Victorian farmers will get the support they need to work smarter and more safely with the Andrews Labor Government delivering a new program to improve safety across agricultural industries and support workers to adopt new and emerging technology.
Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford today announced $20 million in funding for the Labor Government’s new Victorian Agriculture Skills Statement: Smarter, Safer Farms.
The Smarter, Safer Farms program will include $10 million in farm safety and wellbeing initiatives to change Victoria’s farm safety culture and reduce the number of deaths and injuries on farms.
It will also deliver a $10 million skills program, focused on training in financial literacy, risk management, farm planning and adaptation to climate change.
The Labor Government is establishing two new leadership bodies to deliver these funds, the Farm Safety Council and Farm Skills Victoria, which will work in partnership with the Victorian Farmers Federation.
The program will also invest in Agriculture Victoria’s four SmartFarms and deliver a school and industry program that enables students and industry to learn and benefit from SmartFarm demonstration trials and technology.
The Government is also delivering $2.5 million in funding for the AgTech Innovation, Development and Extension (AgTIDE) Demonstration of Agricultural Technology Applications (DATA) Farm project, which will be based at Longerenong College.
Co-funded by industry, the AgTIDE DATA Farm Project will establish a $3.6 million digitally-enabled 1000-hectare demonstration farm at the college – testing and analysing the latest digital agricultural technology in the grains industry, driving research and development and on-farm adoption.
The project has been developed in partnership with the Wimmera Development Association, Longerenong College, Skillinvest Ltd, Birchip Cropping Group and Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water and was a key priority of the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership.
As noted by Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“Farms need to be safe places to work and live – by investing in a safe, capable and healthy agriculture sector we will also build a more resilient rural Victoria.”
“We’re getting on with the job of delivering the tools, infrastructure and technology our next generation of producers need to thrive on the world stage.”
As noted by Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney
“We’re giving agricultural workers across Victoria the support they need to access the latest skills and be at the forefront of their industry.”