Southern Cross partners with Primex, Australia’s sustainable farming expo

A group of people on a farm, standing near fencing and a black cowSouthern Cross students attended a regenerative agriculture residential workshop in April 2021. It was an opportunity to speak with Northern Rivers farmers and agriculture experts.

Primex Field Days’ new partnership with Southern Cross University will enhance the event’s NextGen program and strengthen its education and innovation credentials.

Norco Primex 2021 is scheduled for May 20 to 22 at Casino, west of Lismore. The sustainable farm and primary industries exhibition has been an integral part of Australia’s agricultural field days since 1985.

Bruce Wright, Primex Director, said the new three-year partnership with Southern Cross University was an important step in the development of partnerships that Primex has been building over the past three years that have seen the iconic agricultural and primary industries event grow to an expected 400+ exhibitors (100% since 2017).

“Primex had identified within its strategic plans that resources and programs that support education and innovation for our Next Generation was critical when technological improvements have been moving so quickly and the demographics within the farming and primary industries sectors needs to retain a much higher portion of youth in these sectors,” Mr Wright said.

“Our partnership with Southern Cross University offers new opportunities for secondary and tertiary students, as well as those wishing to advance their depth of knowledge to a whole new level through the University’s regenerative agriculture courses.”

Vice President (Engagement) at Southern Cross, Mr Ben Roche, said that the partnership reflects the University’s ongoing commitment to supporting the sustainable development of the region’s agricultural sector.

“At Southern Cross, collaboration is at the heart of how we create impact. The opportunity to partner with one of the Region’s agricultural institutions in Primex provides an important opportunity to grow awareness of the new and exciting opportunities emerging in agriculture as the sector and nation grapples with how do we farm smarter, with a greater resilience to drought and flood – the realities of a changing climate.

“It’s fitting that two of the region’s institutions have come together to create new opportunities for young people to join in shaping the next generation of agriculture in Australia,” said Mr Roche.

Southern Cross’s decision to partner with Primex follows the University’s successful launch of the world’s first Regenerative Agriculture degree in 2020 and this year a Graduate Certificate in Regenerative Agriculture.

Founder of Southern Cross University’s Regenerative Agriculture Alliance (RAA) and Southern Cross Strategic Projects Director Ms Lorraine Gordon said there was high demand from farmers seeking this kind of qualification.

“In its first year, the Bachelor of Science with a major in Regenerative Agriculture became the most popular agriculture degree in the country,” said Ms Gordon.

“This is part of a huge movement that demands we think the way we produce food and how we look after the very source that provides such food – our landscapes, our soils. We need a change in paradigm, a new narrative, and to recognise the role we play in ecological health.”

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