Australian Rangeland Society

A new Australian Government grant will support a national hub of agricultural know-how.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has invested in a wider community understanding of agricultural research, by supporting a team of experienced agricultural communicators.  Regionally based Research for Agriculture is sourcing, curating, sharing and tracking world-leading Australian agricultural and environmental research through print and digital media. The group’s footprint is national and international; already it has 15,000 initial subscribers, a website www.researchforagriculture.com.au, a free weekly e-newsletter, a free quarterly digital publication,  social media and plans for an annual printed magazine of the year’s-best research. Subscribe to the free weekly e-newsletter at www.researchforagriculture.com.au.  The collaboration is supported by a $230,000 grant from ACMA’s Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund.

Research for Agriculture is based at Lismore in northern NSW, with linkages across Australia through its partner Agriculture Media, a publishing company with more than 20 years’ experience in the sector. It is the brainchild of co-founder and entrepreneur John Hancock, former Director of Outreach at the Australian Centre for Agricultural Research. The team is led by the recently appointed CEO Sue Webster, a highly experienced and multi-awarded agricultural journalist with a passion for R&D. “Australia has a long and distinguished heritage of agricultural research,” she said. “Australians invented the world’s first mechanised grain stripper, air seeder, Dethridge irrigation wheel and many shearing technologies. Few people know that an Australian – Bill Mollison – established the global practice of permaculture.”

Ms Webster added: “And the impetus continues into the modern world; advances in IVF have been assisted by Australian livestock research, CSIRO scientists invented the Hendra vaccine and South Australian research saved the world’s tuna stocks by developing the world’s first captive-breeding program. So much good research for agriculture gets buried in low-traffic webpages or dark storerooms.  The Research for Agriculture team is committed to taking good research off dusty shelves and putting it into action.”

“Our model is straightforward. We invite the research community to send us the good oil on what’s happening here and abroad in agriculture. We curate this for various audiences – government, corporate, academic and the layman – and publish it through our website, newsletters, press releases and our magazine. In addition to our media, Research for Agriculture will also run networking events across Australia through the year.  I’d encourage everyone with deep interest in agricultural research to get involved.”

Subscribe to the free weekly Research for Agriculture e-newsletter at www.researchforagriculture.com.au or visit us at https://www.linkedin.com/company/researchforagriculture or the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages at @Research4Ag. For more information, phone 1300 690 218.

This project received grant funding from the Australian Government, through the Australian Communications and Media Authority, under the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund.

Press Release from 17 February 2020