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Thursday 2 May 2024
In this edition:
Dairy Innovation Open Day at Ellinbank SmartFarm

World-leading research will be on show at the Dairy Innovation Open Day at Agriculture Victoria’s Ellinbank SmartFarm on Thursday 9 May from 8.30 am.

Farmers will get a first-hand look at the latest research under way at the SmartFarm to improve soils and pasture, optimise animal nutrition and reduce carbon emissions.

Hosted by Dairy Australia, Agriculture Victoria, and the Gardiner Foundation as part of the $42.5 million DairyFeedbase program, the Open Day aims to share the research outcomes of the program.

Dairy Australia Chair James Mann said the Open Day was developed with farmers in mind to provide relevant research insights from across the program.

‘All parts of the dairy industry will take something away from this event, which will showcase how we’re using high-impact science to support farm profitability and reduce climate impacts,’ said Mr Mann.

Research scientists from Agriculture Victoria will discuss their findings across three sessions, joined by local farmers and industry leaders Graeme Nicoll, Grant Williams and Stewart McCrae.

‘Each session will be an opportunity to see the real-world applications of the collaborative research we’ve been doing here at the Ellinbank SmartFarm with the dairy industry,’ said Agriculture Victoria Research Director Professor Joe Jacobs.

‘We’ll also launch PastureSmarts – a new app-based technology enabling farmers to remotely optimise the productivity of their pastures, that was developed as part of the first stage of the DairyFeedbase program. It’s gratifying to see this research leading to tangible benefits for farmers,’ said Professor Jacobs.

Gardiner Foundation Chair Dr Len Stephens encouraged farmers and the wider dairy industry to attend the Open Day and be involved in advancing the industry.

‘It's crucial to provide Victorian dairy farmers with research outputs that can be implemented on their farms. This will indicate when research ideas have evolved into on-farm innovations, enhancing dairy farm productivity, and ensuring a vibrant dairy sector.

‘The Innovation Open Day is a valuable opportunity to explore the latest research and think about how it could be applied on your farm.' said Dr Stephens.

The Dairy Innovation Open Day is free event, but bookings are essential via the Dairy Australia website.

Book early for Ballarat sheep and beef conferences

Early bird tickets are now available for BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef conferences to be held on 19 and 20 June in Ballarat, at The Goods Shed.

Agriculture Victoria Senior Specialist, Lyndon Kubeil said this was the first time since 2019 that the two conferences would be held together and in the new location of Ballarat.

‘We are holding everything under the one roof this year - the sheep and the beef industry conferences, the dinner and the trade displays will all be at The Goods Shed, an exciting new venue near Ballarat Railway Station,’ said Mr Kubeil.

‘The event will start on Wednesday 19 June at 9 am with registrations for the BestWool/BestLamb conference, followed by a combined dinner for the beef and sheep industries at 6 pm that night.

‘The BetterBeef conference will be held the following day on Thursday 20 June.’

The program will include keynote addresses and concurrent sessions, giving participants the ability to tailor their time to suit their needs and interests.

Mr Kubeil said there will be an excellent line up of presenters, including agribusiness professionals John Francis from Agrista and Cam Nicholson from Nicon Rural Services, who are presenting on both days and are sure to draw a crowd.

‘John Francis’ session ‘Thriving under pressure – are you ready for the next challenge?’ will help producers make more informed decisions when faced with obstacles impacting their farm business.

‘Cam Nicholson’s presentation on “Grazing Management – balancing the compromise” will show us how to make better decisions and find the right strategic balance between the plant and the animal in a grazing enterprise.

Ticket sales will be capped this year to accommodate the size of the new venue.

‘We encourage people to book early and be rewarded with early bird discounts on tickets, with a 1-day conference ticket only $80 and a full package 2-day conference and dinner ticket for $200.’

Early bird tickets will close on Friday 31 May. To secure an early bird ticket discount, visit

Contact Lyndon Kubeil on 0418 532 085 or visit the Agriculture Victoria events page to learn more.

This event is delivered in partnership with Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and is supported by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and Farm Business Resilience program.

The latest Victorian Biosecurity Matters e-newsletter
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The latest edition of our Victorian Biosecurity Matters e-newsletter is out now.

In this edition: 

  • our new podcast season 
  • Timor Leste visit highlights 
  • find out more about avian influenza 
  • new pest partnership grant recipients 
  • bee pest blitz 
  • biosecurity in the news. 

Sound good? Read it now and subscribe here.

Introducing the Cherries Traceability Pilot
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Introducing the Cherries Traceability Pilot – a partnership between Agriculture Victoria and Cherry Growers Australia.

Watch the video to explore the Tree to Table Journey!

We invite consumers to join us at Cherry Hill Orchards as we unveil the latest innovation: Cherry Traceability.

Ever wondered about the journey your cherries take before they
reach your table?

Now, with unique GS1 Australia Digital Link QR codes, you can trace every step from the orchard to your hands.

