Speakers 2020

9 December

Resilience NSW Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons provided some amazing insights on life and leadership as well as reflecting on the 2019-20 bushfires. He also provided an overview of his new role that is focused on preparing our communities and landscapes for future challenges. Farm Writers Star Prize Journalist Nadia Daly (ABC) led the conversation. 

27 November

Daryl Quinlivan was appointed the first ever Agriculture Commissioner for NSW in August 2020. The role will see him advocate on behalf of the state’s primary producers, working with stakeholders to understand barriers to the future success and viability of agriculture in NSW.

30 October

Can COVID save artisan cheesemakers? Australians are more interested in where their food comes from and keen to ‘buy local’, while the reduction in international flights has limited the availability of some imports. Online sales have provided an outlet where farmers markets have closed, and Cressida believes the interest in provenance will endure. The 2020 winner of the AgriFutures NSW/ACT Rural Women’s Award, Cressida Cains founded Pecora Dairy in 2011, an artisan sheep milk dairy and cheesery in the NSW Sothern Highlands.

25 September

Spinning a tale of bolls and bales - the outlook for natural fibres. Given China is Australia's biggest market for natural fibres, what has been the impact of this year's trade tensions on our wool and cotton markets, and what's the longer-term outlook? In the final webinar in Farm Writers’ series looking at some of the key commodities in NSW, we were joined by Robert Ryan– Managing Director and Chairman, Schute Bell Badgery Lumby and Adam Kay – CEO, Cotton Australia for a discussion on how drought, bushfires and COVID-19 have affected prices, production and processing.

4 September

Future of the Murray-Darling Basin. Following a number of recent reviews and reports, the Hon Keith Pitt MP, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, made some significant announcements to Farm Writers on the future of the Murray-Darling Basin, home to around 2.4 million Australians and an ecological and economic powerhouse of the nation.

14 August

Fields of green and gold - has the NSW grains industry turned the corner from famine to feast? Iso-baking during the early stages of the COVID-19 lockdown saw supermarket shelves empty of staples such as flour, rice and pasta. While farmers claimed there were adequate supplies, after two devastating winter crop harvests across New South Wales, many wondered if this were true. In this webinar, three grain industry experts discussed what a spike in grain production will mean for farmers and the international outlook. Our presenters were: Robert Spurway – Managing Director & CEO, Graincorp, Cheryl Kalisch Gordon - Senior Grains & Oilseeds Analyst, Rabobank and John Minogue - Agricultural consultant and mixed broadacre farmer, Barmedman NSW.

24 July

The power of plants - the outlook for NSW horticulture. In this panel session, three industry experts answered your questions on whether the horticultural sector can remain resilient to the challenges it is facing for the rest of 2020 and beyond. Our presenters were: Matt Brand, CEO of Hort Innovation, Gerard Sippel, Head of Vegetable Seeds at Syngenta and Sally Murfet, Chief Inspiration Officer at Inspire AG.

3 July

Gazing into their respective crystal balls - what does the rest of 2020 hold for local farmers? Our latest webinar featured Scott Hansen, Director-General, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Phin Ziebell, Agribusiness Economist, NAB and Matthew Coulton, A/g General Manager – Water Program, Bureau of Meteorology, who shared their insights on what the remainder of 2020 holds for Australian farmers.

5 June

Water policy, drought and the Murray-Darling Basin. The Hon. Melinda Pavey MP, Minister for Water, Property and Housing was our first virtual lunch speaker for 2020. With water flowing down the Darling River into the Murray for the first time in years, but the drought not over, what does it mean for irrigators and regional communities in NSW? And what policy changes will follow the recent report into management of the Murray Darling Basin’s resources? The Minister answered your questions about water policy in NSW.

28 February

Bushfires and budgets - what now for the economy? Former Labor Minister Dr Craig Emerson’s provided his thoughts on the impact of recent natural disasters on the Federal surplus and broader remarks on the economy and climate change.

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