Chief Executive Officer Peter Zurzolo highlights the achievements of the Future Farm Industries CRC as it reaches the end of its seven year funding (2007-2014) under the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre program.
It is a bittersweet occasion in terms of the winding up of the CRC. Bitter in that after seven years of this CRC, or 13 if you include Salinity CRC, we are going to say goodbye to so many wonderful people who, through these CRCs have contributed significantly to Australian agriculture. However, the sweet is in the fact we can shut the doors knowing that the CRC has delivered on the ambitious goals that were set in the business plan seven years ago, that it will achieve all Commonwealth and project milestones, and that the CRC's work has already been adopted on over one million hectares across Australia. When I look at the recently-prepared impact statements of the CRC, it is hard not to be impressed. These impact statements highlight all that has been achieved by the project and farming systems. The CRC has been extremely successful and I wish to thank all those involved during the years.
Firstly to all our 16 Participants who supplied the resources, both human and financial, we appreciate your incredible support over this journey and for maintaining your passion and commitment to the work of the CRC. To the researchers, field staff, technicians, administration staff, PhD supervisors, agronomists and all other people who have made a contribution to the CRC, a very large thank you. Over the past seven years, 755 people have contributed to this CRC, working together to achieve its goals. With so many people working together, the CRC was always going to not only be successful, but be very successful.
To the CRC Program for all your support and encouragement and of course generous financial support, a very large thank you. It has always been a very pleasant experience dealing with this department; I have always found people there wanting to help and provide assistance. I very much appreciate your patience with us.
To all the farmers, NRM/CMA groups and all other non-shareholder staff who have also generously provide their time or land to allow the CRC to undertake its research, we appreciate it. I am amazed at how generous farmers are in providing their valuable land to researchers to enable field work to be done.
To the Board of Directors, again thank you for your strong encouragement and strong leadership. One of this CRC's strengths is its Board of Directors. It is one of the strongest, skilled Boards I have had the pleasure in being a part of and they have led this CRC proactively, intelligently and with great enthusiasm.
Finally to my small team, we were one of the largest CRCs but with one of the smallest workforces and I appreciate your tireless efforts over the journey to manage the 100 plus projects this CRC has managed over the past seven years. I want to thank you again for your commitment and passion to the work and making my job much easier.
When we close our doors at the end of June, we leave a substantial legacy for Australian agriculture: commercialisation agreements for new plants and plant varieties - temperate and tropical grasses, tedera, messina, and old man saltbush; new decision-support tools - ADOPT, INFFER, CATPlus; new perennial plant based farming systems - EverGraze, Enrich, EverCrop; a prototype mallee harvester; the seed of a new biofuels industry based on mallee biofuel; a scholarship fund for PhD students researching agriculture and 55 PhD graduates and much more.
Our impact work estimates that over the next 20
years, the net benefit to Australian agriculture from the CRC's
activities will be $1.5bn That's something for which every one of those
755 people should be justifiably proud.
The CRC's research programs on perennial plant based farming systems have either been completed or transferred to other agencies or funding bodies. The CRC website www.futurefarmonline.com.au will remain live with information on research programs and outcomes available until June 2017.
Peter Zurzolo CEO