Michael Battaglia



The demands on food systems to meet human needs over the next 50 years are high. One in three people in the world are malnourished and many countries are confronted with the double burden of dietary energy and micronutrient deficiency co-existing with rising rates of overweight and obesity.  We are making progress in relative terms on hunger but in absolute terms the number of malnourished is increasing, and projections show that climate change has the potential to decrease the nutritive quality of food.  We still need to grow food production by 60-70% by 2050 to meet global demand. Agricultural sustainability is challenged, 20% of agricultural land is degraded and climate change is imposing a productivity drag in key food production areas. Eighty percent of the world’s poorest live in rural areas and in fast growing developing economies income gaps are growing as two speed economies develop.  Whereas the Green revolution was spectacular success with a single transformational innovation that avoided hunger for an estimated 1 billion people and increased global food production capacity by around 40% with a technology that was relatively simple to implement with the  technological innovation embodied in these improved seed varieties [albeit with considerable enabling systems around seed distribution and intensification of agriculture], the interconnected systemic nature of the current food system crises makes another single innovation success unlikely.  The consensus report of the American academies of sciences concluded that,  “Progress in meeting major goals can occur only when the scientific community begins to more methodically integrate science, technology, human behaviour, economics, and policy .”  The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) which Australia reports to and that are increasingly been used for business reporting, set simultaneous goals, and agricultural and agricultural value chains are important to success of many of the goals.  Collectively these pose the challenge not just to increase food production, but to increase productivity and the nutritional value of diets, increase the value to the bioeconomy from agriculture and to do this without negative environmental effects and whilst improving social equity and justice.  Nowhere is the challenge of the sustainable production and consumption goals (SDG12) more evident than in agriculture; and nowhere is it more challenging than in Agriculture where the change requires intersection with many sets of human activity and in some cases powerful and controlling interests within food systems.  Reports such as that from the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems, show that food system transformation can meet some of these simultaneous challenges, but the pathways for such transformations are not clear.  Indeed recent studies have shown that while agriculture has the potential to improve nutrition through several pathways in regions such as South Asia, the potential is not being realised.  In summary the goals and potential are clear and often articulated, however the pathway is fraught.

This talk looks what these challenges for agriculture mean for the research agenda, and specifically what are the implications for public agricultural R&D organisations.


Dr. Battaglia guides CSIRO’s work in Agriculture and Global Change, work that looks at practice and science to adapt food systems to environmental climate, market and social change.  Previously he formed and then led CSIRO’s work on Agriculture and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation leading among other things to the first national assessment of the potential of the land sector to contribute to mitigation, and supporting government to design and implement its national greenhouse gas mitigation programs.  Battaglia has a background in forest systems science, being the recipient of the International Union of Forest Research Organisations Science Excellence Award for global contributions to Forest Modelling, and having at various times led CSIRO’s and parts of New Zealand’s’ forest science  research capability.  He is leading an incubated company in CSIRO, FutureFeed, that seeks to commercialise anti-methanogenic seaweed, engaging with the Australian and US.


Terry Betker1

1 President & CEO, Backswath Management Inc


The theme of the IFMA 2019 Congress is Growing Agriculture at 41 Degrees South. Sessions and presentations are focused on addressing global issues and opportunities, such as demand for food, capacity to increase supply to meet the demand, future issues and roles of government. Then a drill down into the implications to new technologies, farm management, people and branding.

What does this mean to Tasmanian agriculture? The Tasmanian State Government has quantified the vision – a ten-fold increase in the annual farm gate value of agriculture by 2050. A review of the Tasmanian Agri-Food Scorecards in 2005/2006 and then again in 2015/2016 reveals an increase in the farm gate value of $0.94 billion. Extrapolating that rate of real growth to 2050 results in a farm gate value of $5.94 billion. This translates to a 379% increase; well short of the goal but a significant increase nonetheless. However, the vision is NOT about significant increases. It’s about momentous growth.

Wilferd A. Peterson wrote “Big thinking precedes great achievement.” Christian Whamond abridged the statement with “Great vision precedes great achievement”. A vision of greatness for Tasmanian agriculture has been declared. What’s needed is an overarching strategy of a complementary magnitude. A strategy that produces the results needed to achieve the vision.

There is something extremely powerful about a population that rallies to a cause … to a vision in this case … and works collectively and collaboratively toward a defined goal.

