About Extension Services

Horticulture is growing rapidly as an industry in Australia, with a 40 per cent rise in value over the five years to 2017/18 to $13.2 billion. And that growth is expected to continue, with the sector’s farm gate production having the potential to increase to between $20 and $30 billion by 2030.

The primary objective extension services is the development and delivery of user defined activities focused on targeted and measurable practice change to support the profitable and sustainable growth of Australian vegetable businesses.  With funding from Hort Innovation and APCVPC vegetablesWA, as a     Western  Australian  regional service provider will develop an holistic approach through the two funding providers that will provide growers with access to a regional extension plan with input from the Regional Extension Reference Group linked to Hort Innovations National Strategy with a grower centric service aimed at supporting and guiding growers on a learning journey.

Sam Grubisa

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

Sam Grubisa, is a 3rd generation farmer from WA (fourth including the family business back home in Croatia).

Truyen Vo

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

Truyen Vo has been vegetablesWA’s Vietnamese-speaking Regional Development Officer for 8 years.

N Grubisa & Son have grown a variety of produce over the years today the family business focuses on Rhubarb, capsicums cauliflowers silver beet and zucchini. Sam spent her formative years helping Dad out on the farm and has gained all her knowledge and experience from her time spent tending the land.

Within the family enterprise Sam was responsible for the day to day operational management of the farm and liaising with industry stakeholders and suppliers. Sam is also a passionate advocate of women within the horticulture industry.

Sam’s passion and drive in the horticulture industry led her to a role on the Committee of Management with Vega helping to steer the industry body. She subsequently moved into the role of extension officer as her drive is to work with growers in WA to improve on farm practises and build the industry for which she has a passion.

Sam is a well-regarded member of WA vegetables community and through her delivery of extension funded by APCVPC she will work with growers to provide them with awareness, knowledge and education to help WA growers adopt business management practises that ensures WA has a thriving vegetable production.

With around one third of WA’s vegetable Growers being first or second-generation Vietnamese, he has helped bridge the divide, enabling this large proportion of growers to benefit from vegetablesWA’s programs and initiatives.
His qualifications from various institutions including a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Can Tho University in Vietnam and a Masters in Horticulture Science from the University of Horticulture and Forestry Solan in India, prepared him for an extensive and rewarding career in Horticulture.
Prior to working for vegetablesWA, Truyen spent 11 years as a research scientist with Vietnam’s Southern Fruit Research Institute and a Master of Science in pomology (fruit science) and New Zealand’s Land Care Research. He even has experience in orchard management from his time in Thailand.
Truyen is the key liaison between the Vietnamese Grower community, government agencies, R&D providers and other industry stakeholders, where his vast experience in interpreting and translating workshops and seminars allows for a broader industry reach. His role provides a voice to and for Vietnamese Growers, which is a valuable mechanism for increasing knowledge of the national R&D system and enhancing the adoption of improved production or business management practices.
Truyen’s strong background in horticultural science and community development together with his comprehensive experience in extension, guarantees the high quality of knowledge and skills required to support the Western Australian Vietnamese Growing Community.

Scope

What extension activities are currently offered through Hort Innovation?

Hort Innovation is currently working with its partners – such as industry groups, universities and government agencies – to deliver hundreds of projects for horticulture levy payers, of which 80-odd investments are dedicated to extension in the form of industry development and communication, and more than 80 investments also involve extension components.

What is the purpose of Hort Innovation’s new extension initiative?

The extension initiative will enhance the coordination, communication and application of research and development outcomes, and will include a team of Regional Extension Managers, who will work in the regions. These managers will play a linking role and bring broad coalitions together to share skills and capacity, to solve identified regional problems. Service providers will benefit from building their technical and extension skills and knowledge via across industry networks. Collaborative approaches to solving regional problems will enable tangible outcomes for growers to use on farm.

Will this new service replace existing extension activities?

