Membership renewals RE-INSTATED

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It’s been three months since your membership renewals with SPAA went ON HOLD. We recognised that you or your family and business may have been hurt financially by the current pandemic crisis. So have we! It’s now time to reciprocate and quickly jump on board and renew your membership with us.

We also have a new change with our membership period now effective to 30 June annually, irrespective of your sign up date, so all the more reason to renew early to maximise your membership benefits.

In the interim, the annual subscription for the 2020-21 year is at a reduced rate of $112.50.

As your number 1 precision agriculture association, we are on your side, please renew your dues when you do receive your notices this month or be proactive and jump online before your letter.  Thank you to those who have also recently renewed, we appreciate your support.

JOB OPPORTUNITY WITH SPAA: Finance / Membership Administrator

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Are you an experienced administrator with a strength in finance/bookkeeping and want to join our team?
• Casual position (flexible hours)
• Ability to Work from Home
Your role with SPAA will be to play an essential role within the organisation to administer the company’s affairs.
The position is responsible for the day to day traditional office and financial coordination of the organisation and is instrumental in ensuring the organisations financial and legal obligations are fulfilled and that budgetary requirements are set and adhered to.
We are looking for a motivated individual who can work independently and proactively without supervision. You must be highly organised and possess excellent written and verbal communication skills.
For more info, check out our advert and apply https://www.seek.com.au/job/50296700

Membership renewal notices ON HOLD

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Even though much of the world is consumed with fighting the spread of coronavirus, membership renewals with SPAA will go ON HOLD. We recognise you or your family and business may have been hurt financially by the current crisis. So have we!  To assist you, we’ll wait with you until things settle a bit longer so SPAA is extending the renewal dates for ALL members. For members who have a Winter 2020 renewal date, we will extend its grace period to 90 days.

Based on the advice being provided by the government, SPAA and its business and project stakeholders have put in place a number of measures to protect the people we work with and as such our face to face events continue to fall victim. We are still producing plenty of resources a benefit exclusive to our members including Australia’s only Precision Agriculture magazine which we produce quarterly, a monthly enewsletter and hopefully you’ve seen our new research updates on YouTube “Three Minutes With….” showcasing projects.

As your number 1 precision agriculture association, we are on your side, please renew your dues when you receive your next notices in September.

If you’ve accidentally received a notice recently, please accept our apologies, and let us know. As you can imagine, we have hundreds of names to adjust, but in the interim, please be assured you’ll remain on track with your PA journey and enjoy taking advantage of the free extra months to your current membership with us.

The SPAA staff and committee

REQUEST FOR SERVICES – PUBLICATIONS CONTRACTOR

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As some of you may be aware, our wonderful existing Publications Contractor will be shortly leaving us to further pursue her PhD. Accordingly, an exciting opportunity has become available for a contractor who is an experienced PA Communicator to help support us with the development of our quarterly magazine Precision Ag News.

Please find following link to our website which provides an overview of the requirements and an expression of interest form to complete Publications Contractor_Request for Services Expression of Interest Form_SPAA

For more information and to submit your application, connect with Nicole Dimos via email nicole@spaa.com.au or 0437422000

Job Opportunity – Marketing and Publicity Coordinator

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SPAA is very excited to be adding a PT Marketing and Publicity Coordinator to the team.

Are you an experienced communicator and marketer who is passionate about Technology adoption in Agriculture?

  • National business, reporting to the Executive Officer
  • Opportunity to work with experts in Precision Agriculture
  • PT Position 20 hrs/week can be based anywhere in Australia (2 year contract)

Click here for more information and how to apply via our SEEK advert.  2005_Marketing and Publicity Coordinator_Candidate Brief

Planning underway for free, nationwide ‘Hands on Precision Agriculture Training’ program

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TAKE THE SURVEY to help shape the program.

The Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) has provided funding for us and four leading grower groups to develop and deliver free precision agriculture (PA) training to growers across Australia.

Your feedback will be important to develop the workshop programs Click here to complete the survey

SPAA Executive Office Dr Nicole Dimos says that the ‘Hands-on PA Training’ project will help growers make practical use of PA equipment and data to improve the speed and accuracy of decision making, reduce production costs and increase farm profitability under a range of Australian environmental conditions.

“This project comes at a critical time for the grains industry. At a time when they’re being squeezed by rising costs, uncertain commodity prices and an increasingly variable climate, the ability to farm more efficiently, minimise waste, and improve margins through traceability and marketability, have never been more important.”

In total, fifty-four ‘Hands on PA Training’ events will be held in major grains growing centres during 2020 and 2021. The events will be delivered by leading PA specialists and consultants and will be coordinated by a national coalition of grower groups including:

  • Birchip Cropping Group in Victoria
  • FarmLink in Southern Queensland and New South Wales
  • Rural Directions in South Australia and Tasmania
  • Members of the Grower Group Alliance in Western Australia.

As the first step in developing the training package, Dr Dimos says that the project team has developed an online survey to help better understand grower needs, customise the training package and identify the most appropriate workshop locations.