Simply scan and discover the story behind your cherries -
where they were grown, who picked them, and the meticulous
process that ensures their premium quality.

Come, and delve into the world of cherry traceability and taste
the difference authenticity makes!

Applications open for Livestock Advisory Committees
A group of sheep. The text reads: applications open for Livestock Advisory Committees

Are you a skilled sheep, goat or cattle industry professional looking to grow your networks?

The Sheep and Goat and Cattle Compensation Advisory Committees are recruiting!

We’re looking for applicants with knowledge across a range of expertise including:

  • the sheep, goat or cattle allied industries, including across the supply chain
  • biosecurity or market access
  • quality assurance and food safety
  • finance, legal practice or business management
  • agricultural, animal or veterinary science
  • public policy.

For more details and to apply visit the Ag Vic website.

Episode 3: Common questions about biosecurity with Rachael Laukart and Brett Davidson
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Your questions on biosecurity answered.  

Rachel Laukart, Education Officer at RSPCA and Brett Davidson, Agriculture Victoria Dairy Regional Manager, cover some common biosecurity questions in this episode, helping producers manage risk and improve their on-farm practices. 

Even on small-scale landholdings with 1 or 2 animals, simple biosecurity goes a long way to protecting animals from all types of issues that may come up.

Listen to Biosecurity Basics via the AgVic website. 

Calf breeding survey
A calf

Data Gene is conducting a survey about the Australian genetic evaluation system to help plan for the delivery of breeding values (ABVs) that improve calf health. Calf ABVs are still in the research stage but early results suggest that it is possible and practical to breed for healthier calves.

This survey asks questions about your operation, your breeding trait priorities and how you would like calf breeding values to be presented. It will take 10-15 minutes to complete.

Complete the survey here.

Episode 9: Growing strong in a changing climate with Chloe Fox
Episode 9: Growing strong in a changing climate with Chloe Fox

Evacuating chickens by kayak was the reality for Somerset Heritage Produce market gardener, Chloe Fox, during the 2022 floods.

Listen to Chloe’s remarkable story of resilience and her road to recovery dealing with flood waters submerging her 4-acre property in this latest episode of After the flood.

Listen via the AgVic website.

WorkSafe - telehandler licence survey
Complete our telehandler survey to inform training locations

Use a non-slewing telehandler with capacity over 3 tonnes? There's a new licence and tailored training coming.

Complete the survey and help work out training locations. Your responses will be kept confidential.


Queensland fruit fly home gardener survey
A child and an older lady watering a garden. The text reads: Queensland fruit fly home gardener survey. Tell us how you manage QFF in your garden.

Has the word got out to home gardeners in your region about Queensland Fruit Fly and its management?

Please take Agriculture Victoria’s short 5 minute online survey to help them to understand the answer to that question.

The survey is being conducted throughout the three key horticultural regions of Goulburn Murray, Greater Sunraysia and the Yarra Valley.

All responses are anonymous and the feedback collected will help create resources to further support home gardeners to manage Queensland fruit fly.

The survey is open until 30 June 2024.

To participate please follow the link.

Emerging leader in Victorian agriculture award - nominations now open

The Melbourne Royal Emerging Leader in Victorian Agriculture Award recognises an individual who has made or is making a significant contribution to their respective field over a 12-month period.

Nominations for the 2024 Melbourne Royal Emerging Leaders in Victoria Award are now open!

Download the nomination form here and send the application to

Applications close Thursday 1 August.

The recipient will work, volunteer or significantly contribute within the agricultural industry, and must demonstrate how they will use prize money to further their development.

This award is available to those within Victoria between the ages of 18 and 35.

AgTech Innovators season 2, episode 7: Harvesting for tomorrow with Hunter Jay
AgTech Innovators podcast. Harvesting for tomorrow with Hunter Jay

How do start-ups and young visionaries source the finance that will help them achieve their dreams?  

Hunter Jay, Founder and CEO of Ripe Robotics, discusses how he sourced the finance to build an autonomous harvesting machine that he hopes will revolutionise the industry, address labour shortages and improve efficiency in the orchard.

Listen online via the AgVic website.

Fresh insights on food safety: A research survey of fresh produce stakeholders in Australia and New Zealand

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre (FPSC) - ANZ invites you to participate in a research survey aimed at improving food safety standards within the Australian and New Zealand Fresh Produce Industry. 

Your participation will help to better understand industry needs, gather insights, and identify opportunities for outreach, support and research. 

By sharing your experiences and perspectives, you can help in tailoring food safety engagement strategies to meet the specific needs of growers, food safety managers, supply chain stakeholders, researchers, and experts. 

Together, we can strengthen collaboration, elevate industry standards, and ensure the safety and quality of fresh produce for consumers. 

The research survey includes 25 questions and will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Complete it here.

