SMART Farm inspiration for the chicken meat industry

The AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Advisory Panel paid a visit to the University of New England’s (UNE) SMART Farm from 26-28 March to gain inspiration and learn about new innovative agtech initiatives being developed and used on farm.

The visit was part of the AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program commitment to innovative research and development for the chicken meat industry. Twice a year the Panel visits research facilities and providers who are looking to enhance the industry and conduct industry research. These visits are important for the industry as they inform investment decisions for the Panel whilst providing the Panel with the opportunity to meet face to face with researchers and leading industry experts.

AgriFutures Chicken Meat Advisory Panel at Kirby Farm

The UNE SMART Farm is made up of eight properties covering 3,820 hectares at the university in Armidale, NSW and focus on Sustainable Manageable Accessible Rural Technologies (SMART) techniques to improve productivity, environmental sustainability, safety, workflow and social/business support networks on Australian farms.

The SMART Farm offers researchers and postgraduate students world-class facilities to work with and the opportunity to partner with industry to solve real-world problems.

AgriFutures Australia General Manager, Research and Innovation, Michael Beer said the UNE SMART Farm facilities were impressive and a valuable resource for the chicken meat industry.

“The visit to UNE was beneficial for the Panel to meet the people committed to enhancing the industry and see the facilities where the chicken meat research takes place,” said Mr Beer.

“It was great to be able to meet with researchers who are submitting proposals for investment consideration, and hear about their ideas for the industry.”

Highlights of the tour and Panel meeting included Professor David Lamb, from UNE’s Precision Agriculture Group, and his presentation about the scope and possibilities of precision agriculture, and PoultryHub Australia’s Tamsyn Crowley’s overview of the PoultryHub and vision for the industry. Professor Heiko Daniel provided insight into the UNE strategy for agricultural RD&E, which reaffirmed UNE’s ongoing support for poultry research.

AgriFutures Chicken Meat Advisory Panel at UNE SMART Farm

In addition to the tour, the Panel heard from a number of researchers who presented on topics including nutrition, welfare, diagnostics and antimicrobial resistance. Applications from the recent Chicken Meat Program open call process were also reviewed with a number of new exciting projects to be contracted in 2018.

The AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program Advisory Panel will meet again in April 2018.

Learn more: AgriFutures chicken meat program