App takes agriculture into the digital age
SOUTHERN Cross University has been chosen to deliver the Farmer eXchange project from April.
A collaborative web application boosting knowledge-sharing and best practices in Australian agriculture, the project was funded by $168,700 from the Farming Together program.
The university called on expertise from 12 farmers including input from Hermani beef producer Stuart Austin and agriculture entrepreneur Lorraine Gordon.
Farmer eXchange founder Airlie Trescowthick said the app was the first of its kind and would be a virtual meeting place for collaboration through message boards and interactive learning tools.
"We spent months interviewing our peers, trying to figure out what they needed and what was missing from their day-to-day practices,” she said.
"It became clear there's a giant gap in knowledge sharing.
"Farmers simply didn't have an easy, accessible way to ask questions, or seek crowdfund sourcing advice.
"The Farmer eXchange is our solution to this issue.
"There is no doubt online methods of communication and information gathering are increasingly woven into our farming lives.
"We believe the app will play a significant role in ensuring the ongoing growth and success of our industry.”
Farming Together program director Lorraine Gordon said the online landscape is the future for farmer discussion groups.
"We are pleased to see this initiative generated by young farmers,” she said.
"Farming Together has assembled around 200 of Australia's leading agri-consultants who are providing specialist help to more than 700 groups, involving more than 20,000 primary producers nationally.”
The Farmer eXchange will be accessible to farmers signed up to www.farmtable.com.au