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National Farmers' Federation 2012 National Congress - 22-23 October Australian Institute of Sport Arena, Canberra

Congress Program

Producing our Future

The NFF 2014 National Congress theme is Producing our Future.This year's Congress will focus on the future of Australian agriculture, looking at the major issues affecting the sector, on both a policy-development level and practical on-farm level.


8:30am Registrations Open
Exhibition Hall

9:30am Welcome to Country
Shane Mortimer, Walgalu-Ngambri Allodial Elder

9:35am Welcome to Congress
Brent Finlay, President, National Farmers' Federation (NFF)

Introducing the new NFF CEO
Simon Talbot, CEO, NFF

9:50am Opening Address
Opening Address from the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, Minister for Agriculture, officially representing the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia.

Session 1

10:40am Welcome Address from Principal Sponsor
Brad Gorman, General Manager Fresh Produce, Coles

10:50am Congress Commentators Introduced

Main Commentator: Chris Russell

Guest Commentators: Matt Brand, CEO, NSW Farmers
Andrew Metcalfe AO, Partner, Ernst & Young
Paula Fitzgerald, Manager Biotechnology and Strategic Initiatives, Dairy Australia
Sam Trethewey, Agricultural Commentator
Su McCluskey, CEO, Regional Australia Institute
Robbie Sefton, Managing Director, Sefton & Associates

Session 2

11:00am Grass Roots: Core Business - Is it all about getting better returns at farm gate?

11:00am David Sackett, CEO, Growth Farms
11:20am Pip Job, RIRDC 2014 Rural Woman of the Year
11:40am Congress Commentary & questions from the floor (Chris Russell & Matt Brand)

12:00pm Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Address
Dr Nick Austin, CEO, ACIAR

12:05 Lunch Break (Exhibition Hall)

Session 3

1:00pm Grass Roots: Challenging Viewpoints - Is competition for land use a threat or an opportunity?

From the lounge featuring expert panelists. Led by Congress Commentators, Chris Russell & Robbie Sefton.

Peter Thompson, 'Echo Hills'
Suzanne Westgate, Head of Lands and Approvals, AGL
David Hamilton, Chairman, Ag Institute of Australia
Dr Thomas Measham, Team Leader, Community and Regional Sustainability, Adaptive Social and Economic Systems, Land and Water Flagship, CSIRO

Session 4

2:00pm Grass Roots: Blue Sky Opportunities - Infrastructure & Building Our Way to Success Sponsored by GRDC. Panel session discussing government v private investment v user-pays. Led by Congress Commentators, Chris Russell & Robbie Sefton.

Luke Fraser, Principal, Juturna Consulting
Lachlan Baird, CEO, Prime Super
Andrew Higgins, Group Leader, Urban Resources and Dynamics Cities Research Program, CSIRO Land & Water
Charles Burke, CEO, AgForce Queensland

Session 5

3:00pm Grass Roots: International Year of Family Farming

3:15pm Afternoon Tea

Session 6

Grass Roots: Blue-Sky opportunities - Youth in Agriculture & Is there even a problem?

This session will determine what the current statistics are telling us and will establish g a clear baseline for the current position of youth in ag, while answering the question 'Is there even a problem?'

3:45pm Where are the Young Farmers? Research Outcomes

Dr Neil Barr, Senior Social Researcher

4:00pm Facilitated panel session featuring:

Dr Neil Barr
Georgie Aley, Chair, Future Farmers Network
Charlie Blomfield, Managing Director, AMC
Philip Roberts, Assistant Professor, University of Canberra
Jodie Goldsworthy, Director, Beechworth Honey

Congress commentary & questions from the floor (Chris Russell and Sam Trethewey)



7:00pm Official Congress Cocktail Function Event: National Portrait Gallery
'Celebrating Family Farming and 35 years of the National Farmers' Federation'


8:00am Day 2 Registrations Open
Exhibition Hall Open

8:30am Congress recommences
Recap of Day One, Introduction to Day Two
Congress Commentators

8:35am Opening Keynote Address
Andrew Gregory, MD & CEO, McDonalds Australia

9:05 Keynote Address
Producing Our Future: The Opposition Leader's Perspective
The Hon. Bill Shorten MP, Leader of the Opposition

Session 7

Congress commentary & questions from the floor (Chris Russell & Su McCluskey)

9:25am Australia: Challenging viewpoints - Ag in a Consumers world
Featuring three keynote presenters, this session will look at what agriculture looks like through the eyes of today's consumers. It will also look at food chain decisions in a social world while exploring what agricultural can do to be more engaging.

