Shepparton-based agtech professional Peter Moller will travel to Silicon Valley, California, in March to learn about the latest agriculture technologies and innovations in the industry under a Victorian Government initiative.
Mr Moller, who works for Rubicon Water, will receive $25 000 to undertake a Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Professional Certificate, and a Future Thinking and Strategy Development Workshop.
Mr Moller said it was a chance to see first hand the latest innovative and disruptive technologies.
‘‘It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get some formal study in the area of entrepreneurship and innovation in a leading global university,’’ he said.
‘‘Stanford is recognised worldwide for providing graduates with a lot of these very innovative, disruptive technology-based companies. I thought it would be great to go through that learning program, hear from the professors and learn first hand.’’
The scholarship is part of the $20 million Food Source Victoria program which provides regional Victorians working in agriculture and food with professional development opportunities.
Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes welcomed the announcement.
‘‘This is great news for a Shepparton local who is excelling in his field and Heading stateside . . . Rubicon Water’s Peter Moller is off to Silicon Valley in California to find out about the latest gives our region confidence that some of our best minds will have the opportunity to shine on the world stage,’’ she said.
Through the scholarship, Mr Moller will also attend a Silicon Valley Forum Agtech Immersion Program and agtech conference in California. He hoped to gain a greater understanding of how communication between tech and agriculture occurs in California, to inform how regional areas communicate with the city.
‘‘How can we leverage off what’s being done in the city, in Melbourne, with all these people interested with these smart ideas and interesting technologies and connect them to northern Victoria?’’ he said.
‘‘How do we get that relationship a lot stronger? How do we leverage off universities, the academics who teach agriculture, how do we leverage off the smart farm businesses?’’
The Goulburn Murray Region Fruit Fly Action Group has secured $261 000 towards a two-year fruit fly trapping program, and secured a fruit fly co-ordinator until 2019 in the continued fight against the pest.
The funding is part of a five-year action program developed by the Victorian Government aimed at allowing regional communities to control fruit fly management in their local area.
Shire of Campaspe Mayor Adrian Weston said it would be a collaborative effort among councils and the fruit fly co-ordinator.
‘‘Although the fruit fly co-ordinator will be based at Moira Shire, Campaspe will provide assistance to the co-ordinator for community education, through the promotion of workshops, education material and contacts with the community,’’ he said.
‘‘The trapping program will monitor populations of fruit fly and implement activities to suppress their breeding. This program will provide the critical data needed to take a co-ordinated region-wide approach to managing fruit fly and demonstrate population suppression.’’
The action group is currently awaiting the outcome of a grant application to cover the implementation of a Regional Action Plan.