Certified path to sustainability at UNE

A CERTIFICATE course in Sustainable Grain Production is geared to the needs of retail agronomists, growers, grain handlers, researchers, students or anyone wanting to further their knowledge and skills in modern grain production and marketing, according to University of New England (UNE) Associate Professor Brian Sindel.

Professor Sindel said the course is being supported by graingrowers and the Federal Government through the GRDC, which wants to build intellectual capital and a culture of learning in the Australian grain industry.

While there are prospects of the course being offered on a national basis, initial focus will be on the northern grains region — NSW north of the Macquarie River into Queensland. The curriculum will be relevant to the northern region's cropping mix of cereals, oilseeds, pulses and ley pastures.

UNE plans to have the course accredited with an appropriate professional industry group, such as the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology — in line with moves towards

developing a National Accreditation Scheme for advisers and consultants. Features and requirements of the course include:

  • four units to be offered — agronomy of grain production, quality grains and product protection, grains production and the environment, and grain farming and the industry systems
  • participants to complete four compulsory units over one or two years — depending on personal time commitments — or individual units for stand-alone professional training
  • each unit likely to require attendance at a short residential school — to be held in a key graingrowing centre in the northern region, in conjunction with collaborating organisations like QDPI and NSW Agriculture
  • in some cases, attendance at GRDC Grains Research Updates for advisers and/or growers.

Program 6 Contact: Professor Brian Sindel 02 6773 3747

Region North