Fodder Descends on Toowoomba

This week marked the much-anticipated return of the annual AFIA conference after many years of cancellations due to covid. The conference was kicked off with the Fodder Link sponsored Welcome Drinks which were well attended, read the full details on this evening over on the Fodder Link Facebook page as recounted by Gina, the newest member of the team.

Day one of the Conference kicked off with a presentation from Johnelle Stevens from the Bureau of Meteorology, where conference attendees heard how the BOM are working to improve rain forecasting accuracy and what the Agricultural sector of the BOM are currently working on. We then heard from John Deere’s Stephanie Gersekowski on the future developments of Agricultural machinery. With John Deere making exciting developments in the autonomy and electric machinery space.

Following lunch and networking in the trade hall, we heard from the panel on Healthy humans = healthy business. Which was a great discussion on mental, physical and emotional health, combined with how our health can affect the way we perceive risks on the farm. The final presentation of the day was a talk from James Deck on cyber security and where threats to data can come from. This was an eye-opening presentation for many, with even James Deck from Clevvi saying that he was a target of an email scam recently, thankfully being experienced in looking for such things was able to identify the scam instantly.


Letting our Hair Down for a Night of Fun

Day one closed with Cameron, Rachel, Helen and Oliver scrubbing up to attend the New Holland sponsored Gala Dinner. From all reports the night was a great success, with money raised going to the Cancer Council. Cameron and Oliver reluctantly put on their dancing shoes after been dragged to the dance floor by AFIA’s CEO Paula Fitzgerald. Meanwhile, our resident Dancing Queen, Helen needed no encouragement to get out on the dance floor for a good boogie! While there were many sore heads the next morning, the team was not among them.


Day two saw Cameron, Helen, Oliver and Mikaela head back to Toowoomba’s Empire Theatre for another day packed with excellent presentations. Starting off with a presentation from the National Farmers Federation, where we heard about the plans for the NFF 2030 campaign for $100 billion Farmgate output goal. Followed by a panel discussion on Innovation from Dr Peter Carberry of GRDC, Benjamin Blevin of John Deere, Owen Williams from Agtech and Logistics Hub and CSU’s Dr John Broster.

In staying on the line of innovation we then heard from some of the leading hay producers from across Australia. Hearing not only the highs of years when they had record cropping yields, but also about how they cope with the day to day running of a large hay producing property, and the bad days when things go wrong, and valuable machinery is lost to fire. Whether their coping mechanism be by taking an overseas holiday after an unforeseen shed fire or joining the community for a fundraising ALF day with their family. Thank you to Wade Alexander, Mark Green and Steven Woods for allowing us to see inside the running of your properties.

The day wrapped up with a presentation from Dr Allan Rattey on Oat breeding and the national oat agronomy program, I think it’s safe to say that plant breeding is an exciting area with many new things coming.

Thank you AFIA

Both days of the conference were well attended by growers, contractors, hay traders and exporters local to Toowoomba and from as far as Calingiri in Western Australia. The Fodder Link team would like to thank the AFIA team for a fantastic week, we can’t wait to see what next years conference will bring.