AN inaugural conference to be held in Kulin in July will explore the role that innovation and technology play in the development of modern farming practices.
GenAg2017 is the first young farmer’s conference hosted by Kulin on Tuesday, July 25 and an initiative of the Kulin Community Resource Centre in partnership with Kulin Community Bank.
This year’s theme, Spirit of Innovation, is about exploring the exciting role innovation and technology is playing in the development of modern farming techniques.
Tom Murphy from the Kulin Community Bank said GenAg2017 was borne out of a desire to provide relevant and inspiring information to young farmers.
He said topics such as succession planning, herbicide resistance and wealth creation, educational opportunities in agriculture, rebuilding the flock and mental health for farmers were all top of mind for young farmers.
“Succession planning is pretty important – they are the next generation and a lot are still working with their parents and it is about how to work out a smooth transition for the future,” he said.
“We are also covering how technology such as drones and whether they are tools or toys – a lot of people now have them and how they work at delivering economic benefit to their farm.”
Mr Murphy said attendees were encouraged to make connections, whether it’s with other young farmers or potential new business relationships.
Opening keynote speaker at the event is Rural Bank managing director and chief executive officer Alexandra Gartmann.
Ms Gartmann is also chairwoman of the CSIRO Agriculture Advisory Council, a member of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership and a member of the Victorian Agriculture Advisory Council.
She said she was looking forward to getting back to the Wheatbelt for the conference.
“The WA Wheatbelt is a community that shaped my foundations and ignited my passion for Australia’s agricultural industry, and I am keen to hear how they are tackling the challenge of innovation for real benefit,” Ms Gartmann said.
“For Australian agriculture and rural communities, it’s the practical that has always mattered - practical innovation which delivers productivity gains and sustainable profitability.
“For me, GenAg2017 will not only be all about fostering and inspiring innovation, but also ensuring farmers remain at the centre of that conversation, supporting vibrant, sustainable farming businesses,” she said.
Other speakers include The Nationals WA leader Mia Davies, WA Rural Woman of the Year Tanya Dupagne, Sheep Alliance of WA director Bindi Murray, Wheatbelt Business Network executive officer Caroline Robinson and Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative communications lead Peter Newman.
Sean Powell will provide attendees with an idea of noodle wheat opportunities, while Bunge Agribusiness WA regional manager Christopher Tyson will give an overview of the grain marketing industry.
A key feature of the conference is the afternoon’s breakout sessions, allowing attendees to make the most of an information-packed day.
A sundowner, sponsored by Kulin Community Bank is planned for the evening.
“The biggest thing is that people come out of GenAg2017 more informed and inspired to get out and push their business, career or industry,” Mr Murphy said.
Tickets to GenAg2017 are available for purchase through trybooking.com/QABY
For more information on the GenAg2017 conference, contact Tom Murphy at the Kulin Community Bank on 0488 422 477 or Kate Bishop from the Kulin Community Resource Centre on
08 9880 1021.
A full program of topics and speakers can be found at the Shire of Kulin website kulin.wa.gov.au.