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Introduction

The Governor and Mr Howard hosted a Roundtable with participants from AgriBio and SmartFarms, to hear about innovation and research in Victorian agriculture.  

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Today, the Governor and Mr Howard hosted a roundtable event at Government House, where they heard from representatives of AgriBio, a joint venture between Agriculture Victoria and La Trobe University, and from Victoria’s SmartFarms.  AgriBio is Australia’s leading facility in plant, animal and microbial systems biology research and innovation, and represents an investment of $288 million.  

Participants in the roundtable included Professor German Spangenberg PSM, Head of Agriculture Victoria Research and Director of AgriBio, and Professor Jennie Pryce, Principal Research Scientist of Agriculture Victoria and Professor of Animal Genetics at La Trobe University.  The Horsham, Tatura and Ellinbank Smart Farms were represented by Dr Sally Norton, Ms Angela Avery and Professor Joe Jacobs.  

During the event, participants spoke to the Governor and Mr Howard about their innovative scientific work and collaboration with farmers, which includes recording flowers on fruit trees and the temperature within fruit, adapting milk production for climate change, and the use of solar panels both to protect crops from burning at the same time as generating electricity, and the genetic mapping of grains.    

Having previously visited both La Trobe University’s AgriBio facilities and the Australian Grains Gene Bank in Horsham, the Governor and Mr Howard heard about the progress of Victoria’s SmartFarms, which support farming communities to benefit from the investment in innovative agriculture research.  

At the end of the Roundtable the Governor and Mr Howard were presented with some delicious pears from the Tatura SmartFarm, and the visitors in turn received jars of produce from the Peace and Prosperity Kitchen Garden at Government House.