The University of Western Australia's Ridgefield Future Farm will be officially opened next week with the aim of integrating cropping, livestock and native ecology and being carbon neutral by 2020.
The 1,600 hectare property adjacent to the Boyagin Nature Reserve in the Shire of Pingelly will be a best-practice farm for 2050 - the year UWA aims to be counted among the world's top 50 universities.
Linking UWA research to industry and the University to the rural community, the farm will be a test-bed for innovative design and practice and has attracted local, national and international collaborators. A high priority of the farm is to be a good neighbour in the local community.
Its enterprises include clean, green and ethical animal production; making every raindrop count while producing profitable crops; and promoting environmental biodiversity and sustainability.
The UWA Institute of Agriculture spearheads the project and the University's Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts is designing farm buildings including a functional, ecologically sensitive and affordable manager's home and an animal laboratory/shearing shed. There will also be accommodation for 12 people.
UWA's School of Environmental Systems Engineering will assess the hydrology of the landscape, develop a farm water management plan and establish a system for monitoring hydrological processes. The School of Earth and Geographical Sciences will quantify the land resources, including undertaking soil analysis, to aid decision-making. Armed with this data, the School of Plant Biology will plan the subdivision of the farm for the various enterprises including cropping. The School of Animal Biology will measure the vegetation and wildlife on the farm and in the surrounding areas, including the national park, and develop a plan for revegetation of wildlife corridors as well as for animal industries.
What: Official opening of UWA's Ridgefield Future Farm by Robyn McSweeney, Minister for Child Protection; Community Services; Seniors and Volunteering; Women's Interests
Where: UWA Ridgefield Future Farm, Page Road, Pingelly
When: 11am Friday, 20 November