The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2017-04-18T03:45:31Z Announcing new leadership for Achmea Australia 2017-04-18T03:45:31Z announcing-new-leadership-for-achmea-australia Achmea Australia is poised to welcome a new CEO, following the news that current CEO Timo van Voorden is returning to the Netherlands – the birthplace of Achmea – after five successful years spent launching and running the company here in Australia. Timo has been instrumental in setting up the Australian division, working tirelessly to carve a niche for the organisation in mutual-based insurance and risk management for the farming community. Of his time in Australia Timo says he is most proud of what the company has achieved, particularly over the last three and a half years with the delivery of innovative, tailored and cost effective insurance for Australian agriculture businesses. “Embedded within local regional communities, our nation-wide network of Risk Specialists have been able to ensure Australian agricultural businesses benefit from our co-operative insurance approach. “They are there to provide immediate support in times of need and it is these relationships that have seen Achmea Australia achieve a 99% client retention rate and a client net promoter score four times the industry average,” Timo said. “I would like to thank Division International and the Executive Board of the Achmea Group for sending me to Australia five years ago. It has been an absolute dream job to build Achmea Australia from the ground up, and to recruit such a great group of people to do it with me,” Timo added. The Achmea Australia team wish Timo every success in the next stage of his career and is pleased to announce Emma Thomas as Timo’s successor. Emma comes to Achmea Australia from FMG Insurance, a large farm insurer in New Zealand, where she’s already demonstrated herself to be a proven senior leader, gaining extensive experience in the agricultural and financial services industry. She has been a central figure in driving the overall growth, client satisfaction and market share strategies for FMG, which is New Zealand’s leading rural insurer. Over the last 10 years Emma has held roles at FMG including National Sales Manager, Head of Sales, Service and Operations, Head of Advice and Sales and Financial Controller. Prior to joining FMG, Emma’s experience includes Executive financial management leadership of a New Zealand IT solutions company, and Audit roles with Deloitte in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Emma has a strong affinity with agribusiness through her family and financial services background. She is committed to continuous development of her leadership and governance skills, and cultivating valuable networks within the primary industries sector. Reflecting on her new role with Achmea Australia, Emma spoke of her keenness to build on the achievements already made by Timo and the company over the past five years in Australia. “I’m excited to join the Achmea Australia team and bring my rural insurance experience to the position of CEO. Having seen first-hand the devastating impacts – both commercially and personally – of natural disasters and storm events on the farming community, the mutual ethos has a very important role in the Australian insurance industry. I look forward to building on the proud history Achmea has in supporting rural businesses and putting clients first,” says Emma. Meanwhile, outgoing CEO Timo is in no doubt that the company will remain in the most capable of hands with Emma and her team. “I am confident Emma will make a significant contribution to Achmea Australia and our clients, and as a senior female industry leader has the potential to influence Australia’s agriculture agenda,” he said. “I wish Emma all the very best of luck in her new role as CEO, and I know she has a fantastic team to support her and to continue the accelerated growth of Achmea in Australia.” Emma joins the company later this month, and Achmea Australia look forward to welcoming her to the family. About Achmea Australia Achmea Australia is a dedicated agricultural insurance company committed to reducing risks and premiums to its Australian customers. It works with its clients to prevent and manage risks across five categories: buildings; inventory; business interruption; vehicles and liability. It’s All-in-One Farm Pack allows customers to tailor their cover to their precise needs. Achmea Australia has an exclusive distribution philosophy. It believes in its collaboration and association with Rabobank which has a strong presence in rural Australia. By employing their own local Risk Specialists it is adding value to its clients with a personalised and tailored service as well as keeping costs down. Achmea Australia enjoys the financial strength of its parent company Achmea, based in the Netherlands. For more information visit www.achmea.com.au. - END- Photo Caption – Outgoing Achmea Australia CEO, Timo van Voorden Photo Caption – Incoming Achmea Australia CEO, Emma Thomas Media Contact: Adam Arndell C7EVEN Communications T: 02 6766 4513 / 0403 372 889 E: adam.arndell@c7even.com.au NSW Wine Industry Association - change in Executive Officer 2017-04-11T02:58:59Z nsw-wine-industry-association-change-in-executive-officer Stuart McGrath-Kerr will retire from his role as NSW Wine Industry Association Executive Officer at the end of the month (30th April 2017). Stuart started in this role in 1997, just a few years after the NSWWIA was formed, and has seen great change and growth in the wine industry in NSW. Stuart regards some of the highlights of his time in the role as the creation of the NSW Wine brand and “the work done through the NSW Wine Awards, along with Sydney Cellar Door, to raise the profile of NSW Wine - a task far from complete,” says Stuart. “I would like to acknowledge the great contribution made to the Association by many who served on the Committee including past presidents Chris Barnes AM, David Lowe and more recently Tom Ward, and I thank them all for their support. I wish the Association every success in its future endeavours.” Tom Ward, President of the NSWWIA thanks Stuart for his many years of service to the NSW wine industry. “Stuart has been a focal point for NSW wine and has played a vastly important role in making sure that the interests of NSW wine are fostered both locally and nationally,” suggests