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AgriVictoria unlocks opportunities for Australian farmers

Investment, innovation and technology success stories from Australian and New Zealand farmers showcased at yesterday’s AgriVictoria – State of Opportunity Summit in Melbourne highlighted a plethora of opportunities are there for taking to underpin export growth of the state’s $13.14 billion agricultural industry.

From Lindenow’s Bulmer Farms re-focusing their horticulture business to capitalise on domestic and export demand for baby leaf produce to insights into how funding grants have driven the launch of AK Ben Pekuah Pty Ltd, the only company in the world to have re-established the breeding lines of Ben Pekuah kosher animals, the Summit delivered practical, applicable and tangible outcomes.

New Zealanders Colin Armer and Tony Cleland also shared how they have attracted investment from NZ super funds to grow their respective corporate dairy farming businesses from starting out as cadet share-farmers to now milking over 80,000 cows across 125 farms.

The Summit also delivered cutting edge research and development outcomes to improve feeding and breeding livestock from the Dairy Futures CRC and smart farming technologies such as satellite driven soil probes and drones set to transform pasture and animal management from the University of New England’s Precision Agriculture Research Group.

It featured unique ‘Shark Tank-esque’ investment and pitching presentations from rising agribusiness entrepreneurs including family-run Dad’s Oats, Adventive and Tom Car, as well as a case study from AgriWebb about how their business has grown since pitching at last year’s Summit.

“The key theme for me was how protecting your profitability is critical for taking farm businesses forward,” said one of the many impressive speakers Andrew Bulmer, Managing Director of Bulmer Farms. “As farmers we really need to understand how our businesses are set up, what the key drivers are and what we are trying to achieve. If we can understand these key factors we are going to have a great opportunity of achieving success.”

The Summit’s MC Matt Linnegar, Chief Executive of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, added: “The speakers demonstrated that there are many opportunities for Australian farmers, but do we have the courage to grasp them? It comes down to how we view failure, is it a defeat or a detour?

“The AgriVictoria Summit provided attendees with the connections and linkages necessary for bridging the gaps. We heard how we are on the precipice of technological advances that will drive farm production and profitability and the funding opportunities that exist to make that a reality for farm businesses.

“But while these opportunities exist, a common thread in all presentations was the importance of people – it is people who contribute to a business’s success, so how you treat them needs to be a key consideration.”

Attendees were inspired by guest speakers David Smorgon, PwC Family, Business and Wealth Executive Chairman, and how learning the ropes as a teenager in his family’s meat processing business was the catalyst to his success. Twenty-nine-year-old agri-innovator Airlie Trescowthick, founder of online resource hub The Farm Table, impressed upon the audience the importance of connecting with the right people and information to ensure on-farm success.

Officially opened by Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas, the Summit is Victoria’s premier outcomes-focused agribusiness event that is designed to enable primary producers and agribusiness professionals to be investment and export ready. Focused on connecting people, driving change and boosting productivity across Victoria’s agriculture industry, it is a collaboration between the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF), The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), ANZ and PwC.

VFF President Peter Tuohey said: “Providing the opportunity for our state’s farmers to come together to learn, form linkages across the industry and beyond and go home and implement ideas that will drive changes is core to what the Summit is about and it certainly delivered on that.”

For more information please visit www.agrivictoria.com.au. Follow @AgriVictoria on Twitter.

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About AgriVictoria – State of Opportunity Summit

The AgriVictoria – State of Opportunity Summit is Victoria’s premier outcomes-focused agribusiness event that is designed to enable primary producers and agribusiness professionals to be investment and export ready. Focusing on investment opportunities, technology and funding innovation in agriculture, the Summit aims to connect people, drive change and boost productivity across Victoria’s $12 billion agriculture industry. It is a collaboration between the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF), The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), ANZ and PwC.