MURESK Institute has unveiled WA’s first demonstration SMART Farm at its inaugural Farm Smart Showcase.
The one day event on Wednesday, June 13, showcased the latest agricultural innovations, technologies and up-skilling opportunities available within the agricultural sector.
Muresk Institute is the first public demonstration farm in WA set-up for cloud-based SMART Farm technology, with a new tower last month built on-farm.
Cloud-based SMART Farm technology is the integrated use of digital equipment, such as sensors and GPS, in modern agriculture to provide farmers with the data they need to make highly informed choices and improve efficiency.
Western Australians studying or working within the agricultural sector will be able to use the facilities at Muresk to train and up-skill.
The system was designed to increase Muresk’s productivity, environmental sustainability, safety and workflow, which will ultimately make the farm more self-sufficient.A
gricultural Region MP Darren West opened the event and unveiled the new plaque that will be on display at the institute. He said the technology showcased how far the agricultural sector had come in the way it produced food.
Mr West said it was vital WA farmers continued to innovate in the face of rising international competition for key export markets.“It’s a chance to see the latest in agricultural technology and smart farming,” Mr West said.
“We need to up-skill and keep ahead of the game in farming technology, especially with the competition from the Black Sea.”
Mr West said adapting to modern technology was critical for farmers and the Farm Smart Showcase was the perfect way to demonstrate these new technological advances.
“As a local farmer, I understand the importance of new technology and the efficiencies and opportunities it presents to our industry,” Mr West said.
“Not only is technology changing the way we do things, it is also opening up new opportunities for jobs.
“Muresk is leading the way in teaching and adopting the latest innovations in technology and systems to allow us to keep pace with the rest of the world.”
The event brought together industry leaders and training providers to highlight how embracing new technology and data with existing farming practices could help improve quality and efficiency.
Muresk Institute general manager Prue Jenkins said Muresk’s Farm Smart Showcase was about demonstrating ways in which farmers could work smarter, not harder.
“At Muresk Institute we strive to provide knowledge about the latest innovations in the agriculture industry,” Ms Jenkins said. “There are a range of new and exciting opportunities in the sector and Muresk Institute is proactive in ensuring that the WA public has access to information to stay up to date with those opportunities.”
Presenters on the day included Natasha Ayres, who discussed issues beyond the hype of ag tech; Geoff Carroll, who presented a full service internet solution for the ag sector; Andrew Thompson, who shared advice on how to take the work out of recording dam pedigrees for sheep and Boyd Holden, who discussed the technology available to improve animal welfare and livestock handling.
Attendees were also given the opportunity to see some of the exciting new technology first-hand, after it was was unveiled during the event.
Speaking of the event, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said “the demand for highly skilled workers in the agriculture sector is growing and like many other industries, it continues to evolve as technology modernises the way we work”.
“The McGowan Government is committed to increasing agricultural productivity, diversifying the economy and creating jobs for Western Australians,” she said.
“Being able to demonstrate the impact and benefits of technology in farming will be a huge benefit to students and the existing workforce – this initiative will help equip our workforce with relevant and contemporary knowledge and skills.”