AgriFutures growAG. 2023 Agrifood Innovation Immersion Tour to the USA

  • 12 pages

  • Published: 2 May 2024

  • Author(s): Catriona Nicholls

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-462-2

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The AgriFutures growAG. 2023 Agrifood Innovation Immersion Tour to the USA is having direct tangible impacts on farm for AgriFutures Australia’s levied and emerging industry stakeholders, and Australian agriculture more broadly.

The two-week tour (17 June – 2 July 2023) provided a unique opportunity for a delegation of 15 diverse agri-industry leaders, innovators, movers and shakers to visit agricultural and agritech innovation ecosystems across California, Iowa and Kansas. Tour delegates also attended the 2023 Salinas Biological Summit.

The immersive program created for the delegation offered a first-hand learning and development opportunity to explore what is happening in agritech and sustainable innovation elsewhere around the world. The itinerary was developed in consultation with international collaborators, including Western Growers Innovation Centre in Salinas and Central Valleys, California; Cultivation Corridor in Ames and Des Moines, Iowa; and Kansas Innovation Partners in Olathe and Manhattan, Kansas. Austrade USA and CSIRO USA provided support, with CSIRO co-sponsoring a welcome dinner for tour delegates in San Francisco.

AgriFutures Australia’s General Manager Levied and Emerging Industries, John Smith and Senior Manager growAG., Arianna Sippel led the two-week tour, with support from Senior Manager Information Systems and Business Improvements, Nicole Legovich.

The organisation subsidised 10 stakeholders across its levied and emerging industries and the Producer Technology Uptake Program (PTUP) following a competitive process. Two additional representatives — one from an emerging industry and one from Hort Innovation paid ‘cost’ to attend the tour.

The diversity of the tour group was vital to the success of the tour. Delegates came from across the agricultural ecosystem and had a variety of roles, including innovation facilitation, research funding and agritech and ecosystem innovation. These differing perspectives supported productive conversations at each stage of the tour about how the learnings could be applied in a myriad of contexts.