There are two parts to the session on Producing a Strategy that Achieves Results.

First is a presentation that will outline a framework from which to proceed with developing the strategy. Terry will describe key principles in developing a long-term, industry-based strategic plan that is owned by all stakeholders and is actively pursued by them; supported by strong leadership and a dynamic strategy.  He will also provide observations on international examples of such strategies and learnings generated from them.

Second is a roundtable workshop where Congress participants will take what they have observed and learned from the presentations and papers delivered throughout the week, and provide summaries of inputs and insights that will be used in formulating the strategy.


Terry is President and CEO of Backswath Management Inc., originating in 1992 and a company that provides business management expertise to farmers on strategic business planning, succession planning, financial analysis, benchmarking and human resource management.

Terry was actively involved in a family grain farm for nearly 20 years. The farm is now entering its third generation.

Terry has delivered presentations on farm business management to agriculture organizations throughout Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, Poland and the Netherlands. He teaches at the University of Manitoba and serves on national and provincial committees.  Terry is a professional agrologist, a certified agricultural consultant and a certified management consultant. He has completed the executive program for agricultural producers at Texas A&M University. He is the 2015 recipient of Farm Management Canada’s Wilson Loree award, recognizing his contribution to developing and promoting new and positive change in agricultural business management practices and expertise in Canada. His credentials include certification in mediation theory and strategic planning, and a science degree in agriculture from the University of Manitoba.


Roles of Governments in providing food sufficiency and developing rural economies

1 Nicola Morris , Agribusiness Executive , Tasmania ,

The Tasmanian Government has set an ambitious AgriVision 2050 target.

To see the farm gate value of Tasmanian agriculture reach $10 billion by 2050 .

This paper will review performance of the Tasmanian agricultural sector to date and then discuss how, if at all, the State Government has influenced this performance .

Leading on from this , the paper will consider the wider subject of what role a government could or should have in providing food sufficiency and developing rural economies .

Is the Government an enabler , a leader , a  producer , or indeed a derailer?


Key Words

Agricultural performance

Government role

Agrivision 205


People in Agriculture, attracting and training the next generation

Andrew Harris1, Stephen Ives2

1 Department of Education, Tasmania,

2 University College, University of Tasmania,

Food and fibre production currently contribute almost $3 billion annually to the Tasmanian economy. However, whilst the Tasmanian Government has a target value for the agricultural sector of $10 billion by 2050, encouraging young people to enter agriculture and related industries to support that target has been a challenge. Since 2015, key government and university initiatives have improved the education pathway for Tasmanian students from primary school to a career in food and fibre production economy. Andrew and Stephen will provide an overview of these initiatives and how changes in educational thinking and pedagogical approaches aim to inspire the next generation of industry leaders.

Key Words

Education, pathway, careers

External influences affecting farming and farmer

Dr Mirjana Prica1

1 Food Innovation Australia, 11 Julius Avenue, North Ryde, NSW 2113 

Global markets are changing rapidly and often unpredictably (e.g. Brexit, Trump initiated trade wars etc).  The world population is also projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050,[1] with most growth to occur in Asia. This is resulting in the growth of consuming classes who are becoming more discerning and wanting cleaner, more nutritious and sustainable food that meet both individual and cultural needs of consumers at home and internationally.  All of these external drivers provide an opportunity for the Australian Food & Agribusiness sector to enhance its capability to adapt and satisfy this growing demand. This capability development can take many forms including: gains in productivity, growing new types of crops, development of new foods, identifying and developing new markets and the adoption of new technologies. This talk will explore the importance of raising the industry’s awareness of these influences and how we adapt to a constantly changing landscape.

Key Words

Capability development, changing marketplace, innovation and culture


Tickets please! Train leaves in 30min …

Mr. Jesse Reader 1

1Bosch Australia, 1555 Centre Rd, Clayton, Victoria, Australia, 3168


The train is about to leave the station, I’m not sure where it’s going yet, but I know you need to be on it!

It’s 2019 and one of the world’s least digitised industries, Agriculture, is increasingly finding itself and the centre of many boardroom discussions across the globe – but why?

Population pressure, tight margins, plateauing yields and the ever-present climatic uncertainty are creating strong demand for new solutions and with decreasing technology costs and the proliferation of connected devices, hundreds of companies are on an aggressive path to disrupt Agriculture and drive a global AgTech boom.

