Sydney, 13 & 14 June 2018


Digital agriculture is evolving rapidly. Recent industry discussions and conferences have focused on explaining the technology: what is big data, what is blockchain, how will the benefit be realised?

As awareness of available technology matures, it’s time to shift focus to the fundamental enabler in this revolution without which there would be no agriculture, let alone digital agriculture: people.

The Australian Farm Institute Digital Farmers conference on 13–14th June 2018 will explore the role that people play in digital agriculture, and the impact of digital agriculture on people.

Each session will focus on how different groups of stakeholders interact with and become part of the developing digital agriculture landscape.

The Institute’s annual mid-year conference will be held at Doltone House on Jones Bay Wharf in Pyrmont, Sydney, with a gala dinner at the Maritime Museum.

The conference will bring together the leading minds of Australian agriculture and agribusiness in a vital networking event for producers, supply chain providers business managers and policy-makers.


An early bird discount of 10% is available until the end of April – enter 'EarlyBird' to receive this discount.


Bringing AgTech to Life


Rural Communities

What non-agricultural benefits can agtech bring to communities?
The technology enabling digital agriculture is not bound within the farm gate and has broad application.


Is the rural workforce evolving along with emerging technology?
As ag technology becomes specialised and automated, the roles of farm workers are changing.

Technology Developers

How can agri and tech communities capitalise on mutual opportunities?
Opportunities for start-ups and developers are bringing new groups of people to agriculture.


What support is available to enable farmers to participate in digital agriculture?
Digital agriculture has developed so quickly that most farmers find it to be a confusing space – the benefits are understood but next steps are still unclear.


How is the education and training environment changing to accommodate digital agriculture?
As digital adoption accelerates, the knowledge required to support new practices must also change in order to future-proof the agricultural workforce.


How will digital agriculture change the relationship between farmers and consumers?
All agricultural produce eventually ends up the hands of a consumer. Digital agriculture is enabling new relationships with and pathways to consumers.



Alexandra Gartmann, Managing Director & CEO of Rural Bank     

Prof Susan Brumby, National Centre for Farmer Health

Georgie Somerset, Beef producer, AgForce, QRRRWN, on boards of ABC, RFDS, QRAA, Children's Health Qld



James Hooke, Deputy Principal Tocal College

Dr Amy Cosby, Senior research officer at Central Queensland University

Andrew Fowler, Chairman Nuffield Australia



Sarah Nolet, Founder & CEO AgThentic & Future Farmers Network Director NSW

Sam Trethewey, General Manager SproutX & General Manager Agribusiness Findex

Doug Fitch, Co-Founder & CEO Agworld



Lara Ladyman, Farmer & Nuffield 2017 Scholar

James Hutchinson & Tyler Ye, James Tyler Fine Foods



Dr S. Kate Devitt, Research Associate for the Institute for Future Environments, Faculty of Law, and Science & Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology

Andrea Koch, Director, National Farmers’ Federation

Dave Brownhill, Merrilong Pastoral Company

Emma Leonard, AgriKnowHow



Professor David Lamb, McClymont Distinguished Professor - School of Science & Technology; Precision Agriculture Research Group University of New England

Professor Ian Yule, Professor of Precision Agriculture, Massey University

Professor Alexander McBratney, Director - Sydney Institute of Agriculture, Professor of Digital Agriculture & Soil Science


Additional session: COMMUNICATORS

Edwina Robertson, Rural Mental Health Advocate and Wander of the West Project

Emma Moss, Rural Social Media Influencer ('Life on a Station')

Verity Morgan-Schmidt, CEO Farmers for Climate Action

Catherine Forge, Curator - Invisible Farmer Project, Museums Victoria


Book now to secure your spot.

Conference Partnerships

 The AFI’s annual conference is a vital networking event for producers, supply chain providers, business managers, researchers and policy-makers. To put your business front-of-mind for 300 of the leading minds of Australian agriculture and agribusiness, become a conference partner. The Institute has a range of Partnership Packages available.

Download the Partnership Prospectus Download the Partnership Packages

For further information contact Events Officer Kate Trotter – (02) 9690 1388 – 0408 867 171         

Jones Bay Wharf

Doltone House
– Jones Bay Wharf

Doltone House – Jones Bay Wharf is a unique heritage venue situated on a restored finger wharf on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour’s Pyrmont, with a spectacular decking area offering outstanding views of the Harbour Bridge, city skyline and Darling Harbour.

GALA DINNER VENUE: Australian National Maritime Museum, Lighthouse Gallery.



Doltone House – Jones Bay Wharf, 26–32 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, NSW, 2009.


AFI has arranged a group booking rate at the Novotel Sydney Darling Square. Digital Farmers conference delegates receive 10% off the best available rate at time of booking (subject to availability).

Please use the promotional code AFI2018 when booking – by phone (02 8217 4081 or 02 8217 4000) or email, and advise the reservations team you are attending the Farm Institute’s Digital Farmers Conference.

Should you book the room-only rates, you will be entitled to a discounted buffet breakfast of $25 per person per day. The discount is only valid for accommodation from 12–15 June 2018. A credit card is required upon making the booking to guarantee your reservation.

The Novotel Sydney Darling Square is located at 17 Little Pier Street, Darling Harbour. The conference venue at Jones Bay Wharf is a 25 minute walk (2 km) or you can travel by light rail (tram), by taxi or Uber.

To travel by light rail you will need to purchase an Opal card – catch the tram from Paddy’s Market station (200 m from the Novotel) to The Star station and then walk 350 m up Pirrama Road to Jones Bay Wharf.


The event commences at 10 am on Wed. 13th June at Doltone House – Jones Bay Wharf and concludes at 3.30 pm on Thurs. 14th of June. Sydney Airport is approximately 14 km from Doltone House – Jones Bay Wharf. Taxis to the CBD are readily available and trains run regularly from the airport to Central Station, from where you can take the light rail to the Novotel (disembark at Paddy's Markets) or to Doltone House (disembark at The Star, walk 350 m).


Vivid Sydney – an annual outdoor lighting festival with immersive light installations and projections – will be in its final week (ends 16 June) and many of the attractions will be based around Darling Harbour.

The Chinese Garden of Friendship, next door to the Novotel Sydney Darling Square, is modelled after the classic private gardens of the Ming Dynasty.

Barangaroo is a globally renowned urban renewal project on the western waterfront of Sydney’s CBD with waterfront restaurants, beautiful parkland, fascinating indigenous tours and cultural events.

There is always plenty to do in Sydney and its surrounds. To get more information, go to Destination NSW, the City of Sydney's What's on page, or see Things to do at Darling Harbour.


If you have any questions, please contact AFI's Events Officer, Kate Trotter.

Novotel rooms


sponsors logos