Fox and wild dog bounty
A fox. The text reads: fox and wild dog bounty resumes. Victoria's bounty collections will resume on 4 March 2024.

Victoria’s bounty collections resumed on 4 March 2024.

Please continue to check our website for the latest information, collection centres and dates.

Click here.

For any assistance, please speak to our bounty collection staff on collection days or call our customer service centre on 136 186.

Free financial counselling with RFCS
A person standing in a paddock looking at the sunset. The text reads free financial counselling with the Rural Financial Counselling Service. 1300 771 741.

Have you been impacted by recent floods, storms, fires or dry seasonal conditions?

The Rural Financial Counselling Service provides a free and confidential financial counselling service to eligible farmers and small related enterprises who are experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship.

They can help you to access available support, analyse your business situation, negotiate with lenders and develop strategies to improve your financial position. 

To find your closest service visit the Rural Financial Counselling Service website or call 1300 771 741.

In case you missed it
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Workshops to support Gippsland farmers

Farmers in East Gippsland and the Bass Coast wanting to be better equipped to manage the impacts of drought and a changing climate are encouraged to register for 2 upcoming Farm Business Resilience Program workshops.

Read the full media release here.

New Chair for Horse Traceability Taskforce

Victorian biosecurity specialist and former Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Ron Glanville will lead the National Horse Traceability Implementation Taskforce as its new Chair.

Read the full media release here.

Agriculture Victoria leader Julie Simons makes the Top 50

Recently Agriculture Victoria’s Director Biosecurity Strategy, Preparedness and Coordination Dr Julie Simons was recognised as one of Victoria’s Top 50 Public Sector Women.

Read the full media release here. 

EOI for on-farm demonstration opportunity – now open

Is there a technology, innovation or research finding that your producer group is keen to test on-farm?

Agriculture Victoria, in partnership with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), is conducting a new producer demonstration program with the opportunity to establish five new on-farm demonstration projects.

Expressions of interest close on Monday 13 May 2024.

Read the full media release here.

What's on
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Details about Agriculture Victoria events can be found in one spot on our website. Log on to the Events page to keep in touch with upcoming events.

Farm Business Resilience Program workshops - East Gippsland and Bass Coast

Register now for our free Farm Business Resilience Program workshops.

These sessions, created in partnership with ION Group, are designed to better prepare farmers for and to manage risk, adapt to change, and strengthen their farm businesses.

Topics include:

  • Business planning and risk management
  • Farm finances and profitable decision making 
  • Managing people on farm, farm safety and wellbeing
  • Climate adaptation and natural resource improvement including soil, water, crops and pastures.
Cows in a paddock. The text reads: farm business resilience workshop, Bass Coast.

As part of the program, participants will have access to a one-on-one with a professional to develop their farm business plan.

  • Monday 6 to Wednesday 8 May - block one 
  • Monday 20 to Wednesday 22 May - block two

Register for the Bass Coast sessions here.

Farm Business Resilience Workshop, East Gippsland

As part of the program, participants will have access to a one-on-one with a professional to develop their farm business plan.

  • Monday 27 to Wednesday 29 May - block one
  • Monday 17 to Wednesday 19 June - block two 

Register for the East Gippsland sessions here. 

Rabobank Financial Skills Workshops

These interactive workshops will provide practical, hands-on advice for understanding financial statements and banking requirements and explore topics such as taxation versus management accounting, essential business management ratios and understanding key components of a business’s financial profile. 


  • Thursday 16 May – 8:30 am – 3:30 pm – Warragul
  • Friday 17 May – 8:30 am – 3:30 pm – Leongatha

Register your place here.
You do not need to be a Rabobank client to attend.

Morning tea and lunch provided.

Best Wool/Best Lamb and BetterBeef industry conference and dinner
Save the date information for the Best Wool/Best Lamb and BetterBeef conference and dinner

Save the date!

The Best Wool/Best Lamb and BetterBeef conference will be held over 2 days, 19 and 20 June in Ballarat. 

Stay up to date via our events page.

Southern Australia Livestock Research Council Livestock Conference
Sheep in a paddock. The text reads: save the date: livestock 2024 conference.

Livestock 2024 is the third biennial conference delivered by SALRC. This year's theme is environmental challenges and opportunities for Australian livestock industries.

Location: Atura Hotel, Albury NSW. 

Date: Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 August.

Tickets on sale soon. 

Click here to register for conference updates.

Subscribe to Gippsland Ag News

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It's easy – simply click this link.

Contacting Agriculture Victoria

Call 136 186 from anywhere in Australia for the cost of a local call (except for mobiles and public telephones).

If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment contact the National Relay Service on 133 677 or

All contact points can be found at:

Don't forget to check out Agriculture Victoria's social media sites for up-to-date information and news.


'Like' our Agriculture Victoria Facebook page.


Follow us on X (formerly Twitter) @VicGovAg


Subscribe to the Agriculture Victoria YouTube channel. 


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