The #Agvocate
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The #Agvocate
Promoting Australian and global Agriculture, Rural Communities and the Farm to Fork Journey
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7 Foods Even Food Safety Experts Won’t Eat

7 Foods Even Food Safety Experts Won’t Eat | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

Guess what some food safety experts won’t even eat? Consumer concepts and the argument for farm to fork stories.

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Are feedlots an option for northern live export cattle?

Are feedlots an option for northern live export cattle? | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

With northern Australia likely to produce more light steers and heifers for Indonesia than the market will have orders for this year, and southern lot feeders looking for an affordable supply of feeder cattle, does it make economic sense to match the two up in the current market climate?


The short answer seems be not yet, but it may well as the year pans out.


Indonesia’s plans to halve its annual cattle imports this year means that large numbers of light bos Indicus cattle produced for the market are likely to require alternative markets this year, and most likely within Australia.

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Home gardeners vital in the fight against fruit fly

Home gardeners vital in the fight against fruit fly | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

Victoria is experiencing one of its worst Queensland fruit fly (QFF) seasons on record and home gardens are becoming vital battlegrounds in the fight against the pest.


State Fruit Fly Director Gary D’Arcy said more than 130 outbreaks had been detected in the past 12 months.


“Due to the immense number of QFF outbreaks this year we are asking residents to help DPI by caring for their gardens while DPI focus our efforts on helping industry

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Australian grown GM bananas set for India

Australian grown GM bananas set for India | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

Australian scientists have genetically modified bananas, so the fruit is not only fully of vitamins but also rich with iron.

 

They're now sharing the technology with Indian scientists and farmers to help address widespread anaemia in the country.

 

Professor James Dale, from the Queensland University of Technology, is leading the project.

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Food producers to enjoy profits

Food producers to enjoy profits | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

In 2027, Australian agriculture is likely to comprise more corporate family farms, more foreign-owned properties and less people employed in agriculture.


But according to Principle Focus consultant Lachlan Polkinghorne, those farmers who focus on being food producers will enjoy higher prices at the farmgate, especially if they are able to develop vertically integrated businesses.

 

There will also be potential for income from alternative revenue streams such as wind power and vegetation offset or stewardship programs.

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Indonesian retailers say beef shortage is hurting

Indonesian beef retailers say they are struggling to source enough beef to meet the nation’s demand.


The Indonesian Government capped beef import quotas at 34,000 tonnes for 2012, almost a third of the 90,000t quota import set last year, and cattle import quotas at 283,000 head, down from 500,000 head last year.


In making the cuts the Government stated that Indonesia had enough local cattle to meet demand.


However, representatives of the country's retailers and beef processors have spoken out over the weekend about what they have described as a growing beef crisis in the market.

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If You Don’t Measure You Can’t Control ... Basic Pasture Management!

If You Don’t Measure You Can’t Control ... Basic Pasture Management! | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

dairy farmers taken their eye off the ball…..or even worse “lost the plot”? What has happened to their famous pasture grazing skills?

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Plugging into algal power

Plugging into algal power | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

THEY are vanishingly small, quite unremarkable under a microscope and anything but exotic. Yet microalgae, found anywhere from oceans, lakes and swamps to soils, rocks and icy mountain tops, are the Earth's clean, green micro-machines.


With voracious appetites for carbon dioxide, these micro-organisms harness solar energy to convert the greenhouse gas into just about everything we need. And now, to help ameliorate the ravages of global warming, algae are being used to produce biofuels for vehicles and aviation fuels to power tomorrow's airliners.


Algae, the world's fastest-growing photosynthetic organisms, accumulate up to 80 per cent of their dry weight in oil. This endows them with huge, as yet untapped, potential for global fuel production — especially biodiesel and hydrogen gas, says Nick Coleman, a senior lecturer in microbiology at Sydney University.

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Big turnout for Brisbane CSG protest meeting

Big turnout for Brisbane CSG protest meeting | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

More than 1100 angry protesters converged on Brisbane yesterday for a vigorous and public engagement over the impact of CSG and coal mining activity on their lives and the 80 percent of Queensland under potential challenge from mine development.


In one of the biggest CSG gatherings yet seen in Brisbane, protesters vented their spleen at CSG and open cut coal miners, as well as State and Federal Governments for allowing miners to progress their developments at breakneck pace, without due concern for local people or the environment.

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Native Food Industry is cataloguing size and growth

Chef Andrew Fielke of the Australian Native Food Industry says it is cataloguing the size and growth of the bush foods industry for the first time. He spoke to the ABC's Bush Telegraph program.

