The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2018-12-19T21:00:00Z Don’t let your Yuletide joy turn sour… How to cook the Christmas ‘bird’ safely 2018-12-19T21:00:00Z dont-let-your-yuletide-joy-turn-sour-how-to-cook-the-christmas-bird-safely-1 Chook Chat Blog – Don’t let your Yuletide joy turn sour… How to cook the Christmas ‘bird’ safely To keep you informed please see a link to this month's 'Chook Chat', the blog for the Australian Chicken Meat Industry, and a post by Deputy Executive Director Dr Kylie Hewson. This month's blog takes a timely look at cooking the Christmas ‘bird’ safely. In previous blogs we’ve emphasised the importance of adhering to the key food safety principles of ‘clean, chill, cook, separate’(see infographic here https://bit.ly/2QCwsfc) in ensuring your chicken handling skills in the kitchen are up to scratch and that your roast chook doesn’t make you crook – but how does this relate to preparing a Christmas turkey? The bacteria that may be present on raw turkey are basically the same as those that may be found on raw chicken, so the general food safety tips still apply, but the size difference between turkeys and chickens means there are some nuances to preparing your roast turkey. The direct link to the post is https://bit.ly/2PLye8n or visit the Chook Chat blog on www.chicken.org.au. Blog updates are also communicated via the ACMF twitter channel (@ACMFchicken). About the ACMF The Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF) is the peak body of Australia’s chicken meat industry, representing both growers and processors. Its members are the five State Chicken Meat Councils (NSW, VIC, QLD, SA and WA), the Australian Chicken Growers’ Council and the Australian Poultry Industries Association. Its blog 'Chook Chat' is aimed at providing an insight into the way the chicken industry does things and why – it is not intended to promote products, but to provide the facts. For more information about Australian Chicken Meat Federation, visithttp://www.chicken.org.au/ Media inquiries contact: Quay Communications, Emma Norgrove, M:0499 688 001, T:02 9386 9161,emma@quaycommunications.com.au Virbac Australia releases end-of-year findings from its national trace mineral challenge. 2018-12-17T05:21:46Z virbac-australia-releases-end-of-year-findings-from-its-national-trace-mineral-challenge As the year draws to a close, animal health company Virbac Australia has collected all available data on the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge, a 12-month program which invites seven Multimin challengers to share their learnings as they reveal the benefits of Multimin, a trace mineral injection for livestock. From beef producers in Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, to a dairy producer in Victoria and a Poll Merino breeder in the Southern Tablelands of NSW, Virbac’s challengers have being trialing Multimin’s effects. The trial has explored improvements in areas like conception rates and immunity, body conformation, carcass weight and characteristics, incidence of diseases, growth rates and conception times. With the assistance of expert mentors, challengers have received 12 months worth of free Multimin product and a tailored nutrition program developed by leading industry mentors. Each program is aligned to each challenger’s goals and ultimately their bottom line, and challengers have been sharing their program results and experiences online at www.multiminchallenge.com. State by state, some of the key highlights include: QLD: Multimin treated heifers have shown an improved immune response to leptospirosis – and results also showed that animals treated with Multimin and 7 in 1 had higher levels of protection. QLD challenger Don McConnel reports that “animals given Multimin had higher mean antibodies to leptospirosis. On visual appraisal, the animals that have been treated in heifer groups also look in noticeably better condition.” Mentor Matt Ball says that “it’s been great working with Don at Mt Brisbane. We are studying conception rates, immunity, and growth and development responses to trace minerals, and we’ve seen very positive results suggesting that animals treated with Multimin and 7 in 1 had higher levels of protection, with on average higher antibodies to leptospirosis. Heifers also seem to be growing better, with a healthier appearance in the treatment group.” WA: When pregnancy-tested in October, challenger Ryan Willing saw above 90% conception in both groups, with the Multimin-treated animals slightly ahead. Challenge mentor Enoch Bergman reports seeing “fantastic results with Ryan’s cattle. Multimin has proven its worth in this instance and reinforced the importance of investing for the future.” VIC: Multimin played a greater role in supporting calves during their first 12 weeks, says challenger mentor Dr Susan Swaney, who reports that “the Multimin Challenge has given people who have never tried it the chance to see how it performs on their property, and we’ve seen some really great results. We certainly saw differences within the first 12 weeks. The treated calves didn’t seem to suffer from the usual gastric signs that the untreated herd had at the time of weaning. Multimin helped with the adjustment to weaner rations, and they went straight on to the new diet without any issues.” NSW: Challenger mentor Dr Elizabeth Bramley describes Multimin’s impact on sheep weight and carcass characteristics: “The focus of trace mineral supplementation has developed beyond merely correcting deficiency symptoms to strategic mineral supplementation, which is aimed at the optimisation of reproductive performance, immune function and growth. This strategic approach can better support improvements in productivity and subsequently profitability.” Next year will bring further results for the Multimin challenge. Data due early in 2019 will include weight measurements and MSA grading in steers, pregnancy-testing cows, calving distribution, liver testing, worm egg counts and conception rates. All these factors will influence the performance of livestock and ultimately enhance producer profitability. Challengers are excited to see the longer-term results as they begin to calculate the cost benefit analysis for producers. Dr Jerry Liu, Livestock Nutrition Product Manager at Virbac Australia summarises the impact of those results: “Previous trials have shown that Multimin is able to improve the performance of livestock in these areas. If this is replicated for our challengers, it will have a significant impact on their bottom line.” Judged by both challenge mentors and the public, the winner will be announced in May 2019 and awarded an ‘experience of lifetime’ prize, specifically tailored to their farming system. Exciting results of the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge will be announced in March 2019. To find out more about how Multimin can improve your livestock performance, contact your local Virbac representative on 1800 242 100. Interested farmers can also sign up for continuing updates on the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge at www.multiminchallenge.com About Multimin Virbac's Multimin Injection is a rapidly absorbed source of trace minerals, which can bypass the rumen for direct uptake into the blood in eight hours. The active ingredients are needed for the body to produce two important antioxidants involved in protecting the reproductive and immune systems. For cattle, it is available as a four in one formulation containing copper, selenium, manganese, and zinc. For sheep producers, it is available with or without copper. Ends Media Enquiries: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: QLD Multimin Challenger, Don McConnel’s Heifers Enoch Bergman and Tony Murdoch Preg-testing at Ryan Willing's, WA TASMANIAN INNOVATION FOR STRAWBERRY PRODUCTION SET FOR EXPORT TO EUROPE 2018-12-12T04:53:56Z tasmanian-innovation-for-strawberry-production-set-for-export-to-europe LAUNCESTON, TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA DECEMBER 12 2018 – – A Tasmanian engineering innovation in strawberry and other hydroponic food production is set to be adopted by major berry producers in the UK and Europe.   