Tom. “I would particularly like to thank Stuart, and his wife Noni, for the role they have played in making the NSW Wine Awards an important and successful part of the NSW wine calendar. I wish Stuart and Noni all the best for the future and hope that they continue to drink the great wines of NSW once they move to Tasmania.” Tom goes on to say that he is delighted to announce that Angus Barnes has accepted the role of Acting EO of the NSWWIA, effective 1st of April. This role is a temporary role and will assist in the transition of the NSWWIA. Angus Barnes has a long and distinguished wine career starting from his childhood in the vineyards in the Hunter Valley. He has most recently held senior global roles with Pernod Ricard Winemakers. Angus is well known to the NSWWIA as he is currently the Vice President in charge of Government Relations (a role that he will step down from in order to take up the Acting EO position). Angus is also the current national chair of the Wine Communicators of Australia as well as a past graduate of the wine industry future leaders program. Over the next few months, there are a number of key activities that Angus and the executive will focus on. They include: ·      the launch and implementation of NSW Government and industry joint strategy 2028 (being finalised) ·      an independent review of the NSWWIA in order to ensure that we are providing for our members ·      the agreement and implementation of the federal government’s Export and Regional Wine Support Package, making sure that NSW is represented strongly in these outcomes Tom goes on to say that he is excited by the future opportunities for the wine sector in NSW. “I appreciate Stuart’s years of dedicated service and I also look forward to the next period working with Angus and the NSWWIA executive.”  Flooding offers mixed conditions for autumn planting 2017-04-10T06:00:37Z flooding-offers-mixed-conditions-for-autumn-planting Widespread rain across much of the country has created mixed conditions for planting winter pastures, with farmers advised to plant now or monitor soil moisture closely over the coming weeks. Allan Mudford is the Northern Product Development Manager for PGG Wrightson Seeds Australia and said the there is an opportunity for producers in the western zones of south east Queensland to plant oats and annual ryegrass. “Flooding and water logging in the eastern zones will however delay planting, but I would suggest farmers plant any higher ground with an annual rye grass like Winter Star II or Diamond T as soon as possible,” Mr Mudford said. “I would then suggest planting Italian varieties like Concord II or Nourish for late winter and spring/summer production when the lower country dries out.” Farmers living in flooded areas should also prepare for Autumn planting now. “Farmers living in flooded areas should be prepared to plant as soon as possible if no follow up rain occurs – before the colder soil and air temperatures set in,” Mr Mudford said. “In areas that have been dry all this summer current rain will allow a good opportunity to plant over the next two to three weeks.” Mr Mudford said Autumn offers the ideal window for planting winter pasture. “Autumn is that time of year that can set you up for 12 months of production. A good autumn planting can produce more pasture over your winter period, and that results in more profitability on farm,” Mr Mudford said. “When selecting a pasture variety, farmers should determine what periods they are more likely to need more feed and plan by using different varieties. For example, some producers need early winter production and some need more feed later in the winter.” An ideal planting profile would include early and late maturing pastures, to enable a high volume of winter feed and late-season pasture for hay and silage, that could be used for next winter or even in a drought. “10 years ago farmers used to plant one variety of pasture, now 60 percent of farmers use different varieties to create different production curves,” Mr Mudford explained. “There are better genetics in the varieties today and they are growing longer into the season then what they used to.” Timing is critical, with planting technique and soil moisture impacting optimum growth. “Some of the flood irrigation does not work - you can have plant damage, so the type of irrigation is very critical,” Mr Mudford explained. “It’s also important to have a good understanding of the root structure of your plants and monitor soil moisture, so you get the most bang for your dollar in terms of irrigation water.” Mr Mudford said Concord II is a good consistent variety of pasture that is suited to a wide range of soils and environmental conditions across Australia. “Concord II is fast establishing, has good rebound after grazing and has a nice densely tillered, which leads to more feed for the cows to consume,” Mr Mudford said. “It also has an exceptionally long season to it - in the north we get it to grow into late January and silage coming into Spring and Summer.” With 18 years’ experience with PGG Wrightson Seeds Australia, Mr Mudford visits a number of farms and advises farmers in different areas with different farming conditions. “Our staff have a good base knowledge of how farmers are achieving higher productivity in a large range of environments. We get to visit a wide range of farms and sometimes they have problems and sometimes they have great stories of high productivity, so we can share those stories,” Mr Mudford said. For more information on how Concord II can improve your pasture production, contact your local PGG Wrightson Seeds’ Sales Agronomist as listed at www.pggwrightsonseeds.com.au Ends. Photo Caption - Allan Mudford, PGG Wrightson Seeds Northern Product Development Manager For media enquiries: C7EVEN Communications Adam Arndell, 02 6766 4513 / 0403 372 889 adam.arndell@c7even.com.au Leading South African vet to showcase trace mineral impact on bull fertility in Australian tour 2017-04-04T00:00:22Z leading-south-african-vet-to-showcase-trace-mineral-impact-on-bull-fertility-in-australian-tour Prominent South African veterinarian Dr Martin Ferreira will touch down in Australia this week for a tour highlighting the benefits of trace minerals on bull fertility and semen quality. Dr Ferreira, whose current research investigates the effect of injectable trace minerals on bull semen quality