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New Climate Dog sheds light on eastern weather

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Victoria’s “Climate Dog” animation series has a new addition to its litter - a cheeky little fox terrier used to explain a key climate feature of eastern Victoria.


DPI’s Senior Specialist for Climate Graeme Anderson said the new Climate Dog “Eastie” explained the behaviour of a weather feature which delivered significant rainfall events in eastern Victoria, dominating the season’s rainfall tally.


“Eastie might only be small, but this energetic little terrier is a great analogy for East Coast Lows weather systems, which can be sparked into action overnight and can really create some wild weather,” he said.

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agvocate or agtivist : Words Matter

agvocate or agtivist : Words Matter | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

I woke up this morning to find an incredibly well written post by Mike Haley: ”agvocate or agtivist”. Maybe what drew me in was this awesome visual:

Theoretical reach of Agtivists and Agvocates


But it’s the words that matter, and that’s where I want to spend a bit of time. If you are not aware, there has been a bit of a growing divide, expressed by a fair amount of anger at times both online and privately regarding the direction of how to correctly share the ag story. We all believe we should, we’re all VERY passionate about doing so, but there are key differences at times in how we go about it. It’s productive to have differences, to honestly and openly discuss them. It’s hurtful to let our differences in the agriculture advocacy community destroy and harm our overall efforts. Words matter, whether its talking to consumers or talking between farmers, and Mike does an incredible job in this post of laying out how he feels in a respectful to all way.

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Saving the World… Through genetic science

Saving the World… Through genetic science | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

When I was younger, I dreamed of being just like my favorite superhero, Superman. I dreamed of flying around the world, lifting large rocks off beautiful women and saving babies from evil, all while living the life of a businessman.

 

Now, however, I am dreaming of becoming a different kind of superhero, one who saves the world using science.

 

My name is Justin Conover and I am a freshman honors college student at Missouri State University, planning a career in genetic engineering.

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Paper Discusses Ag Terms To Be Used With Public

Showing the kinds of words that appeal - and those that don't - in agricultural messages, research by the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education (PIE Center) recently debuted in a national academic journal.

 

Led by doctoral student Joy Goodwin, the PIE Center's agricultural message testing project appears in the current issue of the Journal of Applied Communications.
Goodwin wrote "Is Perception Reality? Improving Agricultural Messages by Discovering How Consumers Perceive Messages" with former PIE Center staffer Christy Chiarelli and Development Director Tracy Irani.

 

Analysis of consumers' perceptions and understanding of commonly used agricultural words and phrases led to recommendations that communicators shift their portrayal of agricultural practices from corporate terms such as "best management practices" to more casual words like local, family-owned and farmer.

 

The research also identified an opportunity to educate consumers about the definition of "sustainable growth" and "local" produce, as focus group participants did not associate a solid meaning with either.

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Aerial surveillance to check for spread of Salvinia

Aerial surveillance to check for spread of Salvinia | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) will inspect two major Gippsland waterways this month to determine whether the fast-growing, noxious water weed, Salvinia molesta, has spread.


Salvinia is declared a State Prohibited Weed, the highest category of noxious weed under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994. It poses a significant threat to the environment if not eradicated and is the responsibility of the Victorian Government to treat at no cost to the landholder.


As part of the eradication process, surveillance work will be carried out along the Thomson and Latrobe rivers to determine whether the plant has spread beyond an infestation found on private property near Heyfield in May 2010.

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Still little wool price premium for not mulesing

Wool sellers and growers are still waiting for a lift in prices for wool from sheep that are no longer mulesed.


Mulesing removes a small area of skin from the breech of the sheep to reduce the chance of insect attack, but animal welfare groups say the practice is cruel.


Mark Grave, CEO of national wool auction body AWEX, says non-mulesed wool has been identified since 2008, but there's no stronger demand for it than other wool.

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GM wheat, barley trials

GM wheat, barley trials | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

GRAINS industry stakeholders have praised moves to conduct rigorous scientific analysis into the development of new biotech wheat and barley products, through leading science agency the CSIRO.


The new grain varieties could yield human health and agronomic benefits for Australian farmers and consumers in years to come.
 

The CSIRO’s testing will include possible human trials of flour made out of genetically modified (GM) wheat and barley, to be monitored under strict testing conditions.

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Letter - Alpine grazing claims off the mark

Mr Coleman is right when he says a nationwide precedent has been set by Federal intervention in the Victorian government’s so-called scientific study of alpine grazing and fire. But it’s not, as he claims, a bad precedent. The Baillieu government rushed cattle into the Alpine National Park within a month of gaining office at the end of 2010, but they have yet to produce a design for their scientific experiment, let alone have any scientist sign-off on it.