Rod Marshall, Managing Director of Marshall Machinery in Launceston, has returned from meetings in the UK and Europe, in response to expressions of interest from international berry producers. At these meetings, Mr Marshall demonstrated and promoted the unique “COIR-RX” hydroponic substrate processing machine, which has been entirely researched, developed and manufactured by his company in Tasmania.  Worldwide, crops such as strawberries, tomatoes and capsicums are planted within plastic substrate bags containing coir, rock-wool, or other materials, then disposed of at the end of each growing cycle. Until now, the process to separate the plastic from substrate and plant material, then package materials for recycling, has been a massive, mainly manual process for growers, or simply dumped into landfill.  The COIR-RX processing machine replaces this manual process with a mobile platform that travels along the ends of strawberry rows to feed in the materials, separate them, then automatically capture, compress and wrap the plastic for recycling. The machine also ejects the organic material which becomes an effective mulch.  A single COIR-RX machine can process up to 2000 one-metre long substrate bags per hour. This takes less than 5% of the time and half the cost of the current laborious process of removing, transporting, picking through materials, manually sorting and bagging. The system is also vastly more discriminating while sorting, ensuring a much more pure separation result for both plants and plastic.  Mr Marshall said, “After years of research and development, we now have a functional machine that is proving itself in actual field use.”  “Marshall Machinery is now ready to respond to expressions of interest it has received from major berry producers in the UK, who have heard of the productivity and profitability benefits of COIR-RX, which has no competing systems for end-to-end processing in the world.” Mr Marshall said. “I have met with these producers in the UK with a view to exporting our locally manufactured COIR-RX machines.”  As well as responding to specific registrations of interest from UK growers, Mr Marshall attended the European “EIMA” Agriculture Conference and Exposition in Italy, from 7 to 11 November 2018, which is one of the largest events showcasing innovations in agriculture in Europe.  Mr Marshall plans to build on the expressions of interest from UK growers, by educating key stakeholders in the EU agriculture market about COIR-RX, with the vision of building an innovative agriculture machinery exporting operation from Tasmania, while continuing to work with local growers on next-generation specialist solutions.   – ENDS – LIVE DEMONSTRATIONS OF THE COIR-RX MACHINE ARE AVAILABLE IN LEGANA TASMANIA UNTIL 15 DECEMBER 2018.   HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEO, INTERVIEWS AND FURTHER INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON REQUEST BY CONTACTING: Gordon WilliamsMarketing ManagerMarshall Machinery – Innovations in Agriculture0402 636 769gordonmetro@yahoo.com.au   ABOUT MARSHALL MACHINERY Marshall Machinery, established in 1990, operates in Legana, northern Tasmania, Australia. The company sells more than 10,000 machines, equipment and parts specifically designed for the requirements of vineyards, orchards, berry farms, and other specialised primary producers. The company scours the world developing partnerships with manufacturers of the most innovative products available that deliver significant value for money, productivity and profitability benefits for growers. The product range covers every aspect of agricultural production including tractors, sprayers, picking and harvesting, pruning, soil preparation, and processing. The company also maintains and delivers time-critical, on-farm repairs for all types of farming machinery and equipment. Marshall Machinery also conducts research, development and manufacturing of innovative machinery and engineering solutions for growers where it identifies a gap in the market or where no existing solution exists. It’s a wrap: Australia’s largest ever agricultural innovation trade fair concludes – but there’s more to come… 2018-12-03T10:25:33Z its-a-wrap-australias-largest-ever-agricultural-innovation-trade-fair-concludes-but-theres-more-to-come GFIA In Focus Australia, Australia’s biggest agricultural innovation trade fair has concluded after two days of conferences and seminars that attracted an impressive number of visitors. Focusing on precision agriculture and protected cropping, the event was attended by international delegates, investors and high-profile food producers who all took advantage of the opportunity to learn from a variety of industry exhibitors, educational sessions, networking events and conferences. This was GFIA’s first Australian event – and David Stradling, Sales Director of One CMG Group, the company behind GFIA In Focus Australia describes it as a “fantastic showcase of some of Australia’s most innovative, forward-thinking exhibitors.” With innovation being a theme at the forefront of the conference, key guest speaker topics included a panel discussion led by Richard Health from Australian Farm Institute, which covered the digitalization of agriculture, and highlighted challenges and opportunities for Australia’s food and water security. Also hugely popular were a presentation on precision agriculture and the use of digital technologies on Branson Farms by Mark Branson, and a keynote speech from Tim Gentle, founder of Think Digital, which covered a range of fascinating topics, including immersive technologies in agriculture. International delegate Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Deputy General Director for Vietnamese farm group VinEco (a member of VinGroup) attended the conference to learn more about the latest trends. “I’ve seen lots of great stuff here,” she says. “I’ve been very impressed by the stands, which have showcased so much new technology and innovation, particularly in AI and automation, as well as some really valuable information on everything from irrigation systems and bio-systems to new materials and software for quality and food management. We can now clearly see how we can apply this to our systems to improve efficiencies and save on labour costs.” Beef producer and agent Henry Leonard was also full of praise for the event: “There have been some really excellent speakers, and it was incredible to learn more about some of the research currently being done in this sector. The scope and diversity of investment makes it a very exciting time for the agriculture and food production sector.” Peter Smith, Training Manager of event sponsor Agforce, says that GFIA In Focus Australia’s first event in the Australian