and its freezing and fawning, arrives on Saturday April 8 and will present at six events across Australia on the six-day tour. A guest of Virbac Australia, Dr Ferreira will present on the latest in trace mineral science and how trace minerals can assist in bull fertility and semen quality. The tour is targeted at cattle veterinarians, reproduction professionals, and beef/dairy producers and aims to improve knowledge and understanding of trace minerals, which are essential for fertility and optimal production in beef and dairy cattle. Virbac Australia Livestock Nutrition Specialist, Dr Jerry Liu, said the tour was a chance for industry participants to hear from Dr Ferreira, who has over 24 years consulting experience with leading South African animal health companies. “We are excited to be hosting Dr Ferreira, who will present cutting edge, world class information to Australian industry professionals and beef and dairy producers,” Dr Liu said. “For beef and dairy producers, the chance to learn the latest in trace mineral science from a global expert is truly unique.” He said in addition to his trace minerals work, Dr Ferreira had over 26 years of experience as a professional vet, with his work taking him to many parts of the African continent, including Kenya, Zambia and Uganda. “With Dr Ferreira’s current area of research being the effects of trace mineral supplementation on bull semen quality, it’s a unique opportunity to hear from a global leader in the field,” Dr Liu said. “Dr Ferreira has also provided productivity consultation for beef, dairy and feedlot operations as well as operating his own cattle property for 21 years.” Dr Ferreira is scheduled to speak at locations including Camden in NSW, Gippsland and Western Region in Victoria, and Toowoomba and Rockhampton in Queensland, on the tour. Whilst the events are invitation only, Virbac Australia welcomes the media to interview Dr Ferreira during his visit, as well as attend any of the local events. State Date Time Town Where NSW Saturday 8th April 9:00 – 16:00 Camden, NSW The University of Sydney, Mayfarm VIC Sunday 9th April Dinner time Gippsland, VIC TBA VIC Monday 10th April 11:30 – 13:00 Ensay, VIC Little River Inn (64-70 Johnston St) VIC Tuesday 11th April 10:30 – 12:00 Gazette, VIC Moyle Pathfinder Angus (2126 MacArthur-Penshurst Rd) 14:00 – 15:30 Camperdown, VIC Total Livestock Genetics (4969 Princes Highway) QLD Wednesday 12st April 12:30 – 15:00 East Toowoomba, QLD Toowoomba Motel (2 Burnage St) 18:30 onwards Toogoolawah, QLD South East Country Vets (31 Cairnscroft St) WA Thursday 13th April 10:00 – 12:30 North Rockhampton, QLD Park Avenue Hotel (Cnr Haynes & Main St) Media Opportunity Dr Martin Ferreira will deliver a presentation on bull fertility and semen quality, and how trace minerals can help. Interview opportunity with Dr Martin Ferreira, - Ends - Contact: Adam Arndell, C7EVEN Communications, 0403 372 889 / 02 6766 4513 Martin Ferreira: Martin Ferreira is a veterinarian specialist in herd health and preventative medicine. He completed his Masters of Veterinary Medicine (Bovine) at the University of Pretoria in 2000 and is currently completing his PhD at the University of Pretoria. His area of research investigates the effect of injectable trace mineral supplementation on bull semen quality, and its freezing and fawning. Mr Ferreira has over 26 years of veterinary experience in mixed practice, and over 24 years of experience working as a consultant for various animal health companies in South Africa. His work has taken him to various parts of the African continent, including Kenya, Zambia & Uganda. Virbac Australia: Virbac (Australia) Pty Ltd is a specialist animal health company, with its core business in sheep and cattle products, veterinary pharmaceuticals and vaccines, a wide range of pet care products for dogs and cats, plus a broad range of products for horses. Virbac Australia’s 2015 sales turnover was more than A$120 million. In Australia, Virbac employs around 260 personnel, all of whom are passionate about animal health. Virbac offers an injectable product called Multimin, designed to top-up important trace minerals (manganese, zinc, selenium and copper) in beef and dairy cattle. The focus of trace mineral supplementation has developed to beyond merely correcting deficiency symptoms. Strategic mineral supplementation is aimed at the optimisation of reproductive performance, immune function and growth, resulting in significant improvements in productivity and subsequently profitability. Further information on Multimin can be found here. NOMINATE FOR THE PRINCE OF WALES AWARD FOR SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY 2017-03-27T21:43:39Z nominate-for-the-prince-of-wales-award-for-sustainable-forestry Nominations for The Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry are now open and must be submitted by 1 May 2017. The Award is to recognise the achievements of outstanding young forest professionals and is to encourage dedication to the principles of sustainable forest management including policy, planning and practice, and sound science-based land stewardship. One award is available in Australia and one award is available in New Zealand. CEO of the Institute of Foresters Australia. Bob Gordon said, ‘Eligible recipients must either be a student or recent graduate, up to 30 years of age, from a forestry, natural resources or environmental science university or college program. ‘Importantly, recipients must be members of the Institute of Foresters of Australia or the NZ Institute of Forestry, thus demonstrating their personal commitment to lifelong professional development and their support of forest professionalism. If young forestry professionals were looking for a reason to join the IFA, there are plenty, and eligibility for The Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry is just one more reason’, said Bob. Full eligibility criteria and nomination details are available from th IFA website www.forestry.org.au -Ends- Media contact: Bob Gordon 02 6153 3044   Full eligibility criteria: https://www.forestry.org.au/honours-awards-scholarships/prince-of-wales-award Nomination details:https://www.forestry.org.au/images/Price%20of%20Wales%20Award/Prince%20of%20Wales%20Award%20for%20Sustainability%20-%20nomination%20criteria%20Australia%20Final_27_March_2017.pdf Top tips to prepare for the hay and silage season 