No. Extension activities currently offered through Hort Innovation are important to the industries they service. The new Extension Framework will complement and add to existing work to ensure growers have the best possible access to outcomes from their levy investments. On top of that, to ensure value for money for levy payers and project alignment, Hort Innovation will undertake a review of current investments in extension, which is due to be completed by late 2020.

Where will Regional Extension Managers be based and what will they do?

Six horticulture regions have been identified for targeted extension, capturing 94 per cent of horticultural activity in Australia by employment and production value. Regional Extension Managers will operate in these regions.

How do I access extension services or get more information?

For more information, call Hort Innovation on (02) 8295 2300 or contact us by submitting the form below and we will have the right people in your area give you a call.

To assist delivery partners navigate the changing extension environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a guide has been developed to provide insight into how to best undertake extension activities remotely. You can download the guide from our delivery partners portal here.

Extension Team Strategy at a glance

View the Extension Team Strategy in a easy to read two-page overview now.

What’s it all about?

The second phase of the VegNET program commenced in early 2020 to keep Australian vegetable growers informed about current R&D activities, results and resources – supporting the adoption of industry best practice and bolstering vegetable productivity and profitability in key growing areas across the country.

The program funds the positions of regional development officers (RDOs) in key vegetable-growing regions who are responsible for developing and executing regional extension plans. This includes identifying each region’s key priority issues and key regional resources and links – a critical step in ensuring growers receive assistance and information that meets their needs and will help them grow better crops and operate more efficient and profitable businesses.

Depending on each regional plan, the VegNET RDOs will deliver specialised events and R&D materials that meet their growers’ needs. The events will include face-to-face opportunities, as well as remote ones during the current COVID-19 landscape.

The approach to extension for the vegetable industry used under this second iteration of VegNET has been informed by the levy-funded project Extension strategy for the Australian vegetable industry (VG18003), which was developed following grower consultation in late 2019.

CONTACT YOUR LOCAL REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

The regionally based programs are underpinned by the project Training in the development and delivery of innovative vegetable E&A regional plans (VG19018), which provides mentoring and support for each RDO in their work.

ACT NOW

  • Contact your local RDO (above) to access the latest information and resources from their specific extension program and activities, as well as details of the events they run
  • Keep a look out: the levy-funded Vegetables Australia magazine carries special features on upcoming events related to the program, and events are also communicated in other relevant industry channels.

Related levy funds

Details: This program is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation

HR IR consultant, Stephen Farrell

Stephen Farrell is an experienced practitioner with around 20 years in Human Resources and Industrial Relations experience.

Stephen commenced his career at the CPSU/CSA, the union for Western Australian state public servants in assisting union members negotiate their terms and conditions, advocate and participate in consultancy committee within their workplace and represent members in both the state and federal industrial relations commissions.

Stephen was the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Serco Australia at Acacia Prison between 2011 and 2014. In this role, he provided advice to the Director, Acacia Prison and the rest of the Senior Management Team in workplace law, management, HR policy, employee relations, workers’ compensation, recruitment, training and development and best HR practice. After leaving Serco, Stephen joined the Chamber of Commerce & Industry WA as a senior workplace relations consultant where he focussed on the training of clients on their obligations as employers, best management practice in performance management as well as conducting workplace investigations and representing clients in the Fair Work and Western Australian commissions.

Stephen has extensive experience representing clients in both the Fair Work and Western Australian industrial commissions, before both single commissioners and Full Benches. In his current role as Director of SJF Work Advice Pty Ltd, he provides the following services to clients:

  • HR Consultancy
  • Mediation of employee conflict
  • Representation in tribunals and commissions
  • Workplace Investigations
  • Review and drafting of employment contracts
  • Workplace compliance audits
  • Facilitation of Training Courses
  • Mentoring managers
  • General IR advice

His clientele comes from a wide range of industries including local government, real estate, not for profit and Aboriginal community organisations.

Contact Stephen Farrell