WA agriculture sector continues to grow through new technology and best practice.
The latest SMART Farm technology and agricultural innovations were once again highlighted at this year's FarmSmart showcase at Muresk Institute in Northam last week, with Agricultural Region MLC Darren West representing Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery to officially open the event.
More than 350 farmers, industry leaders and training providers attended the free event, bringing together industry leaders and training providers to highlight how the integration of new technology with existing farming practices can help improve quality and efficiency.
Opportunities for jobs continue to grow in Western Australia’s agriculture sector, with Australian farms expected to generate more than $100b in annual income by 2030. Speaking about the FarmSmart event, Minister Ellery said “The McGowan Government is committed to delivering stronger regional economies. The FarmSmart showcase is a great example of agricultural innovation, increasing productivity and diversifying the economy to create more jobs for Western Australians. It is vital the State Government works with the agricultural industry to ensure we are delivering the right skills at the right time and in the right places."
This year’s FarmSmart showcase included demonstrations from Telstra with their Mobile Technology Lab and tours of Muresk's SMART Farm, the first public demonstration farm in WA set up for cloud-based SMART Farm technology. Cloud-based SMART Farm technology is the integrated use of digital equipment in modern agriculture, such as sensors and GPS, providing farmers with the data they need to make more informed and efficient choices in farming. Visitors to the event also enjoyed seminars on adapting to a digital business, breeding better sheep, improving animal welfare and livestock handling operations through technology, and connecting consumers and producers.
As part of the WA Government’s Our Priorities: Sharing Prosperity program, the Department of Training and Workforce Development is contributing to the Regional prosperity outcome to deliver strong regional economies through courses at Muresk Institute that provide specialist technology training and skills for future jobs in the agriculture industry.
For more information about Muresk Institute’s SMART Farm and the courses on offer, visit dtwd.wa.gov.au/mureskinstitute.
"As a farmer I have seen firsthand how technology is changing the way we do things and how it has opened up new opportunities for jobs." said Mr West. "It is essential that we continue to upskill and keep up-to-date with new technology so that we can take advantage of the efficiencies and opportunities it presents to our industry."