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In 2018 the 13th Ag Excellence Alliance Forum and Awards provided a platform for grower groups and agriculture industry personnel to share their experiences, develop new ideas and foster trends within innovation, technology and extension spaces.

In 2016, A total of 96 delegates attended the forum, with 27 guest speakers over two days and an awards dinner. The Hart Field-Site Group won the PIRSA grower group award, and the Society of Precision Agriculture Australia (SPAA) won the AGBYTE Encouragement Award. Feedback was positive, with all participants indicating in the post-evaluation survey they intend to attend the forum in the future.

BACKGROUND

The Ag Excellence Alliance was established in 2005 to help increase the viability of South Australian farmers through providing leadership and effective linkages between grower groups and key stakeholders.

The Alliance holds an annual forum, with the intention of bringing together grower groups and stakeholders to network, share information and form future partnerships.

Start:

7 April 2016

Finish:

6 April 2018

Project participants

Ag Excellence Alliance: Kerry Stockman

The problem

This annual forum provides the only opportunity for grower group representatives and other key stakeholders to network, share information and form future partnerships.

The research

A forum was held each April to increase the understanding of research and development projects and activities carried out by South Australia’s farming groups, as well as sharing resources and knowledge between farming groups, industry and government representatives.

More information

Kerry Stockman
Ag Excellence Alliance
0418 841 331
[email protected]

Research aims

The core objectives of the project were to determine:

  • An increased understanding of the research, development and extension projects and activities undertaken by farming groups across the state.
  • Greater sharing of resources and knowledge between farming groups, industry and government representatives through new and existing contacts and networks.
  • Help people learn new skills in relation to the communication of project outcomes, collaboration with the NRM, leadership in regional communities and the development of capacity for delivering RD&E in regional areas.

In the field

2018

The 2018 Ag Excellence Alliance Forum and Awards were held over two days, with 71 people in attendance for day one, 67 at the dinner and 64 in attendance for day two.

The participants consisted of farming employees and contractors, farmer committee members, natural resource management and primary industries agency staff, as well as agricultural industry representatives.

Some delegates attended all sessions, while some attended selected sessions.

2016

Day one featured guest speakers:

Guest Speaker
Organisation
Tim Hermann Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR)
Eliza Rieger Natural Resources SA Murray Darling Basin (SAMDBNRM)
Nicole Bennett Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges (AMLR NRM)
Mark Stanley Regional Connections
Thea Birss Mellor Olsson
Paul Daniel Ag in Compliance
David Evans Grain Growers Ltd
Harm van Rees Cropfacts


Day two featured grower group guest speakers:

Grower Group Guest Speaker
Organisation
Ruth Sommerville Upper North Farming Systems (UNFS)
Linden Masters Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation (EPARF)
Judith McArthur Agriculture Kangaroo Island (AGKI)
Madeline Mole Mallee Sustainable Farming (MSF)
Krysteen McElroy MacKillop Farm Management Group (MFMG)
Jeff Braun Mid North High Rainfall Zone (MNHRZ)
Helen Lamont Lower Eyre Agricultural Development Association(LEADA)
Nicole Dimos Society of Precision Agriculture Australia (SPAA)
Leighton Pearce SA No-Till Farmers Association (SANTFA)
Kim Blenkiron Partners in Grain (PinG)
Kristin McEvoy Yorke Peninsula Alkaline Soils Group (YPASG)
Brett Nietschke Barossa Improved Grazing Group (BIGG)
Leet Wilksch Northern Sustainable Soils (NSS) and
Sarah Noack Hart Field-Site Group
Andrew Kitto Advisory Board of Agriculture (ABA)


Day two featured guest speakers:

Guest Speaker
Organisation
Dale Grey Agriculture Victoria
Stephen Loss Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)
Stephen Lee Blueprint Manager, Adelaide University
Neville Crooke (The Awards dinner featured guest speaker) Swarmfarm Robotics

Results

2018

Using data obtained in an electronic survey, several conclusions were reached about the forum.

There was overwhelming support for the forum to continue being held annually, with late March/early April the favoured time of year.

The ‘Round Table’ discussion was viewed as valuable and a great way to garner audience input.

Most delegates believe the forum is fulfilling what they want out of it, with only minor changes recommended.

Despite many attendees being willing to recommend future forums, it was concerning that many delegates indicated ‘maybe’ to recommending the Forum to their colleagues.

The presentations made over the course of the forum were generally very well received, with the grower group presentations on day one perceived as the least valuable.

 

2016

The Hart Field-Site Group won the PIRSA grower group award, and the Society of Precision Agriculture Australia (SPAA) won the AGBYTE Encouragement Award.

All participants indicated in the post-evaluation survey they intend to attend the forum in the future.

Participants reported the most valuable session on day one was the importance of work health and safety, with 60 per cent rating it ‘very valuable’.

Grower group presentations on day two were rated as 4 out of 5 for providing ‘interesting and relevant information’, with no respondents scoring lower than 3 out of 5.

Sessions on day two were rated as valuable, with less than 10 per cent of respondents rating any session as 2 out of 5 or less. The most valued session was ‘Simplifying Climate Change’ by Dale Grey, and the most valued grower group sessions were ‘Volunteer Reliance’ and ‘Beyond Survival’.

On average half the information provided on day two was new to participants.

Value for growers

The Ag Excellence Alliance Forum provides growers with an opportunity to hear about the latest and most groundbreaking research and development projects and activities being carried out by farming groups across the state. The forum also provides growers with a valuable networking opportunity.

Growers can find all the presentations from the session online at https://agex.org.au/you-can-now-download-presentations-from-the-recent-2018-ag-excellence-forum/ (2018), and https://agex.org.au/2016-ag-excellence-forum-awards-presentations/ (2016)