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Barwon South-West Ag news
Thursday 2 May, 2024
In this edition:
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.

Biosecurity Basics Episode 3 - Common questions about biosecurity with Rachael Laukart and Brett Davidson
agvic talk listen now, agriculture victoria, rspca

Episode 3: Common questions about biosecurity with Rachael Laukart and Brett Davidson

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.

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 this survey and help to work out training locations.

Your responses will be kept confidential.


After the Flood podcast series - episode 9
agvic talk agriculture victoria

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.

Cherries Traceability Pilot
Cherries on a branch.

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

Watch this 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!

Victorian Biosecurity Matters e-newsletter
victorian biosecurity matters subscribe

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.

AgTech podcast - AgTech Innovators Season 2 Episode 7
agtech innovators harvesting for tomorrow with Hunter Jay

Episode 7: 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.

Applications closing soon for Livestock Advisory Committees
applications open for Livestock Advisory Committees, Agriculture Victoria

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.

Click here to apply and for more information.

Dairy Innovation Open Day at Ellinbank SmartFarm
two people walking past black and white cows eating

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 underway 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 3 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.

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 aresearch 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 totailor 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.

Calf breeding survey
a brown calf with an ear tag

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.

Fox and wild dog bounty

Victoria’s bounty collections resumed on 4 March.

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.

In case you missed it

Mentor program helping to cultivate futures in farming

Young farmers in western Victoria are encouraged to register for Agriculture Victoria’s ‘Cultivating Futures in Farming’ Mentor Program.

Agriculture Recovery Officer Tanya Dobrijevic said the free program will provide young farmers in grains or mixed farming enterprises with the tools and resources to enhance their farm business management.


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.


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.


What's on?

Details about Agriculture Victoria events can now be found in one spot on our website. Log on to to find out what's on.

Hamilton - stock handling workshop

Join us for a day in the yards with Byron O’Keefe discussing the key principles of how improving your stockman handling has a positive influence on animal performance, health and grazing management.

There will be practical demonstrations of best practice cattle handling and an interactive discussion throughout the day.

This is the 4th workshop in the Farm Business Success workshop series.

If you have attended 3 of these sessions, you are eligible for a 1 on 1 session with a farm business consultant.

DATE: Tuesday 14 May

TIME: 9:30 am - 3 pm


Animal health plans for sheep - Timboon

Join us and sheep veterinarian Dr Ben Blomfield from the Mackinnon Project for a free workshop.

At this interactive workshop you will identify local health issues and learn about their prevention and treatment option solutions to create an animal health plan for your flock.

An animal health plan is an important tool for farmers to minimise biosecurity risks and increase animal performance.

The workshop will discuss local animal health issues, solutions, prevention and treatment.

Each farmer will create their own animal health plan.

Participants will also learn more about the legal requirements of record keeping.

DATE: Wednesday 15 May

TIME: 10 am - 2 pm


Pyrenees Shire Connectivity Roadshow
pyrenees shire connectivity roadshow

Residents are invited to community drop-in sessions where you can engage directly with representatives from Agriculture Victoria, Telstra, NBNCo and the Regional Tech Hub. 

Let's discuss how we can enhance internet connectivity in our community and make the most out of technology!

Topics for discussion:

  • Could your internet connectivity be better?
  • Want to know how to maximise your mobile signal?
  • With 3G closing, what does it mean for you?
  • Interested in on-farm technology?
  • Discover the potential of the ‘internet of things’ for agriculture!

Dates and venues:

  • Tuesday 21 May - Crossroads CFA Shed – 5:30 pm - 7 pm
  • Wednesday 22 May - Summerfield Winery – 2 pm - 3:30 pm
  • Wednesday 22 May - Lexton Hub - 5:30 pm - 7 pm.

Find out more at Pyrenees Shire Connectivity Roadshow - Pyrenees Shire Council.

Elmhurst stock feeding workshop
jess revell standing in a paddock

Date: Wednesday 29 May
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Where: Elmhurst Bush Nursing Centre 36 Green Street, Elmhurst
Cost: Free, lunch will be provided.

Presenter: Jess Revell, Principal Nutritionist and Animal Production Consultant, Rumenate Livestock Services.

Jess will share her extensive knowledge about ration formulation, intensive animal nutrition, extensive livestock production, reducing metabolic disease and seasonal management.

Jess is passionate about providing independent animal nutrition and health advice to achieve profitable outcomes.

Workshop topics include:

  • Livestock feeding requirements
  • Feeding a total ration
  • Feeding after fire for pasture recovery.

Register here.

Emerging Leader in Victorian Agriculture Award

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

Please download the nomination form here.

Send your application to

Applications will close on 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 only available to those within Victoria between the ages of 18 and 35.

BestWool/Best Lamb and BetterBeef Conference - save the date
save the dates bestwoolbestlamb and betterbeef conferences

Plans are underway for the Agriculture Victoria BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef Conference and dinner to be held in a new location this year in Ballarat on 19-20 June.

The conference will be held over 2 days, 19 June BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef on 20 June.

Watch our events page for more details.

SAVE THE DATE: Livestock Conference 2024
Livestock 2024 Conference banner image

The Southern Australia Livestock Research Council (SALRC) is excited to announce their third biennial Livestock Conference with the overarching theme of Environmental challenges and opportunities for Australian livestock industries.

Sessions will include keynote speakers and group workshop activities and cover the following:

  • improving land, air and water
  • solutions for human capacity
  • economic considerations and market impacts.

Click here for more information about the upcoming conference.

If you would like to register for conference updates you can join the mailing list here

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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.



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