The organisation formerly known as RIRDC has seen a great deal of change over the past 12 months. It’s been a convergence of circumstances – new location in Wagga Wagga NSW, new Chair Mrs. Kay Hull AM, new Managing Director and new team – that has given us new insights and presented new possibilities for how we deliver value to Australia’s rural industries.
AgriFutures Australia represents many months of research and discussion with stakeholders and it is a name that reflects a significant change within our organisation. We’re looking ahead and are firmly focused on our goal – to grow the long-term prosperity of rural industries and communities through research, innovation, and developing human capacity and leadership.
Our new strategy focuses on four key areas: people and leadership, national challenges and opportunities, growing the profitability of our rural industries, and establishing emerging industries.
It also takes advantage of our unique cross sectoral mandate to look at opportunities and issues facing all rural industries. We want to lead collaborative research in agriculture and drive innovation of national and global significance.
This means our focus is on:
- attracting talented people into the agriculture sector and building the skills of emerging industry leaders;
- identifying and addressing challenges and opportunities that are common across rural sectors, for example supporting our country’s ag-tech innovation ecosystem;
- delivering value through profitability improvements to our levied rural industries like rice, chicken meat and export fodder; and
- establishing high-value potential emerging rural industries.
It’s important to note here that while this strategy is indeed new, it is not wholesale change for change’s sake. Our new priorities are built on the solid foundation set by RIRDC and will allow us to deliver even more value to Australia’s rural industries. It builds on years of hard work from past Directors, employees, farmers and research partners all of whom have made it possible
So why is a new approach, and a new name, necessary? The short answer is because Australian agriculture has changed, and it continues to change rapidly in the face of many challenges and opportunities.