Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Partners in grain
GROUND COVER PARTNERS IN GRAIN 14 NETWORKING Ethanol options continue to fuel interest THE FLEXIBLE NATURE OF THE PARTNERS IN GRAIN PROJECT ALLOWS EACH STATE TO DELIVER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN A WAY THAT MEETS THE NEEDS OF YOUNG PEOPLE AND WOMEN IN THEIR REGION as parT oF her search for an alternative grain market, Western australian farmer Debby clarke wanted to attend the ethanol conference, run by BBi Biofuels australia, held in melbourne in april 2007. To support her travel to the first three days of this four-day conference, Debby approached the Wa reference group of partners in grain. The conference presented a diverse spread of information on topics from growing feedstock and actual ethanol production through to information for financiers and those interested in investing in infrastructure. other presentations included ethanol vehicle and locomotive technology, and information on the secondary generation technologies that extract sugars from lignin. While biodiesel offers an alternative fuel market for canola, ethanol can be produced from sugar, sorghum, wheat and barley – sugar and sorghum are reputed to be the more efficient. Debby learnt that one tonne of her wheat could be converted into 396 litres of ethanol. The process requires 1800 litres of water of which 65 per cent can be recycled. For every unit of energy used in production, 1.38 units of ethanol are produced. it is said that even a small percentage replacement of fossil fuels by ethanol in australia would have environmental benefits. Despite this, australia has yet to commit to any specific ethanol consumption, with the target of 350 million litres of ethanol by 2010 being only a suggestion. some agricultural sectors, such as the feedlot industry, have been lobbying against ethanol production. presenters at the conference illustrated the SPONSORSHIP Get-together motivates young farmers TARGETING ACTIVITIES FOR SPECIFIC AUDIENCES PROVES TO BE POPULAR IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA. PARTNERS IN GRAIN WAS INVOLVED WITH A SPECIAL DAY FOR YOUNG FARMERS “i enJoYeD The day, and learnt more being away from my parents,” was just one of the positive comments by a young farmer who attended a day of networking, learning and sharing in esperance at a gathering sponsored by partners in grain (ping) and organised by the Young Farmers group of the Western australian Farmers Federation. run in early august, when on-farm tasks are less demanding, the day attracted about 50 young farmers – young being farmers under the age of 40. The day comprised topical and technical presentations plus a few added extras. For example, the lunch break was not just the chance to tuck into the free BBQ but also an opportunity to have a ‘mini pit-stop’ health check and to talk to an audiologist. in the participant feedback, one of the highlights was the presentation by local farmer David campbell on ‘how he made it’ and his advice, born of his experience, for future generations on the steps to building a successful farm business. There was also considerable interest in a presentation on the history and future of wheat breeding. in the afternoon, a trip was organised to the Bureau of meteorology and the esperance port. Both visits gave a behind-the-scenes view of these crucial operations and the opportunity for farmers to quiz specialists about weather forecasting, climate change, grain handling and marketing. many participants commented that an after-lunch tour helped to keep the group talking. networking was a central element in the day’s activities, which culminated with an evening meal. The organisers held an open feedback session and were pleased with the positive and candid comments about presenters and the day as a whole. one thing the organisers say they learnt was the benefit in future of an ‘ice breaker’ at the start of the event to help stimulate the networking earlier in the day. all participants are looking forward to a similar event in 2008. More information: Julianne Hill, WA coordinator, Partners in Grain, 08 9838 1997, firstname.lastname@example.org Learning from their peers, such as farmer David Campbell, was popular with those who attended a day for young farmers in the Esperance region.
GC Supplement - Foliar fungal diseases
GC Supplement - Innovation and technology