VegNET Gippsland e-news issue 2 – February 2019

VegNET Gippsland, delivered by the East Gippsland Food Cluster, designs communications to build capacity in vegetable businesses. This is the monthly eNews for growers, services providers & friends.



February 2019 Issue

Rain …. yes, please!

Workshop – Tuesday 5 March – 0830 to 1230 – Lindenow Cricket Club

A FREE workshop, including morning coffee, to focus on improving quality in vegetable production – from the field to the pack house, the cool room to the customer.

PLUS diagnostic tools and techniques to prevent errors.

Book NOW to save a place for you and your staff CLICK HERE

Area Wide Management of Vegetable Diseases – Viruses & Bacteria – Project

From Tuesday 19 to Friday 22 February, Gippsland hosted a team of five plant pathologists engaged in this massive Hort Innovation funded project.  The scientists visited seven farms and engaged in field work including discussing issues, crop scouting and surveying (pictured at Covino Farms, Longford).  In addition, an Information Session for other growers and industry stakeholders was held in Maffra, lead by the national project coordinator, Dr Cherie Gambley, Principal Plant Pathologist – Horticulture & Forestry Science, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Our main contact in Victoria is Dr Fiona Constable, Research Leader – Microbiology, Microbial Sciences, Pests & Diseases – Agriculture Victoria Research Division, 0407 723 086 Fiona is assisted by Cliff Kinoti, Research Scientist – 03 9032 7365

PS – Cherie & Len picked up a hitch-hiker on their way back to the airport – a black snake came out from under the bonnet in transit !!

Support for Seminar Attendance @ HortConnections 2019

Held during Hort Connections, AUSVEG manages and facilitates a vegetable-levy funded seminar aimed at research and development into the vegetable industry. The seminar will take place at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre from 12-4pm, as a precursor to HortConnections.

With a focus on new innovations in horticulture from world renowned experts in the field, as well as vegetable export content, and overall topical issues facing vegetable growers, the 2019 Seminar will showcase a variety of ideas that are at the leading edge of the industry.

As part of a vegetable levy payers’ attendance at the seminar, funding is available to cover two-nights’ accommodation as well as return flights. Funded positions are limited, so growers are encouraged to get in as quickly as possible. Grower participants are encouraged to contact AUSVEG by phone on 03 9882 0277, fax on 03 9882 6722 or email

Meet Kate Gunn

A new face in agriculture in Gippsland, Kate has started work as Coordinator of Agribusiness Promotions and Strategy, a new role funded by the Latrobe Valley Authority. Kate is responsible for promoting Gippsland’s competitive strengths to Victorian, Australian and International markets.

To make contact CLICK HERE

Can You Help Jaci ???

Cooking with fresh produce – that’s what makes Jaci tick.  But sourcing it in Gippsland is not so easy.  Jaci wants to connect with more growers/producers. Seems like it’s worth a phone call, right?

WGCMA Community Engagement Network

Your ‘call to action’ – consider expressing interest in becoming a member and advocating for the vegetable industry.  Be quick – applications close on 8 March 2019. Interested?  CLICK HERE

Soil Amelioration Discussion – Potential Research Project

MID growers – Dr Peter Sale, LaTrobe University has 15 years experience and wants to talk about improving your marginal soils. Peter will visit in March 2019.  To take part in the discussion contact Alexis Killoran, Senior Irrigation Extension Officer at AgVic Maffra on 5147 0848 or email Alex at

Lake Wellington Land & Water Management Plan

The Newry Hall was full of farmers, stakeholders and community members on 27 February 2019, gathered to celebrate a year long consultation process which resulted in the final plan. Vegetable growers were involved throughout and today, Michael Evans, Farm Manager, Mulgowie Farming Co at Boisdale was a panelists at the event.  Michael is pictured third from the left. Other panelists were Gavan Lamb, Gavin Prior, Jason & Casey Bermingham, Kate Mirams, and Graeme Anderson. Facilitator was Shayne Hyman, Industry Development Officer, VegNET Gippsland.

The plan is current for ten years and to find out more CLICK HERE

A Group of Workers or a Workforce:  There’s a BIG Difference & May Be Costing You $$$

Vegetable growers and other farmers in 2015 participated in a feasibility study about Sustainable Workforce Solutions for the agrifood sector in Eastern Gippsland. One of the needs identified was training in Workforce Planning to support the sustainability of regional workforces in agrifood businesses. It has taken a lot of patience and determination to respond to this need, in a cost-effective manner, but here it is ….

If you’d like to read the study CLICK HERE

If you’d like to book in for the training CLICK HERE

Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) Visa Replaces 457

The change is to address labour shortages by bringing in genuinely skilled workers where skilled Australians cannot be sourced.  Provisional arrangements may affect current 457 visa holders.  For more information CLICK HERE

International Women’s Day

8 March 2019

What will you do?



Closing with Savage Garden’s Onions ….