Vitality 2018: Take the lead in agricultural development

The second and final day of the WAFarmers Annual Conference: Vitality 2018 left delegates excited what’s to come for the Western Australian agricultural sector, with presenters focusing on the conference theme Vitality 2018 and taking the lead on developing the sector.

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Regional Development Hon. Alannah MacTiernan MLC officially opened the formalities by acknowledging the breadth of her portfolios and the significant and ongoing issues that face the industry in the coming months and years. 

This was followed by farmer and author Charlie Massy, who highlighted the need for improved land management and sustainability, and outlined how farmers can regenerate landscapes and get them functioning again. Mr Massy’s presentation, which was sponsored by The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, was followed by an address from Jennie Franceschi from Fresh Produce Alliance on the importance of collaboration and resulting successes for the avocado industry.

The first panel of the day featured interactive and engaging discussions about how recently-appointed leaders within the agricultural industry have taken to their new roles, where their respective organisations are heading, and how they have developed into leader themselves over the course of their careers.

As ever, the panel discussion generated thoughtful discussion. WAFarmers thanks Trent Kensett-Smith (CEO, WAFarmers), Emma White (CEO, Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association), Jackie Jarvis (CEO, Rural, Regional, Remote Women’s Network of WA), Cam Dumesny (CEO, Western Roads Federation), and Fred Troncone (Executive Director – Operations, Wellard Limited) for their participation on this panel.

Individual presentations were delivered throughout the early afternoon by Russell Bresland (Bresland Insurance Group) on cyber safety and liability, Mike Norton (Safe Farms WA) on increasing productivity and profits through better farm safety, and Terry Slevin (Cancer Council WA) who urged delegates to take care of themselves and others, and asked them to consider on-farm carcinogenic risks.

A second panel discussion was held on the topic of industry technology, featuring Ian Pollock (Telstra), Simon Foley (Agworld), Rachael McIntyre (nbn) and Rhys Edwards (RSM), and provided significant food for thought on agricultural technology developments.

Formalities were concluded by WAFarmers CEO Trent Kensett-Smith, who provided an excellent wrap-up of the two-day event, his first in the role.

“I hope we have provided delegates with a great overview about agricultural developments over the past 12 months, and that each and every person has gone away with a greater understanding of how vital the WA agricultural industry is to not only the local economy, but also on a national platform,” Mr Kensett-Smith said.

The event will conclude tonight with the Gala Dinner and Awards.

Event sponsors: Coles (Platinum Sponsor), the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (Silver Sponsor), CBH Group, GRDC, Telstra, Meat and Livestock Australia, and Egg Farmers of Australia (Bronze Sponsors), CropLife Australia (Sundowner Sponsor), Bailiwick Legal (Satchel Sponsor), Bresland Insurance Group (Lanyard Sponsor), Meat and Livestock Australia (Livestock Section AGM Sponsor), Linley Valley Pork, Harvey Beef, Mt Barker Chicken, Sittella Winery and Gage Roads Brewing Co (Produce Sponsors).

Tradebooth exhibitors: Coles, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Agworld, NRM WA, RSM, Bresland Insurance Group, Muresk Institute, Bailiwick Legal, Telstra, Prime Super, 4Farmers, Rural Insurance Solutions, SureSeason, and CelsiusPro.


All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].


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