The popular Ag Ex Forum moved to a hybrid online format in 2021. A program of highly respected speakers addressed the challenges, considerations and opportunities of transitioning agriculture to a carbon neutral future under the theme ‘A Climate of Opportunity in Ag’.
The event was well attended, and the online recordings have been viewed many times since. The vast majority of delegates reported feeling better informed about carbon strategies as a result of this event.
In its role as a network of leading farming systems groups for South Australia, the Ag Excellence Alliance holds an annual one-day networking and knowledge building forum event, focusing on a key subject area.
The 2021 event focused on carbon neutral farming under the theme ‘A Climate of Opportunity in Ag’. A wide range of keynote, farmer and scientific speakers shared their technical knowledge with producers through plenary, panel and breakout sessions.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the forum was changed from its usual in-person format to a hybrid online event.
The overall objective of the event was to increase awareness of the opportunities for landholders to engage and act on industry carbon neutral goals. Secondary objectives were to:
- Promote conversations around actions to achieve carbon neutral goals in agriculture.
- Build awareness and capacity of key influencers.
- Provide examples of on-farm implementation.
- Identify gaps in understanding, knowledge and research.
- Build confidence in seeking further information.
In The Field
The 2021 Ag Excellence Forum was held on Monday 9 August 2021. The change to a predominantly online hybrid event was announced less than three weeks prior and Ag Ex staff worked extremely hard to achieve successful transition and delivery.
There were 196 registrations and 138 delegates logged in on the day.
Keynote speakers included:
- Professor Mark Howden (Director, Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions, ANU)
- Fiona Simson (President, National Farmers Federation and farmer at Liverpool Plains, NSW)
- Professor Richard Eckard (Director, Primary Industries & Climate Challenges Centre, University of Melbourne)
- Dr Mark Farrell (Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO)
- Dr Amanda Schapel (Senior Soils Consultant, PIRSA)
The full event program and list of presenters is available here.
The adoption of a hybrid format for the forum was achieved successfully, thanks to much behind-the-scenes work by Kerry Stockman, AgEx Admin Manager and Emma McInerney, Regional Ag Landcare Facilitator.
Attendees almost universally rated the quality of the content as ‘high’ or ‘very high’ and were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the presenters.
When rating the event overall, 66 per cent responded ‘very satisfied’ and 33 per cent responded ‘satisfied’, for a total satisfaction rating of 99 per cent.
The online event attracted 196 EventBrite registrations and 138 delegates logged in on the day. The event has since accrued 584 livestream views, 3,618 event page views, 175 views of individual presentations and 74 resource page views.
The complete Evaluation and Feedback Report is available online.
Ag Excellence Alliance: Kerry Stockman, Emma McInerney
See main text for details of presenters.
Climate change and ambitious carbon neutral targets create a range of challenges and opportunities for farmers.
This event aimed to provide information and confidence to help landowners successfully and profitably transition their businesses to this reality.
Value for Growers
The move to a carbon neutral industry and economy presents farmers with new obligations and opportunities. Building the awareness and confidence to make productive progress in this area is essential for the success and sustainability of many farm businesses.
As a result of this Ag Excellence Forum, 63 per cent of attendees rated their understanding of the farming pathway to carbon neutrality as ‘informed’ and a further 19 per cent rated their understanding as ‘very informed’.
85 per cent of attendees said they would like to continue engaging with farming group networks on their journey toward carbon neutral farming.