The University of Western Australia’s Farm Ridgefield near Pingelly will open its doors to the wider community at the 2015 Field Day on Friday 11 September.
The 1600-hectare farm, located 158 kilometres south-east of Perth is home to the Future Farm 2050 Project, a multidisciplinary project undertaking research into best practice farming techniques for the future.
Those attending Field Day will have the opportunity to visit demonstration sites around Ridgefield, showcasing some of the research underway in native-based pastures and see the Avon River Catchment Critical Zone Observatory – the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
Project Leader Professor Graeme Martin from The UWA Institute of Agriculture said the Future Farm 2050 Project aims to introduce farmers to innovative farming systems, but that farming for the future was about more than just sustainable agriculture in the traditional sense.
“It includes maintaining strong and vibrant rural communities,” Prof Martin said.
“For this reason, the field day is focussing on a variety of aspects of managing risk, a pertinent issue for farmers and rural communities.”
Three key speakers will discuss managing risk with respect to the climate variability, mental health in rural communities and the link between insurance and farming sustainability.
Associate Professor Ross Kingwell, from UWA’s School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Institute of Agriculture and Department of Agriculture and Food WA, will discuss crop yield risk and its implications for agribusiness.
Professor Geoffrey Riley from the UWA Rural Clinical School of WA will share his experience on issues in mental health. Mr Kent Hannam from CGU Insurance will discuss the rapidly changing face of farming and emerging farm trends and what these mean for the insurance industry.
The field day will also include the launch of Greening Australia’s national “20 Million Trees” program (www.nrm.gov.au/national/20-million-trees) by Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP.
“Ecosystem management is a major component of the Future Farm 2050 project,” Prof Martin said.
“UWA Farm Ridgefield has been selected as a site for Greening Australia to plant 100 hectares of trees and associated understory on areas identified as requiring restoration to maintain the functionality and productivity of the farm ecosystem.”
Those interested in attending Field Day should register online at www.ioa.uwa.edu.au/events/register-field-day by Friday 4 September 2015.
Prof Graeme Martin (Project Leader, UWA Institute of Agriculture) (+61 8) 6488 6781
David Stacey (UWA Media and PR Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716