500 school children to attend E H Graham Centre open day

The E H Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation will open its doors to producers, the agricultural industry, general public and 500 school children on Thursday 13 October from 10 am to 4 pm, Joyes Hall, Charles Sturt University (CSU), Wagga Wagga.

The Open Day will be officially opened at 12 noon by Bill Baker, chairman of the NSW Farmers' Association Wagga Wagga District Council.

The E H Graham Centre is a research partnership between CSU and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), which aims to drive a profitable and sustainable agricultural sector.

It involves staff from NSW DPI and CSU research facilities - located 20 metres from one and another - working cooperatively on research, extension and education.

Under the theme ‘Agricultural Innovation - Creating Rural Opportunities’, the Open Day will see the unveiling of new lupin varieties and the launch of the information booklet -‘Rainfall in the Riverina’.

This booklet describes changing rainfall patterns in the Riverina during the past 100 or more years. It is free and will be available for visitors at the Open Day.

A feature at the Open Day will be the Stubble Star machine as seen recently on the ABC’s popular television program ‘The New Inventors’.

This machine, designed to sow into heavy stubble, was developed by the Wagga Wagga branch of the Weeds Cooperative Research Centre and won the Best Australian Agricultural Machine Award at the recent Henty Machinery Field Days.

The Centre’s Director Professor Deirdre Lemerle said the Open Day offered a wealth of information for the agricultural community.

‘The interactive science program for school children is proving a big attraction and we will be expanding this program for future Open Days,’ she said.

‘The Open Day coincides with National Weed Buster Week. We will have ‘Woody the Weed’ running around spreading his seed hotly pursued by the ‘Weed Warrior’, which will be of particular interest for the children.

‘On a broader front, the Centre will be showcasing its five programs – agricultural health, agricultural production, food science and product quality, soil and water, and extension training and communication research.’

There will also be bus tours to field sites every half hour until 3.30 pm and displays highlighting current research projects.

Entry is free and everyone is welcome. Refreshments will be on sale throughout the day.

Media contacts: Sarah Chester on 02 6036 2110 or 0417 207 669 or Deirdre Lemerle on 02 6938 1667 or 0419 816 267.