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Science to Practice showcasing our region

31 May 2022

The 2022 Future Drought Fund Science to Practice forum features a host of SQNNSW Innovation Hub staff and partners, showcasing their work to grow the resilience and capacity of producers and their communities across our region. 

The agenda includes our Lismore Node Manager Amanda Scott (connecting with the next gen), Armidale Node Manager Lu Hogan (making the most of weather data), researcher Dr Jennifer Luke and Knowledge Broker Saleena Ham (how to build resilient communities), and researcher Dr Thong Nguyen-Huy (system risk management). You can catch up with Longreach Node Manager Ally Murray in the field at the Desert Uplands Desert Daze events. As well as checking out grazing trials and hearing more about Climate Mates, you can also hear from (and chat to) Ally about all the Hub’s latest news and plans. Ally will be at the Aramac site on June 5-6, and Pentland on June 12-13. 

As we all know, things have been a little damp in parts of our region, including major flooding at Lismore and the Lockyer Valley, and good rains across many other regions, without the devastation. This means in many parts of the region, we know you’ll be signing in to listen to the latest drought research with green grass in sight just outside the window. 

As our Director Professor John McVeigh says, this means that for many areas, now is the perfect time to prepare for the next drought. 

“That’s what it’s all about: drought preparedness and encouraging innovation,” Professor McVeigh said. 

“It’s a strange conversation to be having when it’s just been bucketing down, but now is the time to have that conversation because we know full well that drought will come and bite our communities again. We want to be able to manage that impact. 

“It’s not just ‘what’s the weather doing and are international commodity prices doing’, it’s much more than that. It’s working with leading producers, working with communities, to talk about innovation in agriculture, to talk about the latest techniques in drought preparedness, whether that’s around animal nutrition or water management or understanding our soils.” 

How does the Science to Practice fit in? 

The Science to Practice is a free hybrid forum, giving attendees the flexibility to attend interactive online sessions and in-person viewing events in our Hub region. 

Here’s a taste of what you can expect! 

Armidale Node Manager, Lu Hogan

Are you a livestock producer looking for a way to record farm management and also look up rainfall, soil moisture and pasture growth predictions for the next six months? Armidale Node Manager Lu Hogan is on the agenda to showcase Ag360 – a digital tool developed by UNE that records the past and predicts the future for sheep and cattle producers. Lu is part of the 10.30am to noon session on Tuesday, 7 June. 

Dr Thong Nguyen-Huy

Have you noticed the prevalence of intense weather events lately? Hub researcher Dr Thong Nguyen-Huy is speaking at the forum about his work into reducing farm risk with geographic diversification (where possible, of course). Thong is speaking on Wednesday, 8 June in the session from 1.00pm to 2.25pm.

Lismore Node Manager, Amanda Scott

How do we better connect the next generation of farmers with their peers and other knowledge and support networks to help build drought resilience? That’s a hot topic for Lismore Node Manager Amanda Scott and the team at Southern Cross University’s Farming Together and Regenerative Agriculture Alliance. Amanda is part of the 2.45pm to 4.55pm session on Wednesday, 8 June. 

Knowledge Broker, Saleena Ham and Wellbeing & Employability researcher, Dr Jennifer Luke

How do communities build and maintain their drought resilience? Hub Knowledge Broker Saleena Ham and Wellbeing & Employability researcher Dr Jennifer Luke are joining a panel to discuss just that in a session on Wednesday, 8 June from 2.45pm to 4.55pm. They will be joined by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Australia CEO Natalie Egleton and Legatus Group CEO Simon Millcock. If you want to read more about Jennifer’s work with the SQNNSW Innovation Hub, check out this blog post

Longreach Node Manager, Ally Murray

Keen to find out more about our Hub in person? Our Longreach Node Manager Ally Murray will be at the Desert Uplands events at Aramac on 5-6 June and out at Pentland on 12-13 June.

There’s lots more on the agenda, of course, including a special panel on drought with Australian Organics, QFF is presenting on a new insurance research project, Glenn Landsberg from Southern Queensland Landscapes will discuss how to read the landscape to identify disturbances, and so much more! 

Register today