2017-03-23T01:30:20Z top-tips-to-prepare-for-the-hay-and-silage-season Regular annual hay and silage making is now common-place on many farms in Australia and while sticking to a suitable rotation throughout winter will see you through there are still some important things to consider. Pasture selection and preparation for one, is an important consideration to maximise the production potential of silage and while there is a number of factors that influence the pasture including climate, agronomic constraints and the silage system that will be used, farmers should firstly consider what best suits their whole farm program. “Harvesting high quality fodder is one of the key focus areas for KUHN Farm Machinery innovation,” says Mr Bruno Fetiveau, Managing Director KUHN Farm Machinery. “Low quality forage is unlikely to become good quality silage, so it is important that farmers consider the management of their pasture, the growth stage at harvest, as well as wrapping the bales sufficiently for storage.” Because application of fertiliser can have major implications on the quality and quantity of silage, another key consideration is the soil and plant fertiliser requirements. Nitrogen and potassium levels need to be managed to maximise yield as well and feed quality. Hay and silage production absorbs a lot of potassium from the soil, so an application in early spring may be required. Nitrogen levels also need to be monitored closely, and topdress to individual yield requirements. To address this Mr Fetiveau says that farmers are encouraged to soil test their pastures before sowing and during the growth stages to ascertain the fertility of their paddocks. For paddock preparation and throughout the pasture growth stages, weed and pest management is also an important consideration. Hay and silage making can be used as a highly effective weed control strategy, however established weeds in silage or hay pastures can reduce the feed quality and in some cases be toxic to livestock. Weeds should be controlled early-on to avoid infestations. The main weeds to consider include Capeweed, Fireweed and Patersons Curse. The same applies to in managing disease or insect damage. Common pets such as aphids and diseases such as rust can dramatically impact yield and feed quality. Finally, it is also important to take a look at machinery needs and plan for any servicing, maintenance or repairs, so you’re not let down in the middle of harvest. Growers will need to weigh up investing in machinery or utilising the services of a contractor. Machinery innovation, technology improvements and the latest precision agriculture software applications make hay and silage production much more productive and profitable. Mr Fetiveau says: “KUHN offers a large range of reliable products for hay and silage production. Our wide choice of agricultural machinery including vertical tillage systems and power harrows, fertiliser spreaders, sprayers, mowers, rakes, balers and wrappers, are all designed and manufactured using cutting edge technology.” To ensure farmers have the best machines for the next silage season, KUHN have a special finance offer until 15 April 2017 with 0.99% interest on any two machines purchased for three years with 1/3 deposit. For hay tools 1.99% interest over three years with 1/3 deposit and balers and wrappers 1.99% for four years with 1/3 deposit. For more information and to learn more about the KUHN difference visit www.kuhn.com.au. Ends. Media Contact: C7EVEN Communications Pty Ltd Adam Arndell Luci Smith P: 02 6766 4513/ 0403 372 889 P: 02 6766 4513 E: adam.arndell@c7even.com.au E: luci.smith@c7even.com.au Advances in Digital Agriculture to Take Centre Stage at International Symposium on Digital Earth & Locate17 in Sydney 2017-03-22T23:59:02Z advances-in-digital-agriculture-to-take-centre-stage-at-international-symposium-on-digital-earth-locate17-in-sydney Sydney, Australia – 23 March 2017 – Advances in spatial technology that enable digital agriculture, including a next-generation national positioning system and real-time monitoring of soil moisture levels from space, will take centre stage at the International Symposium on Digital Earth & Locate17 in Sydney in April. A new national positioning system accurate to between 2cm and 10cm – as opposed to 5 metres with today’s satellite-based GPS – will boost Australia’s economy by $73 billion or more over the next 20 years, much of it in agriculture, says Dr Peter Woodgate, CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI). “To adopt techniques like precision agriculture and controlled traffic farming, farmers need to be able to position equipment and sensors with about 5cm accuracy. The conference will showcase space-based augmentation systems – including Australia and New Zealand’s joint initiative – which, subject to testing, are well on the way to achieving that,” said Woodgate. “Leveraging other regional efforts, such as a Japanese satellite-based system recently trialled in Queensland, it will even be possible to remotely control unmanned autonomous vehicles like driverless tractors from space.” Australia’s investments in positioning systems will not only pay off in higher agricultural exports but will create export business opportunities and new jobs in digital agriculture to aid the transition from sectors of the economy impacted by digital disruption. Woodgate and fellow Working Group Co-Chair, Glenn Cockerton, Managing Director of Spatial Vision, will make the first public presentation of the 2026 Spatial Industry Transformation and Growth Agenda at Digital Earth & Locate17, outlining 30 transformative initiatives for Australia. In another highlight of the event, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will hold a special session to promote capacity building and use of data from its Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Observatory. SMAP products, which provide frequent global measurements of soil moisture from space at high spatial resolution, are freely available (http://nsidc.org/data/smap), with one of the first validation experiments carried out in Yanco, NSW. According to Phil Tickle, Program and Business Development Manager (Ag, NRM & Climate Change) at CRCSI, NASA’s SMAP data will complement data from a range of sensors used in digital agriculture, including soil moisture probes, weather stations, and animal tracking devices. Tickle