Fund­ing to boost agri­cul­ture

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL -

A NEW Aus­tralian Govern­ment grant will sup­port a na­tional hub of agri­cul­tural know-how.

The Aus­tralian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Me­dia Author­ity (ACMA) has in­vested in a wider community un­der­stand­ing of agri­cul­tural re­search, by sup­port­ing a team of ex­pe­ri­enced com­mu­ni­ca­tors.

Re­gion­ally based Re­search for Agri­cul­ture is sourc­ing, cu­rat­ing, shar­ing and track­ing world lead­ing Aus­tralian agri­cul­tural and en­vi­ron­men­tal re­search through print and dig­i­tal me­dia.

The group’s foot­print is na­tional and in­ter­na­tional; hav­ing over 15,000 ini­tial sub­scribers, a web­site, a free weekly e-news­let­ter, a free quar­terly dig­i­tal pub­li­ca­tion, so­cial me­dia and plans for an an­nual printed mag­a­zine of the year’s best re­search.

The col­lab­o­ra­tion is sup­ported by a $230,000 grant from ACMA’s Re­gional and Small Pub­lish­ers In­no­va­tion Fund.

Re­search for Agri­cul­ture is based at Lis­more in north­ern NSW, with link­ages across Aus­tralia through its part­ner Agri­cul­ture Me­dia, a pub­lish­ing com­pany with more than 20 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the sec­tor.

It is the brain­child of co­founder, en­trepreneur, and for­mer Di­rec­tor of Outreach at the Aus­tralian Cen­tre for Agri­cul­tural Re­search, John Han­cock.

The team is led by the re­cently ap­pointed CEO Sue Web­ster, a highly ex­pe­ri­enced net­worker and recog­nised agribusi­ness leader.

“Aus­tralia has a long and distin­guished her­itage of agri­cul­tural re­search,” Mrs Web­ster said.

“Aus­tralians in­vented the world’s first mech­a­nised grain strip­per, air seeder, Dethridge ir­ri­ga­tion wheel and many shear­ing tech­nolo­gies.

“Few peo­ple know that an Aus­tralian, Bill Mol­li­son, es­tab­lished the global prac­tice of per­ma­cul­ture.

“The im­pe­tus continues into the mod­ern world; ad­vances in IVF have been as­sisted by Aus­tralian live­stock re­search, CSIRO sci­en­tists in­vented the Hen­dra vac­cine and South Aus­tralian re­search saved the world’s tuna stocks by de­vel­op­ing the world’s first cap­tive-breed­ing pro­gram.

“The Re­search for Agri­cul­ture team is com­mit­ted to tak­ing good re­search off dusty shelves and putting it into ac­tion.

“Our model is straight­for­ward, we in­vite the re­search community to send us the good oil on what’s hap­pen­ing here and abroad in agri­cul­ture.”

They cu­rate this for var­i­ous au­di­ences, in­clud­ing govern­ment, cor­po­rate, aca­demic, and the lay­man, and pub­lish it through their me­dia chan­nels.

“In ad­di­tion to our me­dia, Re­search for Agri­cul­ture will also run net­work­ing events across Aus­tralia through the year.

“I’d en­cour­age ev­ery­one with deep in­ter­est in agri­cul­tural re­search to get in­volved.”

Pic­ture: Contribute­d.

NEW AG GRANT: Tak­ing ro­bust ag-re­search off dusty shelves and putting it into ac­tion": Sue Web­ster, Re­search for Agri­cul­ture CEO.

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