Collaborating to improve agricultural research and education in northern Tasmania

The University of Tasmania and TasTAFE work together to better serve agriculture in Tasmania, helping the industry create more jobs and more value for the state.

A memorandum of understanding signed in Burnie will see the two organizations collaborate on agricultural education and training pathways, as well as sharing infrastructure, resources, knowledge and data.

TIA Director Mike Rose said the Partnership for Agricultural Research and Training will support Tasmania’s vital agricultural industry as it strives to increase its on-farm value to $10 billion d 2050.

“We are absolutely focused on the industry and making sure we solve their challenges and help them succeed,” Prof Rose said.

“This means working in partnership to meet the demand for agricultural skills in Tasmania and ensure the industry can easily access the data, knowledge, research and training it needs to thrive.”

Through this partnership, TIA and TasTAFE will coordinate and align their forces in North West Tasmania. TIA’s dairy research facility in Elliott will focus on dairy and pasture research, TIA’s vegetable research facility in Forthside will focus on production horticulture, and the new TasTAFE’s agricultural training excellence at Freer Farm will focus on beef and protected horticulture.

“This will improve access to real farm data for students and industry,” said Professor Rose.

The partnership comes at a time when the University and the Government of Tasmania are investing in agricultural research and education in Tasmania.

The university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Rufus Black, said a $7.8 million upgrade to TIA’s research farms is currently underway.

“This increased investment is part of the University’s long-term commitment to the North West,” said Professor Black.

“Our improved research farms, along with Freer Farm developments, will support many of the region’s most important agricultural and horticultural businesses.”

The MoU supports the broader objectives of the New Tasmanian Agricultural Education and Training Partnership (TAETP) of which TasTAFE and TIA are members.

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Lana T. Arthur