market won’t be their last. “I see the whole concept of GFIA as having great longevity. The plan is to build on this year’s event to stage a permanent annual innovation event in Brisbane, and for this to be the biggest in Australia. There’s a great deal of scope for including other streams of ag tech, and to also branch out into other types of ag-events. We think the approach is flexible and sustainable enough to allow the event to grow in all kinds of directions.” David Stradling is similarly optimistic about GFIA In Focus Australia’s role in shaping the nation’s agricultural targets for years to come. “GFIA aims to bridge the gap between international markets and Australia tech suppliers – and in response to this year’s success, next year’s GFIA conference will include multiple excursions by key stakeholders into Australian leadership and innovation in the agriculture and food production sector. This is the next leap of the journey to support the Australian Government’s ambition to make agriculture a $100 billion industry by 2030, and we’re looking forward to making next year’s event even bigger and better than this one.” If you didn’t make it to GFIA in Focus Australia this year, don’t miss out on the opportunity to be a part of 2019’s even more ambitious offering. For more information visit www.gfiaaustralia.com About GFIA The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture has emerged as a global authority on sustainable food production, driving innovation through exhibitions and conferences across the globe. GFIA exhibitions have welcomed more than 25,000 visitors, and worked with over 50 international partners to showcase innovative products with a proven benefit to the agricultural industry. Their conferences offer stakeholders pioneering forums and marketplaces to foster meaningful dialogue, collaboration, recognition and action between regional food producers, buyers, innovators, policy makers and investors. Media Enquiries: C7EVEN Communications Kate Munsie (02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Agronomist Daniel Rollinson and beef producer and agent Henry Leonard GFIA in Focus Australia Conference and Exhibition Charles Darwin University is the latest to take part in national trace mineral challenge 2018-12-03T02:31:22Z charles-darwin-university-is-the-latest-to-take-part-in-national-trace-mineral-challenge Charles Darwin University (CDU) is expected to announce livestock pregnancy improvements from participation in the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge, a 12-month program run by animal health company Virbac Australia. The Multimin Performance Ready Challenge gives seven participants the chance to experience first-hand the benefits of Multimin’s trace mineral injection, with assistance from expert mentors. Challengers receive 12 months of free Multimin product and a tailored nutrition program developed by leading industry mentors – and they’ll also be in the running to win the experience of a lifetime, specifically tailored to their farming system. With each challenger sharing their program results and experiences, Charles Darwin University’s Katherine Rural Campus trial site is the latest to take part. Based 16 km north of Katherine, the site is managed by Jessica Di Pasquale, Alison Haines and Noah Taylor, who together operate a Brahman stud and Brahman/cross breed commercial herd from an on-site farm and stud at the University’s training facility. Their goals are to increase fertility, conception and productivity and improve immunity and health, under the expert guidance of Multimin mentor Dr Amanda Dunn from Katherine Veterinary Care Centre. As part of the trial, 92 non-pregnant adult cows have been assigned one of two treatment groups at random, and have been given either Multimin or no Multimin (control herd) four weeks before bulls were introduced in November. In March 2019, all trial animals will be pregnancy-tested, and the resulting data will measure each cow’s pregnancy status, foetus age and animal weight to determine the effect of Multimin trace minerals. As Jessica explains, “Multimin injection has been scientifically proven to top up trace minerals, and we’re looking forward to seeing the results. We’ll be sharing our observations over the coming months – and as previous field trials have proven that breeders treated with Multimin have significantly higher conception rates earlier in the calving season, we’re expecting to see improved conception at first cycle from these latest trials.” Dr Jerry Liu, Livestock Nutrition Product Manager at Virbac Australia described the Multimin Challenge as an “extraordinary opportunity for farmers to learn more about animal nutrition. Trace minerals are essential elements for healthy sheep and cattle, and we know that during high demand periods such as joining, weaning and birthing, animals have higher requirements for certain trace minerals. This is sure to be a fascinating study into the effects of a new strategic approach for optimal performance management.” The Multimin Performance Ready Challenge is also part of Virbac’s ongoing commitment to animal health education, with the company supporting students who have a desire to work in agriculture and rural operations in a number of different ways. Through working with CDU on the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge, the company encourages school leavers to get involved in agriculture and rural operations through Agricultural Training Colleges to become an ag specialist or prepare for jobs in rural and regional sectors. In addition, WA mentor Enoch Bergman recently gave five young vets from Murdoch University hands-on experience with preg-testing and the chance to learn more about the Multimin Challenge – and Virbac also takes in 2-3 students per year, providing invaluable work experience to help nurture Australia’s next generation of agricultural specialists. To find out more about how Multimin can improve livestock performance, contact your local Virbac representative on 1800 242 100. Interested farmers can also sign up for continuing updates on the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge at www.multiminchallenge.com/signup/. About Multimin Virbac's trace mineral injection Multimin 4 in 1 for cattle delivers a balanced ratio of four trace minerals, including selenium, copper, manganese and zinc – while Multimin 3 in 1 injection for sheep and cattle contains selenium, manganese and zinc, bypassing the rumen for direct uptake through the blood in eight hours. Ends Media Enquiries: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Dr Amanda Dunn and Jessica Beckhouse Charles Darwin University Brahman Cattle UNITED FRUIT & PRODUCE CO., INC appoints new independent public accounting firm and independent auditor 2018-11-28T18:18:31Z united-fruit-amp-produce-co-inc-appoints-new-independent-public-accounting-firm-and-independent-auditor NEW YORK, November 28, 2018 (press release) -- UNITED FRUIT & PRODUCE CO., INC. (www.unitedfruitproduce.com), today announced that the company has appointed MaloneBailey, LLP to serve as its new independent public accounting firm and independent auditor, effective immediately.  After conducting an extensive evaluation, the board of directors selected MaloneBailey, LLP (www.malonebailey.com). MaloneBailey, is a Houston-based accounting firm ranked among top audit firms in America, providing auditing for a wide variety of public and private companies. The company reached a decision to engage the selected PCAOB qualified auditor as part of its commitment to provide investors with an increased transparency of company operations.  