The Victorian Government will partner with Birchip Cropping Group and Longerenong College to deliver an agricultural skills and training initiative in the heart of the Wimmera.
Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford announced $578,000 for the first stage of the Agriculture Technology Innovation, Development and Extension program (AgTIDE) – a key priority of the Wimmera Southern Mallee Partnership.
As part of the new education and skills project, there will be more support for the commercialisation of on-farm technology, strengthening the area’s reputation as a leader in grain production.
‘AgTIDE Education and Training’ is one of four components of the project proposed by the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership.
AgTIDE integrates a range of projects designed specifically to enable the commercialisation of agriculture technology and drive on-farm adoption of the technology.
It will ensure Victorian growers and students continue to be among the world’s best grain producers and that the grains industry is positioned to benefit from advances in this area.
New units of competency in Agriculture Technology will be developed and added to Longerenong College’s existing qualifications such as the Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management, the Certificate IV in Agriculture, and the Diploma in Agronomy, which are offered to full-time students at the College.
The government is supporting projects like AgTIDE through the Regional Skills Fund – a targeted, place-based regional skills grants program driven by industry in partnership with the tertiary sector, working to build local capacity, resilience and support job creation.
The project aligns with the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership priorities, of which ‘AgTech’ was identified as an area of significant growth and potential value creation at the 2016 Regional Assembly.
The total project cost of the education and training component of AgTIDE is $770,000 which includes contributions from the Birchip Cropping Group, Federation University, Melbourne University, Skillinvest and in-kind support.