LIEBE Group’s new agricultural education and research facility was officially opened at Dalwallinu last week, with more than 80 people attending.
The new building will serve as a collaborative research hub for the northern agricultural region and a facility to support continued growth of the agricultural sector.
Construction of the purpose-built research hub was part-funded by the State government, with $200,000 awarded to the Liebe Group through the Wheatbelt Regional Grants Scheme.
The Liebe grower group was established by a small group of progressive farmers in 1997 to focus grains research and development on the specific needs of the northern agricultural region.
The group supports about 100 farm businesses across one million hectares and has been highly successful in informing and supporting farmers to adopt the latest advancements in grains research.
The new research and education facility will provide office accommodation for 11 staff with the capacity to expand, leased office space, a boardroom, a large meeting and training room, a research workshop and a future laboratory.
It will provide a collaborative space for organisations interested in undertaking research and development or extension activity, including from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Wheatbelt Development Commission, The University of WA, Curtin University and CSIRO.
Liebe Group executive officer Rebecca McGregor said it had been a long journey.
“We have this fantastic result and we are about to start a new chapter for the group,” Ms McGregor said.
“The group was established in 1997 by a group of farmers who identified a need for local research and development activities in the region.
“The group moved from their original offices in Buntine in 2010 and co-located with the Shire of Dalwallinu.”
The Liebe Group identified a lack of adequate facilities at the time of the move and started planning to identify and explore opportunities for its own facility.
“This modern regional facility demonstrates the effective partnerships between industry, with funding from the Grains Research and Development Corporation, State and Federal governments and private investment,” said Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan.
“The Liebe Group’s work with the region’s farmers in research and education is helping to inspire and attract new agricultural research and education opportunities.
“Advancing our agricultural industries through scientific innovation and new technologies is a key focus for the McGowan government, ensuring we stay internationally competitive and driving more prosperous and resilient regional communities.”
The new Liebe Group building hopes to provide a research facility where information can be processed in the same location it is collected.
A laboratory and workshop are attached to the rear of the building where the group hope to process its trial data.