The financial statements will be U.S. GAAP, PCAOB-audited financial statements.  MaloneBailey will be performing a two-year audit. Danny Xu, known as the "King of Produce", Chief Executive Officer of United Fruit & Produce Co., stated, “We are delighted with the expertise MaloneBailey brings to the table, and we believe that MaloneBailey’s in-depth capabilities are closely aligned with our strategic growth plans.” ABOUT UNITED FRUIT & PRODUCE CO. UNITED FRUIT & PRODUCE CO., INC is a leader in the distribution of niche Asian market sales throughout the New York metropolitan area. UNITED FRUIT & PRODUCE CO., INC has been providing our customers with niche Asian market products for over a decade. Currently our company services hundreds of New York tri-state area customers; including supermarkets, restaurants, retail vendors and B2B wholesale companies. Our company continues expanding our customer base and distribution to other states including: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, California, Illinois and Canada. UNITED FRUIT & PRODUCE CO., INC also forms strategic partnerships with independent farmers and suppliers domestically and internationally. Within the U.S, we have operational footprints in Florida, California, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Caroline, Georgia and Washington State. Internationally, our company operations expand into Mexico, Dominica Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, Chili, Peru, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Egypt and Israel. Forward-Looking Information:  Cautionary Note: The statements in this press release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. Such statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations and are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control. In addition, such forward-looking statements are subject to assumptions with respect to future business strategies and decisions that are subject to change. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, technical advances in the industry as well as political and economic conditions present within the industry. In the case of any offering, such securities will not be or have not been registered under the Securities Act of !933 and may not be sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption therefrom We do not take any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or developments after a forward-looking statement was made. For more information:  Danny Yun Chief Operating Officer 917-880-1113 investor.relations@unitedfruitproduce.com www.unitedfruitproduce.com Australia’s largest ever agricultural innovation trade fair gets underway 2018-11-27T03:33:44Z australias-largest-ever-agricultural-innovation-trade-fair-gets-underway Australia’s biggest agricultural innovation trade fair, GFIA In Focus Australia is off to a flying start, with almost 2,000 registered visitors to attend the event. Aimed at helping Australian farmers and agribusinesses improve the sustainability and sophistication of food production, a number of high-profile delegates from across Asia Pacific were also present on the first day of the Brisbane-based conference, which is intended to open up new business opportunities for Australian ag-tech suppliers and investors. Kicking off the day’s events was guest speaker The Honourable Mark Furner MP, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Queensland, who welcomed attendees during the opening ceremony. In his speech, Mr Furner acknowledged the importance of the event incorporating an impressive line-up of exhibitors showcasing innovative agricultural products and services, and high-profile speakers covering a range of topics. Mr Furner was pleased to open the event and said the Queensland Government will continue to work with innovators to grow the agricultural industry. Amongst the day’s highlights, Pete Lewis, former ABC landline producer facilitated a conference on Controlled Environments & Protected Cropping, covering topics like Automation and controlled systems – while a panel of speakers debated whether indoor and controlled environments can help feed the world, and QAAFI hosted a fascinating ‘Future farming and food’ workshop. A Precision Agriculture & Smart Farming conference looked at Precision Agriculture for livestock and farm asset management, which also debated whether a lack of visibility could be costing businesses. And in some of the most exciting highlights of the day, leading-edge agtech suppliers, entrepreneurs and scientists took to the stage to present their latest innovations ­– including Ceres Tag’s live demonstration of their Smart Ear Tags, which live-streamed the location, health and behavior of 100 cattle located some 1,000km away in northern QLD. Andrew Logan, CEO of OneCrop also presented on the magic of microclimates and revealed how to create explosive yield increases using existing water and sunlight. The day also saw the launch of AgKnowledge, the country’s first agricultural startup company investor pitch platform, which brought together universities, vocational education organisations and colleges, private and public research institutions, professional services organisations, centers of agri-learning / capacity enhancement, agri-tech startup companies and agribusiness sector investors. Sales Director at One CMG Group David Stradling, the company behind GFIA In Focus Australia spoke of his reaction to the day’s events. “This is the first GFIA event in Australia, and day one has already surpassed everybody’s expectations – not only from the organiser’s perspective, but also from the attendees. This exhibition and conference has shown Brisbane to be a fantastic venue for farmers, growers and agribusinesses across the country to learn more about the latest innovations in agriculture. We’re looking forward to seeing what the second day has in store for the event’s many delegates and attendees.” To find out more about GFIA In Focus Australia, visit www.gfiaaustralia.com About GFIA The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture has emerged as a global authority on sustainable food production, driving innovation through exhibitions and conferences across the globe. GFIA exhibitions have welcomed more than 25,000 visitors, and worked with over 50 international partners to showcase innovative products with a proven benefit to the agricultural industry. Their conferences offer stakeholders pioneering forums and marketplaces to foster meaningful dialogue, collaboration, recognition and action between regional food producers, buyers, innovators, policy makers and investors. Event details: GFIA In Focus Australia 27 November 2018: 09.00 – 18.00 28 November 2018: 09.00 – 16.00 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre Media Enquiries: C7EVEN Communications Adam Arndell (02) 6766 4513 / 0403 372 889 adam.arndell@c7even.com.au Kate Munsie (02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: The Honourable Mark Furner MP, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Queensland The Honourable Mark Furner MP, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Queensland (close up) David Stradling, Sales Director at One CMG Group and Honourable Mark Furner MP, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Queensland Outgoing Artlands Victoria Creative Producer and Director Ros Abercrombie appointed Executive Director of Regional Arts Australia 2018-11-26T03:49:28Z outgoing-artlands-victoria-creative-producer-and-director-ros-abercrombie-appointed-executive-director-of-regional-arts-australia “Ros is an extraordinary advocate for regional arts practice. We’re thrilled to continue working with her in this critical national leadership role.” – Joe Toohey, Regional Arts Victoria, Director and CEO The Chair of Regional Arts Australia (RAA), Simon Spain today announced the appointment of Ros Abercrombie as the new Executive Director for the organisation. Ros will commence in the role next month. “We are delighted to welcome Ros to this important role.  