Forum - Australian Farms in 2020

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Thursday 25th March, 2010

Farming in Australia faces unprecedented change in the comingten years as the impacts of a drying climate, water constraints, rising energy and input costs and carbon emission trading are factored into the management of local businesses, both rural and non-rural. Whilst each of these will add to the challenges influencing farm productivity, profitability and sustainability it can be argued that they are significantly outweighed by the opportunities for agriculture in a world where food security is firmly back on the ‘radar screen’ of decision-makers.
Australia is uniquely placed ‘on the doorstep’ of Asia, where the demand for food is growing more rapidly than in any other region of the world. However, market demographics are rapidly changing and as Australian farmers seek to seize emerging opportunities, so too do our agricultural competitors in South America and elsewhere.
Overall, there will be mounting competition for the use of land, water, and other farm inputs to meet the potentially conflicting demands for food, fibre, energy, carbon sequestration, and environmental stewardship.
How will, and how should, Australian agriculture adapt to meet these challenges and opportunities? What will farms look like in 2020 as a result? Will family farms still predominate, or will corporate interests take over? Could we see energy production, and carbon sequestration on farmland outstripping food production? What skills do Australian farm managers need to survive and thrive in this era of change?

Speakers

Peter Corish OAM

Chairman of PrimeAg and former President of the National Farmers Federation, Peter Corish has been actively involved in agriculture since 1973. With his family, Peter owns and operates a farming business based in Goondiwindi, Queensland, with properties in New South Wales and Queensland comprising 7000ha of irrigation land, 3000ha of dry-land farming and 5000ha of grazing land spread over six properties. The Corish family produce irrigated cotton as well as dry-farming cereals, oilseeds, beef and
prime lambs. In recent years they have won several awards for excellence and environmental sustainability in cotton production. Peter holds or has held numerous positions of leadership including Commissioner for the National Water Commission, Chair of the Agriculture and Food Policy Reference Group and the Cairns Group Farm Leaders, Member of the Trade Policy Advisory Council, Member of the Australian
Farmers’ Fighting Fund Board of Trustees, Member of the International Federation of Agricultural Products Executive, Chairman of Cotton Australia Limited and Chairman of the Australian Cotton Industry Council.

Professor Ross Kingwell

An agricultural economist with over 25 years experience in research and provision of policy advice, he is currently employed as chief economist in the Department of Agriculture and Food (WA) and as a professor in agricultural economics at the University of Western Australia. He’s president of AARES and has over 100 published book chapters and articles in peer reviewed journals. He has wide experience spanning strategic analysis through to farm-level analysis. His chief research interest is farming systems research

 

Panel Discussion

Geoff Cornford



Manager of Wainui Feedlot and Farm at Bowenville, 68km west of Toowoomba, Queensland, Geoff Cornford started employment with North Australian Pastoral Company at Marion Downs, then worked at the feedlot and NAP Brisbane Offi ce before becoming manager in 2001. Wainui was purchased in 1985 and since then, has been developed by NAPCO into one of Australia’s most modern and effi cient feedlots. The Wainui aggregation includes an irrigation and dry-land farm where grain and silage is produced for feedlot use. With approximately 7200 head on feed at any time and covering 4500ha, Waimui feeds cattle for various grainfed markets, and turns off approximately 30,000 cattle annually. Feedlot rations are mixed on site using grain processed through a modern steam fl aking feedmill. The
feedlot employs approximately 16 staff, including feed millers, stock-people and farmers. The feedlot and farm is certifi ed to the ISO 140001 specifications for Environmental Management Systems. Geoff is actively involved in cattle welfare and health issues and until recently, has been a Board Member of the Australian Lot Feeders Association. His interests include natural resource management and his local community. 

David Shannon

Nuffield Scholar and Chairman of the Southern Regional Panel of the Grains Research & Development Corporation, David Shannon of Kapunda, South Australia possesses a diverse range of expertise and skills. A grain producer and exporter with over 27 years experience he has, as an industry representative and corporate director, developed strong networks and relationships within and across all sectors of Australian rural industries. Major strengths include breadth of experience, excellent networking and stakeholder engagement, strategic management and extensive experience in representing rural industries to improve the profi tability of producers and sustainability of the environment. David’s leadership positions include Founding Chairman Australian Durum Industry Association, Chairman SA Durum Industry Association, Member of the University Farms Advisory Board at the University of Adelaide. From 1981 until 2009 David was Owner/Director of Illawarra, a 2650ha cropping and sheep property at Kapunda, with 1450ha of crops including wheat, durum, barley, triticale, oats, canola, peas, faba beans, lupins and vetch. For fi ve years until 2009, David was Owner/Director of Westmore Pastoral Co - a 2700ha beef cattle, sheep and potato property at Marrawah, Tasmania. A Registered Architect, David is also a Member of SA No-Till Farmers Association, Member SA Crop Science Society and belongs to the Australian Institute of Company Directors


Sally Hawkins

Sally Hawkins and her husband Wayne live at Frances, South Australia and are owners of Circle H Farms, with properties owned or leased in Frances and in the Victorian areas around Nhill, Goroke and Harrow. Since 1996, they have increased the holdings of Circle H Farms from 1000ha of owned and 240ha of leased land, to their current operation that comprises 2553ha and 4978ha of owned and leased land respectively. The company’s enterprises include the production of crops, sheepmeat and fodder and the use of 8 centre pivot irrigators. Sally and Wayne are positive and optimistic about the future of farming and realise the importance of adapting to change and being innovative. They emphasise the importance of continuing education and learning as they seek to remain at the forefront of agricultural development. Sally is excited about the prospects for farming in the coming decade. In addition to her farming achievements, Sally has a Bachelor of Business Studies, strong fi nancial and personnel skills, and has still found time to contribute to her local community through involvement on numerous committees.

DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT


  Listen to Australian Farms in 2020 QA session Listen to Australian Farms in 2020 QA session  (7815 KB)

  Listen to David Shannon's Australian Farms in 2020 presentation Listen to David Shannon's Australian Farms in 2020 presentation  (6140 KB)

  Listen to Geoff Cornford's Australian Farms in 2020 presentation Listen to Geoff Cornford's Australian Farms in 2020 presentation  (4644 KB)

  Listen to Peter Corish's Australian Farms in 2020 presentation Listen to Peter Corish's Australian Farms in 2020 presentation  (4408 KB)

  Listen to Prof Ross Kingwell's Australian Farms in 2020 presentation Listen to Prof Ross Kingwell's Australian Farms in 2020 presentation  (6364 KB)

  Listen to Sally Hawkin's Australian Farms in 2020 presentation Listen to Sally Hawkin's Australian Farms in 2020 presentation  (5662 KB)

  Read the article - R&D Critical to Australia’s Farming Future Read the article - R&D Critical to Australia’s Farming Future  (113 KB)

  Read the brochure - Australian Farms in 2020 Read the brochure - Australian Farms in 2020  (267 KB)

  View David Shannon's Australian Farms in 2020 Presentation View David Shannon's Australian Farms in 2020 Presentation  (917 KB)

  View Geoff Cornford's Australian Farms in 2020 Presentation View Geoff Cornford's Australian Farms in 2020 Presentation  (1561 KB)

  View Prof Ross Kingwell's Australian Farms in 2020 Presentation View Prof Ross Kingwell's Australian Farms in 2020 Presentation  (598 KB)

  View Sally Hawkins' Australian Farms in 2020 Presentation View Sally Hawkins' Australian Farms in 2020 Presentation  (391 KB)





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