Fur­ther­ing knowl­edge

Shepparton News - Country News - - MAN’S BEST FRIEND - By Alana Chris­tensen

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.

in agtech.

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