Scientist Jenni Clausen will deliver best practice soil information in the South-West WA agricultural region after being appointed to a newly created soil coordinator role at Soils West.
SoilsWest is an alliance in soil research between Murdoch University and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
“Jenni’s appointment is an example of how the South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub (SW WA Hub) is attracting investment into our region and aiding the adoption of agricultural innovation,” SW WA Hub Knowledge Broker Tanya Kilminster said.
Ms Clausen is taking up the position of SW WA Hub Regional Soil Coordinator, based at SoilsWest at Murdoch University, and will work with projects under the National Soil Strategy, growers and industry organisations.
The Australian Government’s National Landcare Program provided funding for the position to the Grower Group Alliance (GGA), which leads the SW WA Hub, and SoilsWest has been subcontracted by the GGA to deliver the project’s objectives.
Ms Clausen has formerly worked for the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) as a research scientist and development officer, and has previous experience as a research agronomist and coordinator, and field biologist.
“The Hub team is excited that Jenni has started in the role and is confident she can achieve excellent outcomes by providing networks for researchers, farmers and community groups to work together to enhance drought resilient soil practices,” Ms Kilminster said.
“Jenni will disseminate knowledge, support projects and create links between the SW WA Hub, SoilsWest, industry, science providers and other stakeholders.
The ultimate aim is to provide farmers and land managers with the practical tools and information they need to protect and improve our soils, which are the foundation for agriculture. SW WA Hub Knowledge Broker Tanya Kilminster
“This will allow farmers and land managers to make evidence-based decisions for future growing seasons.”
SoilsWest Director, Associate Professor Fran Hoyle, said the position would continue to build on partnerships and collaborations across academic, industry, government and landholder sectors to secure WA’s soil science capability.
“Murdoch University’s focus on translational science means we are particularly excited to welcome Jenni and partner with the GGA to improve information flow between research scientists, industry, government and landholders – creating change and ultimately better managing our soil resource,” she said.
The Regional Soil Coordinator project is guided by an advisory committee comprising representatives from the SW WA Hub, SoilsWest, DPIRD and Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management (NRM).
Ms Clausen will work with Soil Science Australia to form a National Community of Practice to share the latest soil science information and tools to improve soil management outcomes.
This body, which will include Regional Soil Coordinators from every Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, will directly support the $13.8 million Smart Farms Small Grants: Soil Extension Activities program which funds more than 200 individual activities nationwide to improve soil health and soil management.
The SW WA Hub is funded by the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund and aims to improve the drought resilience and preparedness of local farmers and their communities, and to foster agricultural innovation.