, at Burke’s Hotel, Yarrawonga, from 9am-3pm.

Precision agriculture expert Adrian Roles (JMAJ) and Tom Draffen (BCG) will cover precision agriculture tools and how they can be used to maximise profitability and production leading into and during harvest in 2022. Topics include;

  • Setting up for success – Common issues and solutions for collecting usable harvest data
  • Calibrating and cleaning yield data using commercially available software
  • Introduction to Multi-Layer Analysis & creating multi-year trends using calibrated and cleaned data
  • Introduction to Profit Analysis & calculating profit and creating a profit map from variable data

Click here to register via the BCG website.

To download a copy of the printable, pdf version of the flyer, please click here.

 

Hands on Precision Agriculture Training flyer

Webinar: Using Agtech for Drought Preparation

Riverine Plains is hosting a webinar on Tuesday 14 June, 2022 for grain and livestock farmers wanting to learn more about how Agtech can be used, especially in preparing for future droughts.

The webinar will feature Hamish Munro (Pairtree), who will explain how the Pairtree App can help streamline data collection and decision making. Fiona Lake will also present on using drones to save time and labour in grain and livestock operations. 

To register, please click here.

To download a printable, pdf version of the flyer, please click here.

Webinar: Plan for your lambs

Riverine Plains is hosting a webinar for lamb producers looking to plan for this season and develop strategies for managing in dry, or drought conditions.

The webinar will be held on Tuesday 7 June, from 8-9pm and will feature presentations from an animal nutritionist and market analyst.

To register, please click here.

To download a printable, pdf version of the flyer, please click here.

.

Webinar: Soils and drought preparation

Riverine Plains is hosting a webinar for farmers looking to retain soil moisture and how to improve soils to manage future drought and climate challenges.

The webinar will be held on Tuesday 31 May from 8:00-9:00 pm. Kirsten Barlow (Precision Agriculture) will speak on soil constraints and how to prioritise their management, while Nick Ennis (Lawson Grains) will provide a farmer perspective on ways to prioritise operations and how to measure success.

To register for the webinar, please click here.

To download a printable, pdf copy of the flyer, please click here.

Soils and Drought Preparedness Webinar Flyer

Webinar: Drought preparation for grain growers

Riverine Plains is hosting a free drought preparation webinar for grain growers on Tuesday 24 May, 2022, from 8-9pm.

The webinar will facilitated by Riverine Plains Inc Project Officer, Kate Coffey, and will have a focus on drought management strategies in dryland and irrigated grain growing systems (Glen Baxter, dryland and irrigated farmer, Berrigan), as well as marketing, cash flow and logistical issues (Adrian Clancy, Farmanco).

To register, please click here

A printable, pdf copy of the flyer is available here.

Grain Growers Drought Preparation Webinar Flyer

Women’s drought preparation workshop, Wagga Wagga

Riverine Plains is hosting a drought preparation workshop for women on Tuesday 24 May, 2022 from 11am-2pm. Come and join us for the workshop and lunch at the Curious Rabbit, 44 Johnston St, Wagga Wagga.

RSVP by Friday 20 May for catering purposes to Kate Coffey by emailing kate@riverineplains.org.au

To download a printable, pdf version of the flyer, please click here.


Women's drought preparation workshop flyer