Ros has an impressive record. She is an inspiring creative leader who has worked incredibly successfully with a wide range of community groups over an extensive career. Her work as a producer, a creative director and as a catalyst for community engagement signals a beginning of a new era for RAA, and the Board is looking forward to supporting Ros and her team,” Simon said. Ros has been working in the arts industry for over 20 years with experience across strategic design, creative direction, organisational modelling, identity and brand development and management. She recently filled the role of Director and Creative Producer for Artlands Victoria in Bendigo last month where her commitment to First Nations engagement with the Dja Dja Wurrung community underscored the event. Ros succeeds John Oster who has led the organisation for the past four years. John said “It is such a pleasure to hand this great job over to a person of the calibre of Ros Abercrombie. Ros is committed to serving the artists and the audiences of rural, regional and remote Australia and I wish her well.” “I am excited about commencing this role and am looking forward to working collaboratively to advocate and support the long-term regional sustainability for the rural and regional arts and creative communities in which RAA works,” Ros said. Ros Abercrombie commences as Executive Director of Regional Arts Australia on Monday 10 December 2018. Australia officially ‘Ahead of the Global Curve’ in Animal Health 2018-11-20T07:23:28Z australia-officially-ahead-of-the-global-curve-in-animal-health OVER 100 of the nations leading parasitologists, veterinary authorities, industry and business leaders gathered in Western Sydney today to mark the official launch of an Australian led - global breakthrough in animal health.  A who’s who of faces from agriculture and the scientific community along with invited guests converged on Camden’s Belgenny Farm Thursday, in a ceremony to announce what’s been labelled the most significant shakeup in veterinary parasitology in 40 years.  Hosted by CEO of the International Animal Health Products group, Mr Chris Lawlor, the event was the culmination of almost 20 years research and development along with millions of dollars in investment.  Addressing the lunchtime audience, Mr Lawlor said the release of ‘BioWorma’ initially came about as a result of work being done by the CSIRO, where the opportunity presented itself to play an active role in the advancement of animal health, both domestically and around the world. Through the targeting of intestinal parasites affecting sheep, cattle, goats and horses, Mr Lawlor said the opportunity to put Australian agriculture  ‘ahead of the curve’ was an exciting one. “ Globally, the losses from parasites would be in the tens of billions of dollars. “ I didn’t want to see the science to arrest this scourge developed overseas and then see Australian farmers having to buy it back.”  Even after the CSIRO discontinued its involvement in the project in 2004, Mr Lawlor refused to abandon the idea and continued pilot testing on his own property. According to Mr Lawlor, the next two decades involved 19 trials and three different safety studies including a plethora of testing and an encyclopaedic volume of reports. “It was something that had never been done before, so there was no rule book.” “It was like moving up through the levels of a video game,” Mr Lawlor said. “Each level was more and more difficult.” Two decades on, and universally acknowledged as one of the most significant recent breakthroughs in area of parasitology, Chris and his team’s work is about to have a major global economic and environmental impact, particularly in the area of agriculture where resistance to chemical drenches is now at alarming levels. "The fact is we’ve put Australia at the forefront of scientific advancement in livestock parasitology. “For the first time, we can now successfully treat multiple parasites in different grazing animals with a naturally occurring fungus – something that has never been done before.  “It has been a long and very difficult journey to not only develop and gain approval from various regulatory bodies around the world but keep the research, development and technology right here in Australia. BioWorma has been approved for sale in Australia and New Zealand and the USA where it will be released in early 2019, and Mr Lawlor said he hopes it will be available in Europe within the 12 to 18 months. For more information, visit https://www.bioworma.com ends. Embargoed: 12.30pm - November 21.   Wool Industry in PETA's Crosshairs After New Exposes Show Sheep Mutilated On Farms 2018-11-19T21:41:01Z wool-industry-in-petas-crosshairs-after-new-exposes-show-sheep-mutilated-on-farms For Immediate Release: November 20, 2018 Contact: Trafford Smith 0406 713 994; TraffordS@peta.org.au WOOL INDUSTRY IN PETA'S CROSSHAIRS AFTER NEW EXPOSÉS SHOW SHEEP MUTILATED ON FARMS Two New PETA Asia Investigations Reveal Even More Horrific, Pervasive Abuse in the Wool Industry Melbourne – Two new PETA video exposés recorded on sheep farms in Victoria and New South Wales show workers beating petrified sheep in the face, deliberately mutilating them, and cutting their throats while they were fully conscious. One of the videos shows a farm manager carving swaths of flesh from lambs' hindquarters with shears as they struggle and cry out. It also shows workers cutting and burning off their tails with a hot knife and no painkillers. A second video, shot by a PETA Asia eyewitness, reveals even more abuse: shearers are seen striking sheep in the face with sharp metal clippers, kneeling on their stomachs, and throwing them about. One worker bragged that he once "hit one [sheep] so hard I knocked it out. F**ked it under the jaw a bit too hard." "PETA and its international affiliates have now revealed extreme cruelty to sheep at 99 operations on four continents around the world. We've shown that sheep are beaten, kicked, slammed into the floor, cut up, and mutilated and often die in appalling ways – all for a sweater," says PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk. "PETA is appealing to all members of the public who care about animals to show that they oppose such ghastly abuse by going wool-free." PETA Asia has asked Australian law-enforcement officials to investigate the findings for violations of each state's Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and to file appropriate charges. PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to wear" – notes that these new videos mark the 10th and 11th global exposés of the wool industry published by PETA or its affiliates. For more information, please visit PETA.org.au. Just days to go before the start of