Carbon Neutral Agriculture: Future Investment & Technology

ATSE Agriculture Forum

Event details

Tuesday 3 August 2021



12.00-1.00pm AEST


Tuesday 3 August

12.00-1.00pm AEST

This webinar, the third in a series hosted by ATSE’s Agriculture and Food Forum, will explore the investment needs and technological opportunities to achieve carbon neutral agriculture by 2050.  

Climate change mitigation and adaptation is a top priority for the Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) in 2021. Australia’s agricultural industries will need to develop and implement a suite of new technologies to achieve carbon neutrality. Governments and industries will need to make considerable R&D investment to support new technologies, to support ‘indirect’ investments made by farmers through their R&D levies. Implementing technologies on farms will also need considerable investment, although healthy returns may be realised for farmers and investors as many new technologies offer opportunities to improve productivity and possibly increase market premiums. 

In this webinar, Alexandra Gartmann, Bendigo Bank Group Executive Partnerships, Marketing & Corporate Affairs and CEO of the Rural Bank will detail how agricultural lenders and banks view their agriculture technology investments. She will discuss what the banking regulator will require of banks in demonstrating their understanding of climate risk to their portfolios and investments, and highlight some of the steps Bendigo Bank and Rural Bank are taking to support adaptation and mitigation by agricultural clients and their own operations. 

Peter Grace, Professor of Global Change at QUT, will detail the methodologies, challenges and potential returns of increasing soil carbon in Australia’s cropping systems (and reducing losses through emissions) as an on-farm example of the win-win benefits to be realised from making appropriate investments in emerging agricultural technologies.    

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This webinar will be recorded. See below.


Alexandra Gartmann

Group Executive Partnerships, Marketing and Corporate Affairs & CEO Rural Bank  

 Alexandra joined Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Group in October 2015 as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer for Rural Bank, having been a member of the Board since November 2014. From July 2019, Alexandra is also responsible for the Group’s Partnerships, Marketing, Corporate Affairs and Climate Risk.  

Before joining the Bank, Alexandra was CEO of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), a charitable foundation based on a partnership between philanthropy, community, government and business supporting the economic prosperity of rural, regional and remote communities across Australia. Prior to this, Ms Gartmann held the position of CEO of the Birchip Cropping Group for 10 years — a not-for-profit agricultural research organisation based in the Mallee Wimmera region.  

In addition to her role at the Bank, Alexandra has been recently appointed as the Chair of the Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Council, a member of the Trustee of the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and Director of the Australian Farm Institute.   

Alexandra was previously a member of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, the Board of the Rural Finance Corporation of Victoria and was Chair of the CSIRO Agriculture Advisory Council. She continues to be a champion for rural and regional Australia.   

Professor Peter Grace 

Professor of Global Change, Queensland University of Technology  

Peter Grace is currently Professor of Global Change at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane. Peter is an internationally recognised soil scientist specialising in the long-term productivity and sustainability of agricultural soils with projects funded by the Cotton Research & Development Corporation, Grains Research & Development Corporation and Meat & Livestock Australia. He has lived and worked throughout Australia, North and South America, Africa and South Asia and holds an adjunct professorial position at Michigan State University.   

Peter was previously the Director of the Institute for Sustainable Resources at QUT and an advisor to the Australian Government Department of Agriculture on the role of soils in climate change mitigation. He is currently the Australian representative of the Cropland Research Group under the Global Research Alliance for Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and is a member of the Technical Advisory Group for Regenerative Agricultural Practices for the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries. Peter has a PhD from the University of Queensland with postdoctoral training at Michigan State University, CSIRO and the University of Adelaide. 


Professor Snow Barlow FTSE  

Chair of the ATSE Agriculture Forum  

Snow Barlow is Professor of Viticulture and Horticulture at the University of Melbourne. He has been intimately involved in climate change research and policy within agricultural and food sector for more than 30 years. He was a member of the Australian delegation to the Conference of Parties in Kyoto (COP 3) that resulted in the Kyoto Protocol. Subsequently he chaired the Expert Advisory Panel of the Department of Agriculture’s Filling the Research Gap and Action on the Ground Carbon Farming Futures RDE programs. 

As President of Science and Technology Australia, he was a member of the Prime Minister’s Science, engineering and innovation Council chairing the development of 2 influential PMSEIC reports.  

He is an ATSE Fellow and in 2009 he was awarded the ‘Australian Medal of Agricultural Science’. Snow currently chairs the ATSE Agriculture Forum and is a Commissioner of the NSW Independent Planning Commission.  

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John Dixon FTSE

Member of the ATSE Agriculture Forum  

John Dixon is currently an Adjunct Professor focused on farming systems at the University of Queensland, Visiting Fellow on agricultural and natural resource policy at the Australian National University and Senior Fellow Global Evergreening Alliance. He also serves as Executive Chair of the Technical Advisory Board of the Restore Australia Program, and as a Board Member of the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab funded by USAID and hosted by Kansas State University, USA.

He has worked on on various aspects of climate smart agriculture (research, policy, impact assessment and programme design and management) for four decades in Australia and internationally with UNE, FAO, CIMMYT and ACIAR, and undertaken assessments for the World Bank, IFAD and the CGIAR.

He is an ATSE Fellow, is an member of the Agricultural & Food Forum and a member of the ACT Division Committee.

Webinar recording