Sensors communicating through farm networks, data analytics companies applying latest machine learning techniques and on farm robotics & automation is just some of the technology underpinning the new farm ecosystem.   So let’s explore the emerging landscape and the potential impact it will have on your farming operation.


Key Words

AgTech, Connectivity, Automation, Robotics, Sensors, Disruption, Analytics.

Genomics in our Agriculture Future

Kevin Smith1,

1The University of Melbourne, Private Bag 105, Hamilton, Vic 3300,


Science is in the ‘Omics’ era and genomics in its broadest sense is already impacting on the way that plant and animal breeding is developing and delivering novel genetics on farm.  When people think of genetic modification or biotechnology they most commonly associate these terms with crops like soybean or corn where there has been large scale adoption of genetically modified cultivars.  However, whilst genomics includes these it goes much broader.  Knowledge of the genome sequence of individuals has enabled genomic selection and the publication of genomic breeding values that have routinely seen large increases in rates of genetic gain and the inclusion of novel traits in breeding programs. This paper will review how these technologies have revolutionised breeding programs in crop plants, forages and animals.  New technologies such as genome editing have the potential to achieve some of the outcomes that would otherwise have required genetic modification and without the associated regulatory burden.  The challenge is to package these technologies appropriately and demonstrate their value on-farm.

Key Words

Genomics, genetics, breeding, genomic selection, gene editing.

Hardware – robotics, precision farming, automation

In this talk I will present a decade long development in field robotic solutions for agriculture from the University of Sydney. The robotics have been applied across a wide range of commodities including grazing livestock, horticulture and grains. For the development of these technologies the focus has been on the close synergy between the robotic platforms and implements, with intelligent sensing and machine learning techniques.

A financial analysis of additional and earlier allied health input, across seven days, in orthogeriatric, stroke and rehabilitation services.

Amy Ross1, Catherine Turnbull2, Gill Norrington3, Karen Grimmer4, Asterie Twizeyemariya4

1Office for Professional Leadership, Allied and Scientific Health Office, Department for Health and Ageing, South Australia, Level 5, Citi Centre Building, 11 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide  SA, 5000.

2Office for Professional Leadership, Allied and Scientific Health Office, Department for Health and Ageing, South Australia, Level 5, Citi Centre Building, 11 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide  SA 5000.

3 People and Culture, Department for Health and Ageing, South Australia, Level 7, Citi Centre Building, 11 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide  SA  5000.

4International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, P4-18C, UniSA City East Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000. Phone: (08) 8302 2769 / 0417 841 184.


SA Health is undergoing transformation, with new evidence-based models of care being developed to ensure consistent, quality care is provided in the future. Based on evidence on the benefit of allied health service provision across seven days in the acute and sub-acute setting, allied health resource requirements and the cost benefit ratio to deliver new models of care are being considered.


The project aimed to undertake a financial analysis on the cost and benefit of additional and earlier allied health input across seven days, in the acute setting, for allied health professions of dietetics and nutrition, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, social work and speech pathology, for orthogeriatric, stroke and rehabilitation (general inpatient) services.


An algorithm was developed to determine the potential length of stay (LOS) day savings associated with additional allied health input across seven days to deliver the new models of care. This was based on a systematic review (37 articles) undertaken by the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence to identify the outcomes of early and/or intensive allied health care therapy/rehabilitation on length of acute and sub-acute hospital stay, and patient function. A benefit cost ratio was calculated based on the additional cost requirements and resultant estimated LOS day savings achieved.


The financial analysis estimated that through additional and earlier allied health input across seven days to support patient recovery, prevent patient deterioration and facilitate earlier discharge, a combined benefit cost ratio of 2.52 may be achieved.


Continued patient recovery and prevention of any deterioration will ensure timely or earlier discharge. Allied health can contribute significantly to this goal, if correctly resourced allied health services are available to the right patients at the right time. The additional benefit is the financial contribution allied health can make though effective and efficient service delivery resulting in $2.52 savings for every $1 invested into allied health


Full reference list available on request.



NDIS – In rural and remote areas

Anne Skordis

General Manager, Scheme Transition, for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)

Outlining how the NDIS will meet the needs of people with disability in rural and remote areas, particularly how the NDIS will overcome the barriers and challenges identified in rural and remote trial sites.


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