Australia’s largest ever agricultural innovation trade fair 2018-11-19T20:00:00Z just-days-to-go-before-the-start-of-australias-largest-ever-agricultural-innovation-trade-fair Australia’s largest ever agricultural innovation trade fair, GFIA In Focus Australia is set to kick off in Brisbane next Tuesday – and with some of the country’s top food producers in attendance, it’s a prime opportunity for farmers, growers and agribusinesses to learn more about the latest innovations in agriculture. Part of a global series of exhibition and conferences driving sustainable food production and innovation, GFIA In Focus Australia takes place at Brisbane’s Convention & Exhibition Center from 27-28 November. Leading producers Mort & Co National Feedlot, Mighty Green and Sundrop Farms are just some of the featured guests, and for Cy Kovacich, owner/manager of Mighty Green, the event is a chance to share his experiences diversifying his sugarcane operation: “The sugar cane industry is traditionally a monoculture ­– but with margins closing up through soil stress and other issues, my focus is on optimising soil health and finding production gains and economic savings through diversification, by growing other crops like rice, beans and soy. I’m honored to be involved, and to have the chance to hopefully inspire others through discussing my own experiences.” Amongst the many innovative exhibitors showcasing the latest game-changing innovations and technology is Ceres Tag, who have announced they will be doing a live demonstration at the event, in what will be a world first for the GFIA. In the days leading up to the event, Ceres Tags will be tagging over 100 cattle in Townsville with their Smart Ear Tags, before live streaming their location, health and behaviour 1,000 kms away at the conference. Guest speaker at the opening ceremony on the 27th November will be The Honourable Mark Furner MP, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Queensland. Mark describes the event as “a brilliant opportunity for farmers, growers and agribusinesses across the country to understand more about some of the latest innovations that can better support Australia’s agricultural industry.” Tim Gentle, Founder, Digital Crusader and Educator of Think Digital will be the second guest speaker at the opening ceremony. He’ll be talking about the some of the immersive new technologies available for agriculture, including the most exciting advancement to date in the world of Virtual Reality – a VR Platform for Agriculture. “If you thought Virtual Reality is just for gamers, and Augmented Reality is to catch Pokemon Go’s, then think again,” he says. “In agriculture, immersive technologies will increase productivity, improve safety, enhance training and help you to communicate more effectively than ever before, and I’m excited to be able to unveil the details of this new technology at the conference.” For Sales Director at One CMG Group David Stradling, the company behind GFIA In Focus Australia, the event looks set to be a game-changer for those involved. “We anticipate that this event will deliver huge business opportunities for ag-tech suppliers in markets expected to experience significant growth over the next few years,” he says. The GFIA are giving away 2,000 free tickets – but with only a small number left, farmers and agribusinesses are encouraged not to miss out on the chance to attend this unique mix of exhibitions, conferences, innovation sessions and educational workshops. To register your place at GFIA In Focus Australia before it begins, visit www.gfiaaustralia.com Event details: GFIA In Focus Australia 27 November 2018: 09.00 – 17.00 28 November 2018: 09.00 – 16.00 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre About GFIA The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture has emerged as a global authority on sustainable food production, driving innovation through exhibitions and conferences across the globe. GFIA exhibitions have welcomed more than 25,000 visitors, and worked with over 50 international partners to showcase innovative products with a proven benefit to the agricultural industry. Their conferences offer stakeholders pioneering forums and marketplaces to foster meaningful dialogue, collaboration, recognition and action between regional food producers, buyers, innovators, policy makers and investors. Media Enquiries: C7EVEN Communications Adam Arndell (02) 6766 4513 / 0403 372 889 adam.arndell@c7even.com.au Kate Munsie (02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Tim Gentle, Founder, Digital Crusader and Educator of Think Digital Precision Farming Sprout offers entrepreneurial accelerator to burgeoning agritech start-ups 2018-11-12T23:50:54Z sprout-offers-entrepreneurial-accelerator-to-burgeoning-agritech-start-ups Australian farm to fork agritech start-ups are being encouraged to come forward for the next cohort of the Sprout Accelerator. The Sprout Accelerator benefits agritech & agrifood businesses and entrepreneurs who  have prototypes, proof of concepts or existing revenue but need, extra support to help them grow. “We back bold agritech businesses and entrepreneurs who move fast, think big and are committed to building solutions for problems that reach from farm to fork,” Sprout Accelerator co-founder James Bell-Booth said. The six-month accelerator will provide assistance tailored specifically to the successful applicants’ needs, focusing on three key areas that enable scalable growth; high-margin business models, distribution, and execution advice from experienced entrepreneurs. Applications for the 2019 accelerator close on November 23, and 12 agritech start-ups will be selected from Australia and around the world. Along with access to international business networks, the successful start-ups will also have access to an extensive mentoring program. Sprout Accelerator has been operating since 2015 and alumni have gone on to triple their sales, pitch their companies to investors, secure nationwide distribution agreements and see a 300% increase in their customers product yield. Established by Dean Tilyard and James Bell-Booth, Sprout has a team that works alongside an advisory group, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise in agritech and entrepreneurship. “Sprout was founded because never before has the world’s food and farming sectors needed more innovation than right now. With the world’s population exploding and farmers needing to do more with less, we wanted to apply our 15 years of experience in turning agritech science and ideas into businesses, to companies all around the world,” Bell-Booth said. Steven Ridder, CEO of Teralytics, a New York-based company that is building the world's first wireless NPK soil probe and an analytics platform for best-in-class nutrient management, was recently hosted by Sprout and is a supporter of the accelerator. “Being hosted by Sprout gave me insight into how many parts of international agri sectors work, with direct connection to the people that would otherwise have taken me months to find and connect with. Sprout offers true acceleration on a new level that money alone can’t buy,” Ridder said. Micropod, an agritech company that produces self-sustainable fresh microgreens, was one of the companies selected for the 2018 accelerator. Founder and CEO Jeffrey Xu says Sprout provided his team the tools they required to become great entrepreneurs and business people. “The team of experts we worked with were