9:25am What does Ag in a consumers world mean?
Peter Scott, General Manager Sales - Consumer Brands, Devondale Murray Goulburn
9:45am What do you consumers want? Responding to market demands now and in the future: the Australian cotton industries leading edge approach
Simon Corish, Corish Farms Australia
10:00am What can Australian agriculture do to be more engaging?
Sam Collier, Founder, Australian Agriculture

Congress commentary & questions from the floor (Chris Russell & Su McCluskey)

10:45am Morning Tea Break

Session 8

11:15am Australia: Core Business - Industry Strategy v Government Policy - Are we all thinking the same and if not, why not?

Facilitator: David Speers, Political Editor, SKY NEWS

Panellists include:
The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, Shadow Minister for Agriculture
Clive Palmer MP, Palmer United Party
Senator Christine Milne, Leader of the Australian Greens
Senator Bridget McKenzie, The Nationals Senator for Victoria
Senator David Leyonhjelm, Liberal Democratic Party Senator for New South Wales
Brent Finlay, NFF President

Congress commentary and questions from the floor (Chris Russell & Andrew Metcalfe AO)

Session 9

12:30pm Australia: Core Business - Review of Farm Representation
Feyi Akindoyeni, Partner, Newgate Communications
Brent Finlay, President, NFF
Fiona Simson, President, NSW Farmers
Peter Tuohey, President, Victorian Farmers' Federation
Andrew Spencer, CEO Australian Pork Limited

Congress commentary & questions from the floor (Chris Rusell & Andrew Metcalfe AO)

1:00pm NAB Agribusiness Address
Geoff Rose, Head of Agribusiness NSW/ACT

1:05pm Blueprint Thank you & NFF Annual Review launch
Tony Mahar, General Manager Policy, National Farmers' Federation
1:10pm Lunch Break

<b>Session 10

2:00pm Global: Core Business - Brand Australia, Use it or Lose it?
There have been significant discussions around the concept of 'Brand Australia'. This session will commence with a reality check followed by insights from Austrade and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

2:00pm Brand Australia Reality Check
Mick Keogh, Executive Director, Australian Farm Institute (AFI)

2:10pm Insights Panel Session:
Mick Keogh, AFI
Michael Edmonds, General Manager Global Marketing MLA
Nick Nichles, General Manager, Marketing Communications and Business Practice, Austrade

Congress commentary & questions from the floor (Chris Russell & Paula Fitzgerald)

Session 11

2:45pm Global: Challenging Viewpoints/Blue Sky Opportunities
Global game changers in Agriculture
Advances in science and technology continue to change the agricultural landscape we operate in. A series of keynote presentations will explore these game changes.

Ken Matthews AO, Chairman, Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia
Jenny West, NSW/ACT Sales and Service Director, Telstra Country Wide
Rachel Carson, Cereals Portfolio Manager, Syngenta Australia
Dr Mark Trotter, SMARTfarm / Precision Agriculture

Congress commentary & questions from the floor (Chris Russell & Paula Fitzgerald)

3:45pm Afternoon Tea

4:15pm What will the future of Ag look like in the global context?
Paul Higgins, Futurist, Emergent Futures

4:45pm Final Words from Principal Congress Commentator, Chris Russell

5:00pm Concluding Statement
Brent Finlay, President, NFF

5:15pm Congress concludes.

Program format

The program will be dynamic and interactive with a range of session formats, including thought-provoking presentation, panel discussions and audience Q&A.

Congress Commentators

Back by popular demand in 2014, the NFF Congress commentators will be the interface between presenters and the audience.

Exhibition showcase

There will be an open-plan innovation, technology, products and services showcase where all congress breaks will be held.

Congress Cocktail

We're paying special tribute to the the International Year of Family Farming at the Congress Cocktail. Join hosts Coles for a cocktail event at the National Portrait Gallery. Some of Australia’s best produce will be served, and you may have the opportunity to meet some of the amazing farming families behind the scenes.

Download the Program

Click here to view the Official Congress Information Brochure.

A PDF version of the agenda is available here