The 39th annual VFF Grains conference is almost upon us, offering farmers a chance to come together to discuss the issues that matter and to have their say, visit significant industry sites and hear from experts.
We are dispersed across the state, but this is an opportunity to come together in one room and discuss the issues in this state election year.
The conference will be held in Geelong from February 25-26.
The Sunday will be informal, showcasing key Geelong agribusiness sites and offering producers a chance to see where their product goes after the farm gate.
The Paddock to Port tour will include visits to Riordan Grains, the Geelong GrainCorp Port terminal, and the Barrett Burston Malt House.
The Riordan Grains Welcome Dinner will incorporate a tour of the White Rabbit brewery. The rise of the craft beer movement is an interesting example of the growing niches of urban interests in agriculture.
So while the event is sure to be interesting and enjoyable, it will also provide attendees with a chance to learn about relevant industry developments.
The formal events begin on the Monday, with a breakfast and workshop delivered by Monsanto, tailored to help attendees share their stories on social media. By helping the public understand what it means to be a farmer, we can help create an environment where farmers are trusted to make good decisions based on education, knowledge and experience.
This workshop will discuss why it is important for individual farmers to participate in the national discussion and provide ways they may like to do that.
After the workshop, we hope farmers feel more empowered to tell their own story, with their own voice.
The annual grains conference will open with an address by Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford.
There will be three panels on key concerns of infrastructure, frost, and farm safety.
Finally, the GRDC gala dinner will be served with locally sourced produce, with entertainment provided by Winter Olympic gold medallist Steven Bradbury, and the presentation of young farmer scholarships.
The purpose of this conference is to give Victorian grain producers an opportunity to come together to discuss the future direction of our industry.