The 8 hubs support farmers and communities to get ready for drought. They connect farmers with regional agricultural experts, innovation and new practices.
A Knowledge Broker is available at each hub. Their role is to translate science into practice for their region. They use their network to encourage collaboration and learning across the hubs. They also help build connections with other Future Drought Fund programs.
In January 2022, the Australian Government announced an extra $3 million for the hubs to host Regional Soil Coordinators. They will help farmers and land managers improve their soil management. This will increase their productivity, profitability, and sustainability.
In March 2022, an extra $9 million was announced for Adoption Officers. Adoption Officers will work with farmers and their communities to pick up the relevant tools, knowledge and support provided by the hubs and others.
Hub activities have been designed in collaboration with famers to meet local needs. Examples include:
- on-farm trials of transformational technologies and practices
- training farmers in the use of decision-support tools
- upskilling farmers in innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialisation.
There are 8 hubs in major climatic and agriculture zones across Australia. Each hub has several nodes, reaching across their region. Currently the hubs and nodes cover over 40 locations and involve 143 partners.
See more about each hub
In October 2021, the Australian Government announced it would provide an extra $20 million in funding to the hubs. The funding will make it easier for industry to connect with the hubs and drive innovation. This will support national agricultural innovation.
The 8 hubs were launched in April 2021 following a competitive grants process.
7 hubs are led by regional universities. The remaining hub is led by a grower group. Hubs are consortia of researchers, industry, entrepreneurs, government, resource managers, and producer and community groups.
The hubs are funded for 4 years. Their funding will be reviewed with the Drought Resilience Funding Plan.
Drought Resilience Research and Adoption Advisory Committee
In May 2021, an independent advisory committee was established to manage the hubs. The committee is also responsible for the Drought Resilience Research and Adoption program.
The committee provides a national perspective on the hub activities. It also provides advice to the minister and the department.
Brent has 40 years' experience in agriculture.
He is managing director of Finlay Agricultural Industries (FIA). FIA provides strategic advice to agricultural enterprises.
Brent is independent chair of Granite Belt Water (GBW). GWB is building a new dam and irrigation scheme for horticulture in the Darling Downs.
Brent was president of the National Farmers' Federation. He was also president of AgForce Queensland. He represented Oceania at the World Farmers' Organisation in Rome.
Brent runs sheep property, Coorinda, in the traprock area of south east Queensland.
James was Professor of Animal Science at the University of New England.
His doctorate is in animal nutrition.
James was CEO of the CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation. He has worked with government, and public and private sector companies.
James contributed to many innovative sheep production and feeding systems, like ASKBILL. ASKBILL predicts sheep wellbeing and productivity using weather, pasture, and stock information.
Caroline is deputy chair of GWMWater. GWMWater secures water supply and sewerage systems for western inland Victoria.
Caroline was the director of Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) for 9 years and a board member for 15. BCG uses research and extension to improve the success of broadacre farmers..
She has worked for government in agricultural communication, irrigation development and climate variability.
Caroline is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Caroline lives in Berriwillock in Victoria's Mallee region. She is a partner in a family grain farm.
Dale is the director of Kilandra Pastoral Co and manager of DH & JM Park.
Dales' industry knowledge is in agribusiness and new business development.
Dale was president of the Western Australian Farmers' Federation. He is passionate about representing producers.
Dale has a longstanding interest in drought resilience. He is a board member of Farmers for Climate Action. He is also a member of the National Farmers' Federation environment committee.
Dale farms cattle in Badgingarra, north of Perth.
Trent is the CEO of biotechnology company Novum Lifesciences. His expertise is in food technology, manufacturing, and processing.
Trent was the director of the AustChilli Group. AustChilli is Australia's largest supplier of fresh chilli and innovative food ingredients.
He is passionate about innovation, problem solving and scaling businesses.
Trent has served on agriculture boards including the Agricultural Industry Advisory Council.
Trent is a 2013 Nuffield Scholar. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Christine is a global leader in agtech and food tech, including supply chains and harnessing innovation.
She is the founder and CEO of the Food Futures Company. The company develops cutting edge agrifood technologies, products, and business models.
Christine is the co-founder of Farmers2Founders. Farmers2Founders helps farmers launch new ventures or improve their existing operations.
Christine recently established GROW, an agrifood tech accelerator in Singapore. GROW is a joint venture with AgFunder.
Christine was previously the CEO of Meat and Livestock Australia’s Donor Company.
Bronwyn has significant research and higher education leadership experience.
She is passionate about innovation that makes our communities more resilient.
Bronwyn has led digital transformation projects in the agrifood sector. She has also developed engagement and commercialisation strategies with governments and industry.
Bronwyn's Board experience includes current membership of Queensland’s Innovation Advisory Council, the Cooperative Research Centres Advisory Committee, and the AgriFood Connect Board.