is presenting the benefits of an online farm monitoring solution for the grazing industry at Digital Earth & Locate17. Called the NRM Spatial Hub, this provides access to 30 years of 30 metre resolution satellite data and tools for mapping, assessing and monitoring property infrastructure, land resources and ground cover. It is currently being commercialised by the CRCSI in conjunction with Meat & Livestock Australia. Tickle said the conference was an opportunity for farmers and land managers to learn about the spatial technologies transforming their industry, as well as to discuss potential issues, such as the ownership of agricultural big data. “We are seeing enormous development in digital agriculture capabilities and often farmers don’t have control of their own data,” said Tickle. “When you have sensors on farms feeding into data warehouses and generating broader benefits, why shouldn’t the farmer get a cut? And what does a farmer do if they want to change providers and their data is locked up in a proprietary system?” With a program featuring more than 130 international and Australian speakers, Digital Earth & Locate17 provides a unique opportunity to understand digital transformation practices from around the world, and to develop and leverage geospatial data. The two main conference days will be split into eight separate streams with topics including smart cities, virtual globes, intelligent transport, agriculture, engineering/utilities, smart sensors for natural resource management, water & climate, disaster & emergency management, and the geospatial economy. The joint conference will be held 03-06 April 2017 at the new International Conference Centre Sydney. The Digital Earth & Locate17 Conference’s Market Day on Tuesday 4th April opens the exhibition to everyone and is an opportunity for private, government and start-up organisations to come together and explore collaborative and business opportunities. About the International Symposium on Digital Earth The International Symposium on Digital Earth is a flagship event of the International Society for Digital Earth. Founded in Beijing in 2006, ISDE is a non-political, non-governmental and not-for-profit international organisation principally promoting academic exchange, science and technology innovation, education, and international collaboration towards Digital Earth. ISDE also explores Digital Earth as an enabling technology to play key roles in economic and social sustainable development, environmental protection, disaster mitigation, natural resources conservation and improvement of living standards. About Locate17 The Locate Conference (Locate17) is the national conference of the spatial and surveying industries of Australia and New Zealand. The event is an initiative of the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) and Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA). New Course- Agronomy II Growing Grains Course out now 2017-03-21T04:26:02Z new-course-agronomy-ii-growing-grains-course-out-now ACS Distance Education have recently written and released a new 100- hour course called Agronomy II, which focusses on growing grains. This course has been written by ACS Academics who have many years experience and knowledge in the agronomy and crops industry. This course covers not only cereals but also pulses (eg. beans) and pseudo grains (eg. Quinoa), which makes this course attractive for those wishing to get into growing newer crops and different markets. Grains are a major part of farming world-wide and are a very significant food for both human and animal consumption. This is a very large industry, that encompasses not only the most common grains such as wheat and rice, but also many dozens of other grain crops such as Amaranth and Soybeans. This course covers the following topics: Introduction to grains Cereal/grain infrastructure and machinery requirements Wheat, triticale, spelt, barley, oats, rye. Maize, Sorghum, millet Rice Pulse crops Pseudo cereals Processing grains for human consumption Grains for livestock consumption Students can enrol into our course at any time and courses are self paced with tutor support available when needed. For more information on the Agronomy II course, please visit our website: http://www.acs.edu.au/courses/agronomy-ii-grains-712.aspx OUTSTANDING FOOD PRODUCER AWARDS 2017 FINALISTS NAMED 2017-03-21T03:45:20Z outstanding-food-producer-awards-2017-finalists-named The Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards has assessed 58 products as Finalists in the inaugural awards. A panel of 10 expert food judges tasted more than 150 products from 82 growers, farmers and crafted producers in early March 2017 at the Fresh Factory in Auckland. Finalists span the range of kiwi produce from primary products such as tomatoes from          T & G Global, Curious Croppers and Farm Eighty4, seafood from Cloudy Bay Clams and Keewai, dairy with as buffalo milk products from Clevedon Buffalo and goats, sheep and cow cheeses, Lemongrass Ants from Christchurch producer Anteater, non-alcoholic drinks and cordials, relishes, pickles, sauces, baked goods and more. Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards organiser Kathie Bartley says, “being named as a finalist means producers are the ‘best of the best’. Outstanding NZ Food Producer finalists have the opportunity to showcase their status by attaching finalist medals to their packaging and using the awards logo on their website and in all their marketing.” Head Judge Lauraine Jacobs said, “It was exciting to judge these new awards and see so many innovative and interesting products. It reinforces my view that in New Zealand we have some of the finest food in the world, whether it is straight from the farm or ocean, or has been value-added to meet the demand of a world seeking sustainably produced food filled with flavour.” The judging panel was; respected food writer and champion of New Zealand cuisine, Head Judge, Lauraine Jacobs; Kathy Paterson, food writer; Enzo Bettio, founder of Delmaine Foods and owner of Vin Alto; Anna Tait-Jamieson, NZ Life & Leisure, food editor; Lucy Corry, NZ Life & Leisure contributor and food writer; Mat McLean, head chef/owner of Palate Restaurant, Hamilton and Beef & Lamb New Zealand Platinum Ambassador; Sam Mannering, chef/co-owner of The Homestead Company, Auckland; Nick Honeyman, head chef/owner of Paris