“We’re asking growers to register their interest by completing the survey and telling us more about how they’re using PA now and how they hope to use it in the future. The results of the survey will be used to plan the structure and content of the training events and help us identify the best locations to hold them”, Dr Dimos says.

Growers who complete the survey will also go into the draw for one of three free SPAA memberships valued at $150.

Complete the survey here

SPAA Precision Ag EXPO POSTPONED

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#SPAAEXPO20 Event Update.
The SPAA committee has made the decision to POSTPONE our #PA event scheduled for next Thursday (26th Mar) in Loxton due to the COVID-19 situation.
Whilst this is extremely disappointing we consider this to be socially responsible and respectful of current policies and communities reaction to COVID-19 virus.
People who have purchased tickets to attend will be refunded and we will be in contact soon.
Stay tuned for new event details in Loxton and many other initiatives with the SPAA PA community once we get the all clear.

#Learn Share Connect Be Inspired

SPAA event to wind up Precision Veg Project

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SPAA, in collaboration with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries will host a ‘Getting Started with Precision Veg’ event in Gatton, South East QLD on February the 5th. Julie O’Halloran, newly elected SPAA committee member and Senior Horticulturalist involved in the project says ‘we are anticipating a positive response to the event, there are many growers looking for information on how to get started with PA technology in vegetable production as this is still a relatively new space’.

The Hort Innovation funded Precision Vegetable project is currently winding up after three years. Led by QLD DAF, the project has involved a variety of project partners, with a key purpose to demonstrate the ‘how’ in Precision Veg adoption through a variety of grower case studies, a literature review and a variety of field tours. Julie says ‘precision technology adoption in the veg industry is still relatively new, this project has been designed to showcase some of the successful case studies out there to hopefully accelerate adoption’.

The event, to be held at the Gatton Research Centre, will have an outdoor demonstration time slot from 2pm, followed by a number of technical presentations, then winding up with a BBQ tea. Frank D’Emden, SPAA president says ‘like all SPAA events, we encourage networking between interested growers and the PA professionals present both from a commercial and advisory perspective. This event essentially ties together key learnings from the Precision Veg project and we hope growers leave feeling more confident in how they may be able to use PA technology in their vegetable enterprises’.

This event is FREE to attend

Preliminary Flyer attached

SPAA Staff and Committee involved in Precision Ag Training Material Development

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Nicole Dimos (SPAA EO) and Matt Nottley (SPAA committee member) have been selected as ‘Subject Matter Experts’ (SME’s) in an initiative to develop new subject matter for the redesign of the ‘Diploma of Applied Agronomy course’ for registered training organisations. The redesign of the training materials includes subjects on Precision Agriculture run by ‘Skills Impact’. Skills Impact is a not-for-profit organisation that works across Australia to benchmark learning and skills standards for industry.

Nicole Dimos says ‘Skills Impact works with experienced industry personnel to define the skills standards for their industry, revising and drafting national qualifications, skill sets and units of competency. This work is completed as part of national training package projects. Matt and I there as representatives of the precision ag industry to identify the job role or functions and what skills and knowledge is required to do a job in this career path.’

Currently there is no nationally approved qualification in agronomy. The development of a national Diploma of Applied Agronomy opens pathways towards the business and management of agricultural enterprises, as well as in the applied fields of soil management and advanced cop production. Nicole Dimos says ‘We have a particular interest in the Digital Agronomy skill set – that aims to provide the skills and knowledge required to provide digital agronomic advice and expertise on systems types, purchase and use’

The role of SME Working Group members, Nicole and Matt is to provide information and advice to Skills Impact on the required skills and knowledge, emerging industry practices and future training needs in today’s workplaces. Nicole says ‘we are aiming to ensure that much needed practical and up to date subject matter is being included in courses on precision ag; we are continually being told through SPAA that we need to have impact of tertiary training material, so this is a great opportunity to have our say’.

Stakeholder Survey will help shape SPAA’s strategic future – we want to hear from you!

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SPAA is planning a strategic review in March 2020. The review will be led by Rohan Rainbow and will aim to deduce SPAA’s impact on the uptake of precision agriculture (PA) in Australia to date, and using this information combined with board input and stake holder feedback to shape the organisations direction for the future.

SPAA Frank D’Emden says ‘SPAA represents a sector of the agriculture industry (PA), that is developing and evolving at a rapid rate. It is imperative that our organisation keeps our feet on the ground whilst having our eyes on the horizon to look for new opportunities; that is why every three years our board meets to shape our direction for the future.’

SPAA now represents a number of different industries that has evolved from grains, viticulture and livestock, to sugar, horticulture and to some extent cotton. Frank says ‘it is important that we are meeting the needs of these different organisations to support the adoption of Precision Ag through our extension material and events, through this survey we plan to find out exactly what those needs are’.

If you haven’t already filled the survey out, it is available at the following link, we’d love to have your input! Anyone who participates in the survey and leaves their contact details will go in the draw to win a $200 Coles Myer gift card

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SPAASTAKEHOLDERSURVEY2019