Firing up the BBQ on National Agriculture Day in the Riverina

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Friday 23 November 2018

Three local organisations, Regional Development of Australia (RDA) Riverina, AgriFutures Australia and the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, joined forces on National Agriculture Day to recognise the contribution of our farmers and the role of research in helping them ‘Grow for Good”.

A community BBQ lunch held under the lemon-scented gums at Charles Sturt University with farmers, researchers, students and the wider community celebrated National Agriculture Day in the Riverina.

AgriFutures Australia General Manager, Research and Innovation Michael Beer said, “the world population is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030. How we continue to feed the world, and to do so in a sustainable way will require research. We took this year’s theme of ‘Grow for Good’ and highlighted the importance of research and innovation in the quest to feed more people and produce safe, affordable and nutritious foods,” said Mr Beer.

Acting Director of the Graham Centre, Associate Professor Marta Hernandez-Jover said the National Agriculture Day celebration was also an opportunity to do some good. “We wanted this event to shine a light on the importance of agriculture while making a positive difference to those who are experiencing drought,” said Professor Hernandez-Jover.

RDA Riverina Chief Executive Officer, Ms Rachel Whiting said days like this highlight the importance and the need to celebrate all that is positive in our sector. ‘When groups like AgriFutures, the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation and RDA Riverina collaborate, it increases the competitive advantage for farmers in the Riverina.  We are all based at the Charles Sturt University Campus here in Wagga Wagga which has a fantastic response to innovation and research and encourages industry partnerships’, she said.

“People in our cities can forget where our food comes from. The Riverina produces one third of NSW’s fruit, vegetables and nuts, half of NSW’s wine grape production and one eighth of all other agricultural production in NSW.  We need days like National Ag Day as a reminder to all of what agriculture does for us,” said Ms Whiting.

National Agriculture Day is a National Farmers’ Federation initiative. More than 100 events were held at locations across Australia to celebrate agriculture, the largest employer in many of Australia’s rural and remote communities.