very genuine and offered candid real-world advice. They made sure we were hitting our milestones and held us accountable. Sprout’s network in the industry is second to none and really opened up many doors for us. We have learned more about start-ups and about ourselves in the past six months than in an entire year before joining Sprout,” Xu said. App​ly for the 2019 Sprout Accelerator at https://sproutagritech.com/ ENDS   For more information, please contact: Danielle Veldre Boatshed Media 0408 972 997 danielle@boatshedmedia.com.au     Ed notes:The specific primary production areas covered in Sprout’s definition of agritech include: ● Agriculture ● Horticulture ● Forestry ● Pipfruit ● Viticulture● Aquaculture The most common technology areas that are being utilised to create quantum improvements and therefore large scale business opportunities are: ●  The use of sensors and ‘internet of things’ or precision agricultural ●  Robotics and automation ●  Biotechnology ●  Software ●  UAVs, their supporting software, hardware and sensing technology ●  Big data ●  Supply chain and logistics software Sprout is being supported and funded by a mix of public and private sector leaders in agritech and start-up investment, including Callaghan Innovation, Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC), Massey University, Gallagher Group, Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA), Fonterra, AGMARDT and KPMG. The Sprout accelerator was designed by The Factory, a New Zealand-based business incubator. Over the last two years The Factory has helped establish four globally focused agritech start-ups; BioLumic, CalfSMART, CropX and Polybatics, which have raised in excess of $15 million in growth capital from global investors.       CASE STUDY - SPROUT ACCELERATOR 2017 KNOWBY Grant Rogers is a dairy farmer and vet based in Hobart, Tasmania, and is used to fixing things on the fly. “On a dairy farm, lots of things break, or breakdown,” he says. “I thought about writing a manual with step-by-step instructions on how to fix the recurring problems and came to the realisation that no one would read it.” Grant needed a solution with a simple and accessible delivery mechanism, like a mobile phone. He knew he had a good idea, but in his own words, Grant is “good at growing grass and tending to animals”, but he wasn’t well versed in building a business from the ground up. Grant applied for the Sprout Accelerator, and his idea for mobile-responsive software to troubleshoot or explain solutions to common issues in a workplace began to take shape. Knowby was born as a software product for manufacturers to equip their sales channels, field teams and end users with easy to use, mobile first, product support and servicing information. “What being in the Sprout Accelerator taught us was how to hone our pitch to investors, how to set up a business and to test ideas. It challenged us, and it gave us confidence too.” Grant said one of the greatest benefits for his business was the contacts the Accelerator gave him access to as well as the mentorship which has evolved into long-term relationships. Precision agriculture can revolutionise the industry, say leading experts. 2018-11-12T02:02:06Z precision-agriculture-can-revolutionise-the-industry-say-leading-experts What do data analytics and modelling, fertiliser applications, harvesting, irrigation, seeding, planting and spraying equipment, GPS systems, robotics and smartphone apps have in common? They’re all precision agriculture systems that can revolutionise various aspects of a farm's operations. And as technology evolves to keep pace with the changing needs of a business that’s worth as much as 12% of the country’s GDP, they’re poised to help transform Australia’s agricultural industry. With the Federal Government wanting Australian agriculture to become a $100 billion industry by 2030, a key focus for the industry is the unlocking of new technology, supported by a favourable tax and policy environment for innovation. It’s no surprise, then, that interest is firmly fixed on how producers can harness the benefits of precision agriculture to achieve everything from increased production and reduced labour costs to water savings, lower wastage and greater task automation. The breadth of available applications is huge. Whether it’s computer and mobile-based apps designed to provide real-time information relating to crop disease, or GPS mapping to better understand soil conditions, new technologies are emerging to help farmers collect data, manage risk, increase yields, save time and cut costs. As Anastasia Volkova, CEO and Founder of data analytics platform FluroSat explains, “there have been major advances in spatial and navigation technology, meaning that agriculture can increasingly be underpinned by technologies like self-driving tractors and robotics. Secondly, the ability to use proximal or remote sensing to collect information that can both inform decision-making and measure its effects is also key. And the final piece of the puzzle is machine-learning advancements, and the ability to collect data to create a highly detailed picture – which again, can have hugely beneficial implications for agriculture.” Technologies that address drought-related challenges are another burgeoning industry. Following the government’s recent plans to set up a $3.9 billion fund to support water infrastructure and drought-related projects, the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) has identified a suite of new technologies that can help combat Australia’s current drought. They include a water conditioning system that enables growers to utilise supplies previously considered unsuitable, a device that continually informs farmers of flow rates and total water used, and a microclimate solution combining sensors, analytics and apps that analyses atmospheric conditions, leaf wetness, soil moisture and temperature to provide localised growing condition data. Anastasia believes there’s a strong case for embracing new technologies, especially in the face of extreme conditions. “Robustness is the key characteristic needed for agricultural systems, especially in the face of adverse weather like drought. Technologies like variable rate, advance sensing and machine learning technologies can underpin a successful solution that can mitigate the worst effects and support the industry through these types of challenges.” AgTech Cluster Leader at CSIRO Data61 Dr Peyman Moghadam agrees that new technologies are receiving a huge amount of interest currently, especially relating to drones, aerial and satellite imaging, robotic technologies, automated harvesting and precision spraying. Yet a sense of innovation fatigue is also affecting the industry, he says. “Growers are right now more interested in adapting technology to fit their existing equipment than investing in brand new assets. So what’s happening currently is a trend of retro-fitting existing assets to make them smarter. We’re not taking drivers out of the tractors just yet. Instead we’re offering smart features, retro-fitted to make lives easier, using technology like auto steering and automated harvesting, weeding and pruning, which can help reduce labour costs by as much as 30-40%.” Whether through robotics, virtual reality, AI or new automation technologies, the digitalisation of agriculture means that farmers and growers will over time be better able to increase production and yields, with fewer inputs and labour