What is behind the rise in value-added milk products? With over 11% of the milk consumed in Australia & New Zealand now being A2 milk, the A2 Milk Company is experiencing rapid growth within a struggling dairy industry. Host Chris Russell speaks to CEO of the A2 Milk Company, Jayne Hrdlicka, about the growth of their value-added products and the data supporting its popularity.
Should we be using Australia’s native grasses more in our food production? Aboriginal populations harvested native grains and grasses for bread for 40,000 years prior to European settlement, yet we have largely ignored these naturally evolved crops in modern food production. Host Chris Russell speaks to Principal Consultant at Ag & Environment Consulting, Dr Peter Ampt, about the potential use of these grasses in the future of food & pasture production in Australia.
Can blockchain solve agricultural producers’ provenance problems? Tracking the conditions of production animals and paying suppliers for goods could all be covered by blockchain in the future if there is uptake of the AgriDigital program. Host Chris Russell speaks to Bridie Ohlsson, CEO of Geora, a blockchain protocol designed for agriculture, about the potential solutions it could offer farmers around the world, at every level of their production.
Should we be eating more kangaroo meat? We cull and often ignore kangaroos as a source of food, yet our iconic animal could be the answer to a more sustainable source of meat given a more managed approach to their integration with farming and food production. Host Chris Russell speaks with principal of Australian Wildlife Services George Wilson and long-time surveyor of kangaroo populations about the potential welfare benefits as well as food & fibre resources we are ignoring by not harvesting kangaroos.
How is the fruit and vegetable industry responding to the claims of exploitation of backpackers and Pacific Islander workers? Host Chris Russell speaks to the CEO of Aus Veg, James Whiteside about the industry’s dependency on exploited labour and the potential for attracting more long-term Australian staff.
Should we farm on Mars? Will humans need to expand to other planets to keep up with demand for agriculture? American aerospace engineer and President of the Mars Society, Robert Zubrin, is researching the possibilities. Robert joins host Chris Russell to discuss how humans might grow food on Mars, attempts to simulate Mars-like conditions on Earth and how accurate the film The Martian really is.
Are the fears around glyphosate legitimate? Glyphosate has arguably been one of the most transformational agricultural innovations of the last 50 years. However, following a recent court case in the USA, may now be under threat as a readily available tool in the hands of farmers due to cancer fears. Host Chris Russell speaks to Managing Director of Monsanto Australasia, Mr Tony May, about his company’s position on glyphosate and where he sees the current court actions leading. Chris also speaks to the Chair of Grain Producers Australia, Andrew Weidemann, about his feelings around this issue as he is arguably both the beneficiary and potential victim of this technology as a grain producer himself.
Glyphosate has facilitated major productivity increases and reduced environmental stress due to over-cultivation over the last 50 years. However, it has been classified as “probably cancer causing agent” by the International Agency for research on Cancer (IARC). How was this classification decided and what does it mean? Agricultural Scientist, Chris Russell, speaks to Cancer Epidemiologist and member of (IARC), Professor Lin Fritschi, who explains how and why glyphosate was classified as a “probably cancer causing agent” by this sub-group of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and what this means for farmers.
Climate Change - Will we successfully adapt to a changing climatic environment or alternatively what are the chances we will we be successful in adapting the climate to change to suit us? Host Chris Russell speaks to leading global environmental scientist Prof Will Stephans and Young Farmer of the Year and co-founder of the think-tank – “Climate Wise Agriculture,” Anika Molesworth, on the reality of climate change and the optimism of the next generation .
Climate Change - What is our plan B? Host Chris Russell speaks to member of the Nobel Peace Prize winning IPCC team, Professor Mark Howden, about what happens if we don’t reach our carbon emissions target.
Exploring the fears around Genetic Modification (GM) in our food and the agricultural industry. Host Chris Russell speaks to Director of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) and member of the federal “Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee,” Prof Robert Henry, about the reality of the GM processes and what it means for our future food production.
Exploring our fears around Genetic Modification in fibre. Host Chris Russell speaks to Chief Research Scientist with CSIRO, Dr Danny Llewellyn, about why perceptions around Mendel's Genetics breeding differ to perceptions of gene editing and the impact that this has had on cotton
Cotton production is a much maligned industry in Australia due to its perceived high water usage but should we be telling farmers what to grow with their purchased irrigation water? Host Chris Russell discusses the water usage in cotton production with, Dave Anthony, CEO/Chair of Auscott (Australias largest cotton producer) and why cotton is so popular amongst irrigation farmers and the importance of cotton to the Australian economy.
Wool - Is there still a future for natural fibres like wool? Host Chris Russell speaks to Stuart McCullough, the Chief Executive of Australia’s peak wool marketing and research body, Australian Wool Innovation, about what the wool industry is doing to counter the cheaper synthetic materials and how it has responded to the demands of a very vocal and aggressive animal rights movements.
The red meat industry in Australia is facing an uncertain future due to Animal Welfare issues, cheaper meat alternatives and the rise of vegetarianism and veganism. Yet, the middle class in developing countries like China & Indonesia are developing a growing taste and high demand for red meat pushing up both meat and live exports. Host Chris Russell speaks to Chief Executive of Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Richard Norton, about how the industry is changing to meet the new place of red meat in global food demand.
The trigger for 21st Century conflict may well be fresh water. Agricultural Scientist Chris Russell finds out what lessons we can learn from rivers shared between countries at war and how we can apply that to water management in Australia. This episode’s Agriminder is Dr David Michel from the Transboundary Water Management Department of the Stockholm International Water Institute.
It took 95 years for the states to agree on a national water plan, the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Agricultural Scientist Chris Russell explores whether or not it has been successful. Our Agriminder in this episode is the Chair of The Murray-Darling Basin Authority, the Hon Neil Andrew MP.
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture, John Anderson AO, explains to Agricultural Scientist Chris Russell why he believes the we can “have our cake and heat it too” when it comes to energy in Australia.
Are perception and emotion over-riding fact when it comes to the realistic comfort, needs and rights of animals that are in our care for agricultural production? Australian animal production is at risk and Agricultural Scientist Chris Russell seeks to explore whether this industry would be an unnecessary loss or if it is in fact animal husbandry that is unacceptable. Our Agriminder in this episode is Executive Director of The Australian Farm Institute Michael Keogh OAM.
Farm animals aren’t pets…..or are they? Agricultural Scientist Chris Russell explores whether or not the lines have become blurred between the expectations of people for their urban pets and the welfare needs of farm and production animals? Our Agriminder in this episode is RSPCA Senior Policy Officer Dr Jed Goodfellow.
How do we entice the youth towards a future in Agriculture? Agricultural Scientist Chris Russell finds out how Barker College in the North Shore of Sydney has been using different teaching methods and digital media to successfully change the perception of studying agriculture amongst its' students. Our Agriminders in this episode are Head of School at Barker College, Phillip Heath AM, and his Head of Agriculture, Scott Graham.
With 4 jobs available to every agriculture graduate, Agricultural Scientist Chris Russell asks why Australia’s oldest agriculture faculty has merged into obscurity by academic bureaucrats? Our Agriminder in this episode is the last Dean of Agriculture at Sydney University, now the current Director of the Sydney Institute of Agriculture, Professor Alex McBratney.