Podcast: Innovation & Decision Making: How do you implement change, without betting the farm?

Kirsten Diprose
Episode 02: Innovation & Decision Making: How do you implement change, without betting the farm?
Hosted by Kirsten Diprose

Making the right decision at the right time is critical to good business and innovation, especially when you add drought or other volatile factors into the mix. So when a new opportunity arises, how do you know you’ll make the ‘right’ choice?  

This episode looks at the latest research about on-farm decision-making, as well as stories from farmers, farm consultants and agricultural entrepreneurs about how they made the decision to adopt a new technology or practice.

Farm consultant with Southern Farming Systems, Cam Nicholson shares his decision-making framework of using the ‘head, heart and gut’. Emma Ayliffe, agronomist and founder of Yacker, an app that connects farmers, talks about the value of peer-to-peer research (ie. Calling other farmers!). And Jacob Birch, Gamilaraay man, academic and entrepreneur speaks about how to be culturally appropriate in the decision-making process, especially as the native grains and other indigenous industries grow.



CAM NICHOLSON is a director of Nicon Rural Services, a consulting business near Geelong working with the grazing and cropping industries.

Cam has worked in pasture agronomy and soils for 35 years and has been involved in many farmer programs for the GRDC, MLA, Landcare and the current Future Drought Fund.  He provides consultancy advice to farmers and lectures on animal and pasture systems at Marcus Oldham College.

His most recent work has focused on understanding and discussing risk in farming businesses, carbon accounting and decision making. Cam recently helped revamp information and tools for MLA on pastures and soils.

EMMA AYLIFFE is a farmer, researcher and consultant based at Tullibigeal, NSW. After moving from South Australia to New South Wales working as a cotton agronomist, Emma moved to Tullibigeal with her partner where they bought her first 1700 acre farm with the support of Craig’s family. 

In 2020-2021, Emma was Australian Young Farmer of the Year. Emma prides herself on being an innovator pushing the boundaries and coming up solutions with farmers problems.  

JACOB BIRCH  is an academic, entrepreneur and Churchill Fellow passionate about re-awakening, and bringing into a modern context, the native grain foodways that sustained his Gamilaraay ancestors for thousands of generations. 

Jacob’s received First Class Honours for a multidisciplinary research project that investigated the nutritional qualities of Australian native grains for human consumption, and Indigenist research methodologies which give agency to First Nations voices and experience. 

Jacob led a national consultation to inform the AgriFutures commissioned Australian Native Grains Strategic RD&E Plan. 

This podcast has been created by the Victoria Drought Resilience Innovation and Adoption Hub and is funded through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

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