costs. As Anastasia explains, “Costs can be reduced by knowing for instance the response to nutrients in different areas of a farm, so that fertilizer use can be fully optimized. Whether it’s used for weed detection in the field, or for grading the protein content of a grain that’s about to be harvested, precision agriculture solutions can offer impressive results for farmers who are able to embrace these new technologies.” The GFIA will present the latest innovations and technologies for smart food production in the precision agriculture sector at Australia’s largest agricultural innovation event, GFIA in Focus, in Brisbane on November 27-28. Anastasia and Peyman will join a host of guest speakers discussing everything from smart irrigation and big data to robotics and Virtual Reality. To register your attendance or to find out more, visit www.gfiaaustralia.com Ends Media Enquiries: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Precision Agriculture Previous GFIA Precision Agriculture Conference Lucky Guyra farmer James Stewart named winner of Virbac Australia’s Tridectin® Platinum Ticket promotion 2018-11-09T04:40:38Z lucky-guyra-farmer-james-stewart-named-winner-of-virbac-australias-tridectin-r-platinum-ticket-promotion Guyra sheep producer James Stewart was one of the first farmers in Australia to purchase Tridectin, the latest sheep drench from Virbac Australia that’s being heralded as a huge break-thru in the fight against worms. Tridectin is the world’s only broad-spectrum combination drench with a registered claim to kill triple-resistant and monepantel-resistant worms. As a result, it provides a reliable, safe and effective worming solution that guarantees healthier, more productive sheep. On opening his pack, James received an extra special surprise. To celebrate Tridectin’s launch, Virbac has been running a special ‘Platinum Ticket’ promotion – and James was one of three lucky winners to find a platinum ticket, which were randomly placed inside the first ever batch of Tridectin. James has won himself a pair of Samsung Gear VR Goggles (as featured in the Tridectin TV commercial) – and Virbac will also be donating $500 to local charity Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, as nominated by James. Virbac Australia Sheep Product Manager Terrance Laughlin had this to say on James’s win. “This has been a really fun and engaging way to mark the launch of Tridectin. A big well done to James. We hope he’ll get just as much pleasure from using his VR Goggles as he will from seeing the benefits of Tridectin on his animals’ health.” Ends For more information contact: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Protected cropping heralded as the ideal system to help supercharge Australian agriculture. 2018-11-07T06:12:11Z protected-cropping-heralded-as-the-ideal-system-to-help-supercharge-australian-agriculture ‘Sustainable growth’ is the key phrase underpinning the Australian Government’s plans to make the nation’s agricultural industry a $100 billion industry by 2030. Yet with widespread and continued drought conditions challenging these ambitious plans, growers are looking to new solutions to ensure more consistent crops and higher yields – and protected cropping is one increasingly attractive proposition. There’s no doubt that indoor and controlled environments, speed breeding and hydroponic systems are currently driving food production like never before. The Protected Cropping Industry is the fastest growing food producing sector in Australia, valued at around $1.8 billion per annum. As Vertical Farming Systems Executive Director John Leslie explains, that’s no surprise. “Australian agriculture currently has a return on investment of about 3-5%, and that’s not sufficient to attract investment into the sector,” he says. “Vertical farming removes much of the labour cost, which is the most expensive component of farming, so the ROI can be increased to 20% and upwards – and then agriculture does become an attractive investment proposition.” With a $3.9 billion fund recently set up to support water infrastructure and drought-related projects, protected cropping has never been more relevant. Controlled environment farming protects the industry from unfavourable weather conditions like drought, contributing to more consistent crops and higher yields. John sees vertical farming as the ideal solution for some parts of the industry, because the process is impervious to climate, and the dehumidification process generates a massive amount of water. “We’re actually producing water out of the air, and that makes vertical farming highly viable, even in places as arid as the Sahara desert. While vertical farming isn’t a fix-all for every drought situation, it’s another tool we can use to combat the effects ­– and it will certainly support some parts of the food supply chain and help address things like drought.” Current advancements in the technology mean that protected cropping will soon be applicable on a broader scale. John explains how his company is developing systems that will soon be able to produce animal feed and proteins. “It’s based on the same technology we’re right now using for vegetables, and over time that will begin to address the problem on a wider scale,” he says. Hydroponics is another production sector currently experiencing rapid growth – and as hydroponic grower and consultant Brian Ellis explains, it’s highly efficient in its use of inputs including water, fertilisers, labour, land and energy. “It’s possible to produce 5-10 times as much per hectare using hydroponic systems compared to growing in soil. There’s no doubt that adverse weather is impacting everyone as the climate continues to change ­– but with hydroponics you have much more control over your environment. Essentially there’s much more predictability, and less effect from extreme weather.” Brian explains how hydroponic systems use only minimal water, which contributes further to their viability. “We often only use as little as 5% of the water for re-circulated hydroponic crops, compared to growing the same crop out in the field. That gap may have closed a little with the introduction of new technologies, but it’s still nowhere close to that figure. As drought continues to affect growers, there’s no doubt that hydroponics will become even more important, and more relevant to the success of the industry.” In the face of food security and global climatic variability concerns, safe, sustainable protected cropping in the form of vertical farming, hydroponics and speed breeding could well be the way of the future. With protected-crop growers at the forefront of highly sustainable, efficient and innovative food production processes, protected cropping will increasingly help to secure a profitable and more sustainable future for Australian agriculture. The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) will present the latest innovations and technologies for the controlled environment and protected cropping sector at Australia’s largest agricultural innovation event, GFIA in Focus, in Brisbane on November 27-28. John and Brian will join a host of guest speakers discussing everything from vertical farms and greenhouses to hydroponic and aquaponic systems and much more. To register for a free entry badge or to find out more, visit www.gfiaaustralia.com Ends Media Enquiries: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Previous GFIA Protected Cropping Exhibition Protected Cropping