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Young innovators driving the next generation of ag productivity

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, today welcomed the latest crop of leading young researchers, innovators and scientists to emerge in the development of smarter and more profitable agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries in Australia.

Minister Joyce said 12 young Australia had been selected to receive a share of $260,000 in grants to further research that will drive the ongoing success of Australia's farming future.

"The Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry recognises the best emerging Australian talent in our rural industries and rewards them with grants of up to $22,000," Minister Joyce said.

"These are the innovators who will underpin Australia's ability to meet the growing global demand for high-value, high-quality produce across our primary industries."

"It's exciting work for those that understand the implications. This year's range of projects include real-time tracking of livestock using high-speed broadband and remote sensors, mapping spring frosts at the farm level to help farmers to protect their crops and using fungi to combat a destructive worm that attacks ginger plants."

Each year, one grant recipient is also selected to receive the Minister's Award for an extended research project with additional grant funding.

"I am pleased to announce that the 2016 Minister's Award winner is Giana Bastos Gomes from James Cook University," Minister Joyce said.

"Giana is working to prevent catastrophic disease outbreaks on aquaculture farms by creating a digital device to identify diseases at the source and avoid a time-consuming wait for samples to be analysed off-site."

"This would enable farmers to treat their fish before they show signs of infection -it is research that couldn't be more timely or important to securing our export future and the returns our primary producers receive."

"I am delighted to see Giana receive this award and extend my sincere thanks to the Research and Development Corporations and industry organisations that support this grants programme."

"It's a genuine investment in the future of Australian science and agriculture."

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