Butter, Auckland; Trudi Nelson, food writer, broadcaster and co-owner of Fresh and Emily King (Sustainable Business Network food program). New Zealand foodies have until the end of this month (Friday 31 March) to vote for their favourite Farmers’ Market, Specialty Food Store or Supermarket, Food Region or Product or Producer. Voting is via the website https://outstandingfoodproducer.nz/ or SMS. Outstanding NZ Food Producer Award category winners and People’s Choice winners will be announced in Auckland on Thursday 27 April and in the May/June 2017 issue of NZ Life & Leisure. Organisers, Kathie Bartley and Nicola McConnell, thanked NZ Life & Leisure, Fresh.co.nz, T&G Global, L’Affare and Label and Litho for supporting the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards. The Awards will be an annual event to celebrate the hard work of the country’s food producers. A full list of winners is available here https://outstandingfoodproducer.nz/finalists/ Investing in Australia’s Food Future with Agriculture 2017-03-15T04:31:58Z investing-in-australia-s-food-future-with-agriculture Agriculture has a rich history in Australia and is responsible for producing 90% of food for Australians. It also makes an important contribution to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product. There are certain barriers to entry into the agricultural industry such as distance to training facilities and cost. This not only impacts on the number of adequately trained employees available to the industry but can limit innovation. In addition to finding and attracting suitable employees and accessing training, there are other issues facing the agriculture sector. These include an aging workforce, succession planning, market instability and restrictions, climate change, drought, floods, proximity to markets and potential threats to export and trade agreements. It’s not all bad news though. With new technological advances, changes in consumer trends and new trade prospects, there are opportunities for savvy new entrants and existing farmers. Staying informed and conducting research to identify and capitalise on emerging opportunities is key. Understanding the industry, keeping your finger on the pulse, being creative and identifying new and relevant opportunities can be difficult when you are busy working and doing all the things it takes to operate your business while making ends meet. Gaining this knowledge may involve upskilling or training to obtain new skills to keep your business profitable and futureproof. ACS Distance Education offer courses that are ideal for those looking to enter the industry, for people who are already working in the industry and would like to gain a different perspective or diversify within their business or even for those who are interested in starting their own small self-sufficient farm. Courses are written by ACS academic staff who know the industry. They are designed for the busy person who can’t attend traditional classes with self-paced and flexible learning options allowing the student to select the subjects that best suit their needs. With topics from crops, livestock and animal management, land management and environmental to business and farm development and management, ACS course offerings include short to long courses. Visit our site today for more information: www.acs.edu.au/agriculture Spatial Startup Companies to Share the Latest Innovations at the International Symposium on Digital Earth & Locate17 2017-03-14T01:00:19Z spatial-startup-companies-to-share-the-latest-innovations-at-the-international-symposium-on-digital-earth-locate17 Sydney, Australia – 14 March 2017 – Virtual reality, drones and multi-Global Navigation Satellite Systems are among the innovations to be showcased in the Startup Hub at the International Symposium on Digital Earth & Locate17, taking place from 3-6 April 2017 at the new International Conference Centre Sydney. The Startup Hub is designed to bring innovators and providers of the latest spatial technologies to the attention of scientists, surveyors, businesses and government. It will be located in the exhibition hall throughout the conference, including the free Market Day on Tuesday 4th April. All exhibition visitors are invited to try out the new technologies and the new opportunities they provide. Virtual reality to reimagine the world Forum8 is demonstrating its custom 3D visualisation and virtual reality (VR) software. Complete with an Oculus VR headset, the demonstration will showcase the future of 3D experiences. Forum8’s VR-Design Studio is specifically focused on 3D VR/visualisation of urban spaces, roads and traffic, and rail. It provides a full environment for visualising a concept, including Australian terrain (DEM) and road design-type tools, vehicles and traffic settings. It is also possible to import data from a range of sources, including point cloud, road design tools and traffic simulations. The software is also used with driving simulators in engineering studies and human factors research. Rapid-fire spatial data capture Spatial Technologies Pty Ltd will showcase ground breaking technologies that are the results of research and development completed in 2016. This includes new and existing technologies like 3D laser scanning, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) point clouds and light sensors. A number of projects utilising a combination of these will be showcased, including rapid tree inspections, street light management and asset management. Multi-satellite solutions SURVEY SOLUTIONS will use the Startup Hub for its Australian launch following successful sales of its SOUTH GNSS multi-Global Navigation Satellite Systems receiver in New Zealand. The receiver uses the latest GNSS boards to receive the full constellation of satellites available, weighs less than 1kg and is affordably priced compared with competing products. Giving meaning to spatial data Professional spatial problem solvers, Anditi, will also be on hand to show how spatial analytics can solve everything from energy sources to safety. The company is showcasing its next generation platform for high-precision spatial analytics and its application in a range of industries such as solar, property, roads and infrastructure, mining, and environment. It has been designed and built in Australia to revolutionise the management, processing and visualisation of spatial big