A world class place to visit is The Grains Innovation Park at Horsham.
U3A Stawell members (many of whom have their roots in the land) recently listened spellbound, first to Fiona Carine (the Grains Innovation Park project officer) and then to Dr Sally Norton (leader of the Australian Grains Genebank).
There is a tangible passion at The Australian Grains Genebank (AGG), where they have a mandate to acquire, conserve, maintain stock and distribute plants.
We learned this and much more. During the hour long tour Dr Norton and Fiona talked of plant phenomics (traits), digital monitoring, selective breeding and disease elimination. The talk also covered drone photography, glasshouse experiments and the non-destructive testing of plants. We looked at wild relatives (plants) and then took a step into the -21°c freezer, letting us see the shape of our future agriculture genetics.
In this world of daily doom U3A Stawell were shown a glimpse of the positives for mankind's future.
We are fortunate to hear learned and informative speakers at U3A, and we have visited many fascinating enterprises, of which the Grains Innovation Park will be high on our "favorite's" list.
The courtesy and care shown to us was greatly appreciated, as was the warmth of a hot drink on arrival (max temp on the day was 9C) and the warm sentiment on departure when Fiona said, "we loved having U3A, they ask the most intelligent questions".
U3A welcomes new members. At the Stawell U3A, we believe our body and brain work happiest together, with the programs scheduled for each term good for both.
The University of the Third Age is an international movement whose aims are the education and stimulation of mainly retired members of the community.
Phone Karen Jenkins on 0400 583 066 for more information
Contributed by Stawell U3A
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