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Queensland Farmers Federation Weekly Bulletin

Jobs and Skills Package, free training and business assistance programs continue to be made available in various parts of the state. One important activity for agribusinesses is a two-day workshop being organised by the Australian Industry Group specifically for small or micro businesses in the food and beverage sector. These courses offer practical outcomes for businesses with solid plans being developed through the course and professional mentoring on hand to ensure reality checks. 

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Greater collaboration need to maintain beef's competitive position

Greater collaboration need to maintain beef's competitive position | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

A processing sector speaker at the ABARES Outlook 2012 conference last week used his presentation as a rallying-point for greater industry/government and internal industry unity, which he sees as critical if Australia is to further develop international market opportunities and maintain global competitiveness in beef.


JBS Australia director John Berry told the gathering that the northern Australian beef industry, while already the engine-room of the nation’s beef sector, had the opportunity for substantial further development.


“To achieve that, however, it’s about industry working collaboratively with Territory, State and Federal governments to address in a systematic way the roadblocks that are impeding development and investment,” he said.

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When Is Cruelty Not Cruelty?

When Is Cruelty Not Cruelty? | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

There are many people and organizations who want you, the consumer, to think there is rampant cruelty around every corner in the agriculture industry. Recently there were articles making the rounds about mutilated rabbits with ears cut off as further ‘proof’ of cruelty.

 

Of course there are many who make claims they can’t back up, and there are some who continue to give food for the fire. However, the majority of those in agriculture value our animals, no matter what type we have

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Wine2030 supports the debate @ the Waite

Wine2030 supports the debate @ the Waite | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

What do you think about the future of Australia’s wine industry? Undoubtedly a major success story to date but facing challenges as are all of the world’s wine producers. We are at a fork in the road – which direction do we take? What are we doing right? What are we doing wrong? What should we do to change for the better? This is a fun and engaging approach to addressing some serious issues which we hope will give you food for thought!

 

Six experts in all areas of the wine industry will debate its future, how to overcome challenges facing the industry, and the best approaches to prosper in the long term.

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Ludwig eyes-off industry restructure plans

Ludwig eyes-off industry restructure plans | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

Agriculture minister Joe Ludwig met with a delegation of industry stakeholders from the Australian Meat Producers Group in Canberra on Tuesday, in one of the first of many engagements over potential red meat industry organisational restructure.


The Canberra meeting followed an all-day gathering of stakeholders associated with AMPG in Brisbane on Friday, also attended by senior elected and executive personnel from Cattle Council of Australia.


AMPG spokesman Norman Hunt said both the visit to Canberra and the round-table meeting held last week had been ‘very productive’, and he described as ‘very encouraging’ that the process was0 showing increasing commonality of thought.


“The key message from Tuesday’s meeting with Minister Ludwig was that he understands the issues that the industry is facing, but really it is a matter for industry to devise and widely support a working solution,” Mr Hunt said.

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Ag-vocating or Ag-gravating?

Ag-vocating or Ag-gravating? | The #Agvocate | Scoop.it

Sometimes it seems to me that instead of “ag-vocating” we are really just “ag-gravating”. Are we just preaching to the choir? I really do wonder sometimes. After attending the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit last week I came away with some new ideas for advocating for agriculture and some questions about how we are currently doing things. One of the main things the Summit focused to those attending was that of “telling your story” to consumers. Frank Luntz, a political consultant, was one of the speakers that gave a fresh perspective on “telling your story. He emphasized using the “right” words to tell your story such as: “bottom line” (instead use “solution”), “transparency” (instead use “accountability or accessibility”) and “customer” (instead use “family”) and we should be saying animal rights “extremists” rather than “activists”. All these things are better said than done though, if it isn’t done with true sincerity and passion.

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A lifelong passion for farming educates thousands

What happens when you mix a farmer and former school teacher with an urban area? You get a Learning Barn which provides thousands of people the opportunity each year to learn about where their food comes from.

 

Mary Ann Found always loved teaching children about agriculture. While her children were young, she would invite their classes to come visit the farm for a tour. While teaching at a nearby school, she would often bring farming into her lesson plans, and even brought live animals to school from time to time.

 

At the Learning Barn, located at the Found Family Farm in Courtice, Mary Ann has a small room where she tells children about the farm and they go to several stations to do hands-on activities. In the back of the Learning Barn, there are animals and information about how the animals are raised.

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