data such as high-resolution LiDAR. Anditi will also be highlighting use cases across natural and built environments where its application is benefiting clients with lower costs and higher quality outcomes. The Startup Hub will be held in the exhibition halls of the Digital Earth & Locate17 Conference from 3-6 April 2017 at the new International Conference Centre Sydney. With a program featuring more than 130 international and Australian speakers, the event provides a unique opportunity to understand digital transformation practices from around the world, and to develop and leverage geospatial data. The two main conference days will be split into eight separate streams with topics including smart cities, virtual globes, intelligent transport, agriculture, engineering/utilities, smart sensors for natural resource management, water & climate, disaster & emergency management, and the geospatial economy. About the International Symposium on Digital Earth The International Symposium on Digital Earth is a flagship event of the International Society for Digital Earth. Founded in Beijing in 2006, ISDE is a non-political, non-governmental and not-for-profit international organisation principally promoting academic exchange, science and technology innovation, education, and international collaboration towards Digital Earth. ISDE also explores Digital Earth as an enabling technology to play key roles in economic and social sustainable development, environmental protection, disaster mitigation, natural resources conservation and improvement of living standards. About Locate17 The Locate Conference (Locate17) is the national conference of the spatial and surveying industries of Australia and New Zealand. The event is an initiative of the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) and Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA). Launching Fair Farmers Market - 19th March @ Royal Randwick Sydney 2017-03-13T23:26:40Z launching-fair-farmers-market-19th-march-royal-randwick-sydney New farmers market selling locally grown produce with a conscience. Launching on Sunday the 19th of March, the Fair Farmers Market, a For Goodness Sake initiative will showcase the best naturally grown Aussie family farm produce and delicious homemade artisanal goods. Held at the Royal Randwick Racecourse, every Sunday, it is Sydney’s answer to the true farmers market. All the fruit and veg is locally sourced from family farms who use the same methods and practices as organic farmers, which means simply fresh, sustainable and flavour packed produce for you. “The Fair Farmers Market is good for farmers, good for you and good for communities. Our aim is to see Aussie family farms flourish again and reinvigorate local communities,” says Clive Burcham, Founder of For Goodness Sake. As a social impact organisation, the market helps farmers get paid on time and up to 60% more than supermarket supply chains for their produce. 10% from market sales will be donated to OzHarvest to feed the millions of Australians living with hunger insecurity. For Goodness Sake also gives 10% of all online orders back to community groups and schools, and rewards teachers with an extra 20% off for their incredible work. Shop for nutrient-rich, fibre-packed fruit and veg, and browse over 50 stalls on the day for sustainably sourced meat, seafood, eggs and dairy, including Country Valley Dairy, Jenny Brown’s free range eggs and The Bread & Butter Project. Food lovers can also enjoy delicious eat-in creations from some of Sydney’s most loved restaurants like Bondi’s Best and Brooklyn Boy Bagels. The markets will feature live music by Sydney artists, specialist coffee by The Little Marionette and picnic spaces on the green. A great space for families and kids to be entertained for hours with a petting zoo, pony rides, a jumping castle and potato sack races. The Fair Farmers Market strives to have a low environmental impact. All green waste will be recycled into compost for use at the farms and all packaging is reused and recycled. The markets are also single-serve plastic bag free. Entry to the markets is free and onsite parking is available. - ENDS - Notes to Editor: Cost: Free entry When: Sunday 19th of March (then every Sunday afterwards) Time: 8am-3pm Where: Randwick Racecourse Address: Alison Rd, Randwick NSW 2031 Phone: (02) 9663 8400 URL: forgoodnesssake.market/fairfarmersmarket Getting there… Complimentary infield parking via High Street Bus services from Central and Bondi Junction Stations. Full transport information available at 131500.com.au Parking: By gold coin donation to OzHarvest Restrooms: Available Wheelchair access: Yes For all media enquires, please contact: Sophie Spanos For Goodness Sake Email: pr@forgoodnesssake.market For Goodness Sake is a fresh produce, home delivery service catering to the inner city and eastern suburbs of Sydney. For Goodness Sake also offer business deliveries for fresh fruit & veg to the workplace. All our produce is picked and delivered within 72 hours. For more information see forgoodnesssake.market Farm Management ebook helping farms become more profitable 2017-03-13T06:26:34Z farm-management-ebook-helping-farms-become-more-profitable The Farm Management ebook, written by John Mason and the staff of ACS Distance Education is a great resource for anyone who is new to farming or anyone who is already managing a farm who may need some tips on ensuring the business remains profitable. Making decisions on how a farm will be run is important to ensure that the farm is profitable and remains profitable. This ebook covers many of the decisions that a farm manager will face at some stage during the running or set up of a farm. This ebook covers the following topics: 1. Scope and nature of the farm industry 2. The farm site 3. Production systems 4. Managing livestock 5. Managing pasture 6. Managing crops 7. Managing equipment and materials 8. Computer applications 9. Farm structures and buildings 10. Financial management 11. Marketing 12. Farm planning 13. Staff management 14. Water management 15. Diversification This ebook is available for purchase for $39.95 including GST from our online bookshop and there is also a free sample available to have a look at: http://www.acsbookshop.com/product-farm-management-pdf-ebook-5648.aspx If you would like a review copy of this ebook, please contact admin@acs.edu.au . International