“Mice, Gazelles and Accelerators – Agtech’s role in The Farming Game” – Scott Hansen (DG NSW DPI) presents Jack Makeham Memorial Lecture co-hosted by AARES New England Branch and UNE Business School – Monday 16 October 2017

2017 Jack Makeham Memorial Lecture


Mice, Gazelles and Accelerators – Agtech’s role in The Farming Game

This year’s Jack Makeham Memorial Lecture was presented by Scott Hansen, Director General, NSW Department of Primary Industries.

The Lecture is a joint event co-hosted by the New England Branch of the Australasian Agricultural & Resource Economics Society and the UNE Business School.

The global market for agricultural technology is projected to be US$189 billion between 2013 and 2022. Farmers are utilising these new technologies in greater frequency, with agtech uptake in Australia growing at about 2.5 per cent a year. With agriculture the largest contributor to national GDP growth in 2016-17 and the fastest growing economic sector, agtech and its ability to enhance the combination of data, science and business has the potential to make a significant impact on not only agriculture, but the Australian economy. With agtech providing farmers with the capacity to receive real-time data from production systems, inputs costs and prices for produce, and to provide enhanced predictive capabilities on climate, growth rates and yields, this uptake and generation of agtech has the potential to rewrite farm management planning, and to change The Farming Game.

View the lecture in full via UNE Business School’s Memorial Lectures webpage.

Scott Hansen

Scott Hansen joined NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) as Director General in March 2014. DPI is a core division of the state’s economic development agency, NSW Department of Industry.

Before joining DPI, Scott held senior management positions in both the public and private sectors with a defined interest in the areas of agriculture, innovation and productivity. Immediately prior to joining DPI, Scott was Managing Director of Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) responsible for the overall operations of the business and a $170 million industry-funded budget for research and development and marketing.

Before being appointed Managing Director, Scott held an overseas post with MLA, working in Washington from 2009-2011, heading up Australia’s beef, lamb and goat marketing efforts in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Scott has also served in leadership roles as the Executive Director of Sheepmeat Council of Australia, Executive Director of Victorian Farmers Federation Pastoral Group, and previously worked with the Victorian Department of Primary Industries.

Scott graduated with a rural science degree from the University of New England. He caught up with UNE after the lecture to speak on his experiences at UNE, his career path and his current role – view the interview via Facebook.

Jack Makeham

John (Jack) Patrick Makeham was one of Australia’s most colourful agricultural economists, dominating Australian farm management from the 1950s to the 1990s. Following war service, Jack obtained an honours degree in agricultural science from The University of Melbourne. He initially worked for the Victorian Department of Agriculture, before establishing one of Australia’s first agricultural consulting practices. Jack came to UNE in 1967, and for the next 30 years made a significant contribution to the training of agricultural economists in the areas of farm management and agricultural extension. Jack is especially remembered for his ten books on farm management, which have become enduring classics. All over the world there are farmers and students whose lives have been deeply enriched and vastly improved by knowing Jack Makeham. (Source: Malcolm and Piggott, Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 1996, 40:3)

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