The Australian Department of Agriculture’s role is to develop and implement policies and programs that ensure Australia’s agricultural, fisheries, food and forestry industries remain competitive, profitable and sustainable.
Their policies and programs include
- :encourage and support sustainable natural resource use and management
- protect the health and safety of plant and animal industries
- enable industries to adapt to compete in a fast-changing international and economic environment.
- help improve market access and market performance for the agricultural and food sector
- encourage and assist industries to adopt new technology and practices, and
- assist primary producers and the food industry to develop business and marketing skills, and to be financially self-reliant.The department employs about 4500 Full Time Equivalent staff in Australia and overseas, including policy officers, program administrators, economists, meat inspectors, researchers, veterinary officers, communicators and project managers. Our staff work in places as varied as offices, airports, mail centres, shipping ports, laboratories and abattoirs; located in regional centres, rural communities and capital cities.
Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
Professionally independent research
ABARES is a research bureau within the Department of Agriculture. We provide professionally independent research, analysis and advice for government and private sector decision-makers on significant issues affecting Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries. You can find them on the Department of Agriculture site.
Soil Health Knowledge Bank
This site has been developed for farmers and the wider industry to provide an overview of current soil health knowledge and tools to access soil condition – providing information on soil properties, processes and management for profit across a range of industries and regions. http://soilhealthknowledge.com.au
SoilMapp for iPad: soil information at your fingertips
Find out what’s beneath your feet with CSIRO’s first app, SoilMapp, making soil information accessible from your location. Find out what’s beneath your feet with SoilMapp which taps into the best available soil information from Australia’s national soil databases. You can find out about the likely types of soil near you or you can look anywhere across the country. Discover the soil’s secrets, how it holds water, its clay content, acidity and other attributes related to agricultural productivity and land management. http://csiro.au/soilmapp#soil
This site gives you access to a number of rural newspapers.
What is AgChatOz?
AgChatOZ (or Agricultural Chat Australia) is a digital online community which brings together rural and urban Australian’s to discuss topical issues affecting the industry.
Through AgChatOZ, the tyranny of distance that so often isolates rural Australian’s is eliminated. At any time, any place – even on a tractor-cab, our rural, tech savvy farmers are communicating and telling their own unique story.
Farmers and rural communities have inspiring and engaging stories to share. Stories about innovation in technology, stories about leading the way in environmental land management and stories about their own unique life. For too long now there has been little medium to share these tales. Through the provision of the AgChatOZ platform, rural and urban Australian’s are able to educate, enlighten and learn from each other.
Once a week on a Tuesday evening at 8:00pm Eastern Standard Time, the “Twittersphere” (online Twitter community) now converge to discuss the issues that directly affect their crop, their livestock and their way of life. Through the hashtag (a content filter) #agchatoz – the digital community comes together. https://twitter.com/AgChatOZ
So how did this concept come about? What would inspire three people to start a “virtual conversation” about food, fibre and rural life?
In 2010, inspired by the phenomenal #AgChat in the United States (http://agchat.org/about ) , Tom Whitty, Danica Leys and Sam Livingstone noticed a significant a gap in the Australian rural conversation. With minimal representation of agriculture online, the cofounders saw an opportunity to create a “digital community”. This platform would serve to allow rural Australian’s to connect with their urban cousins, politicians, environmental groups and their overseas counterparts.
AgChatOZ now firmly boasts as the most successful rural social media community in Australia and has spawned the beginning of a change in the way agriculture is presented and understood globally.