Symposium on Digital Earth & Locate17 to Boost Collaboration in Intelligent Transport and Smart Cities 2017-03-07T02:29:34Z international-symposium-on-digital-earth-locate17-to-boost-collaboration-in-intelligent-transport-and-smart-cities Sydney, Australia – 7 March 2017 – With driverless vehicles and drones poised for mass adoption, the International Symposium on Digital Earth & Locate17 in Sydney in April provides a forum for government, industry and start-ups to collaborate and become players in the emerging global Smart Cities industry. “Mobility as a Service is transforming our cities and the spatial industry and technology start-ups are key parts of that,” says Susan Harris, CEO of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Australia. Harris – the keynote speaker for the Digital Earth & Locate17 conference’s Intelligent Transport stream – will outline the latest global developments and the pathways for Australia to leverage connected and automated vehicles, big data and positioning technologies. “We need to be ready in Australia. We are well placed to be part of the global Smart Cities technology industry, creating business opportunities and ensuring that our cities remain as liveable as they can be,” says Harris. “But technology is moving very quickly and early collaboration is vital.” The capture and exchange of rich 2D and 3D spatial information will increasingly underpin transport networks and cities. Driverless vehicles, for example, will constantly survey road conditions – sharing information about potholes, ice and other hazards – so other driverless vehicles, and human drivers, can avoid them. Even minor road damage like cracks will be captured and shared so authorities can schedule repairs and prevent further deterioration. Drones will also play an increasing role in the capture of 3D data, and later as a new layer of autonomous transport. “How does that spatial information get captured, managed and shared back out in ways that are reliable, safe, and commercially viable?” says Harris. “Australia is strong in both positioning technologies and big data, but we need to develop further skills and industry collaboration, including information sharing arrangements.” With a program featuring more than 130 international and Australian speakers, Digital Earth & Locate17 provides a unique opportunity to understand digital transformation practices from around the world, and to develop and leverage geospatial data. The two main conference days will be split into eight separate streams with topics including smart cities, virtual globes, intelligent transport, agriculture, engineering/utilities, smart sensors for natural resource management, water & climate, disaster & emergency management, and the geospatial economy. The joint conference will be held 03-06 April 2017 at the new International Conference Centre Sydney. The Digital Earth & Locate17 Conference’s Market Day on Tuesday 4th April opens the exhibition to everyone and is an opportunity for private, government and start-up organisations to come together and explore collaborative and business opportunities. About the International Symposium on Digital Earth The International Symposium on Digital Earth is a flagship event of the International Society for Digital Earth. Founded in Beijing in 2006, ISDE is a non-political, non-governmental and not-for-profit international organisation principally promoting academic exchange, science and technology innovation, education, and international collaboration towards Digital Earth. ISDE also explores Digital Earth as an enabling technology to play key roles in economic and social sustainable development, environmental protection, disaster mitigation, natural resources conservation and improvement of living standards. About Locate17 The Locate Conference (Locate17) is the national conference of the spatial and surveying industries of Australia and New Zealand. The event is an initiative of the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) and Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA). PGG Wrightson Seeds Base AR37 tops Australian Forage Value Index 2017-03-02T05:00:14Z pgg-wrightson-seeds-base-ar37-tops-australian-forage-value-index PGG Wrightson Seeds Base AR37 perennial ryegrass, has topped the charts in the new Australian Forage Value Index, just released by Dairy Australia. The Forage Value Index has found Base AR37 perennial ryegrass to be the highest performing cultivar throughout South West Victoria, Gippsland, Northern Victoria and Tasmania across most seasons. PGG Wrightson Seeds, National Sales & Marketing Manager, Cameron Henley says the Index results support the company’s long-term, ongoing commitment to research and development, which he says is the foundation for developing great pasture cultivars. “Since 1938 PGG Wrightson Seeds has proudly led the development of improved pasture plant genetics in Australia and it is the rigour of our research and testing that helps us select elite material,” said Cameron. “We work closely with farmers to get the balance right and we are pleased that Base AR37 has been recognised as the top performing cultivar across south-east Australia.” The Forage Value Index is a rating system that helps Australian dairy producers and their advisors to make more informed decisions when selecting perennial ryegrass cultivars and provides an accurate, reliable and independent assessment of the potential economic value of perennial ryegrass cultivars in different dairy regions of south-east Australia. As an excellent late season quality feed Base AR37 has shown excellent persistence and very high tiller density, high dry matter production and is unsurpassed for dry matter yield. For more information on how Base AR37 perennial ryegrass can improve your pasture production, contact your local PGG Wrightson Seeds’ Sales Agronomist as listed at www.pggwrightsonseeds.com.au The Australian Forage Value Index is a partnership between Dairy Australia, Agriculture Victoria, DairyNZ, the Australian Seed Federation and Meat and Livestock Australia. Further information about the Australian Forage Value Index and the 2017 Forage Value Index Pasture Tables are available at: http://www.dairyaustralia.com.au/Pastures-and-Feeding/Pasture/Forage-Value-Index.aspx Ends. For media enquiries: C7EVEN Communications Adam Arndell, 02 6766 4513 / 0403 372 889 adam.arndell@c7even.com.au