2021 Ag Excellence Virtual Forum & Awards - 'A Climate of Opportunity in Ag'
Monday 9 August 2021
A networking and knowledge building event that draws producer groups and industry together around a complex topic and the forum to share some of the opportunities that exist to take farm businesses profitably ahead as we move towards a carbon-neutral future.
Forum2021 featured scientific, industry and producer presentations that provided a positive and practical outlook at the farm level to address the challenges of carbon targets.
"The line-up of highly respected speakers addressed the climate impact and mitigation strategy in the agricultural landscape, for the long-term protection of our natural resource. This important event value added to the current industry-wide conversation and motivation towards a carbon-neutral future", said Leet Wilksch, Ag Ex Chair.
Professor Mark Howden, Director at ANU Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions provided a detailed look at the current climate of agriculture. Mark has vast experience working on issues including agriculture and food security, the natural resource base, ecosystems and biodiversity, energy, water and urban systems.
Fiona Simson, President of the National Farmers Federation (NFF) and Farmer at Liverpool Plains in NSW, presented the facts on NFF’s bold vision for a carbon zero target by 2050. Climate change is a central feature in the NFF’s 2030 Roadmap for agriculture to reach $100 billion in farm gate output.
Mr Wilksch says, “this ambitious policy highlights the reality that agriculture is facing an immediate need to create clear pathways for carbon neutrality. Some landholders are already undertaking initiatives to reduce emissions however many are still confused about where to access concise information on how to sustainably adapt their farming practices whilst maintaining profitability”.
Professor Richard Eckard at the University of Melbourne and Director at Primary Industries and Climate Challenges Centre addressed this need for knowledge by presenting some of his research findings and options for agriculture to adopt carbon methods, trading, markets and tools.
A number of additional speakers and facilitated panel sessions were featured on the day in the quest to build awareness and capacity of key influencers within the viticulture, broadacre cropping and livestock sectors.
Winners of the PIRSA Grower Group and Ag Excellence Perpetual Awards were also announced.