UNE SMART Farms are valuable resources that enable UNE researchers and their industry and community partners to conduct world-class activities that encompass Sustainable, Manageable, Accessible, Rural Technologies (SMART). Supporting a range of disciplines including natural and agricultural ecosystems, poultry, livestock and canine sciences, precision agriculture and zoology, the SMART Farms offer researchers and postgraduates the space, environment and facilities to work and partner with industry to solve real-world problems. The SMART Farms also provide the context for problem-based experiential learning for undergraduates and for community activities. To have these wonderful resources located just minutes from the UNE campus is a major strength for those working and studying at UNE.
Made up of eight properties covering 3,655 hectares, the UNE SMART Farms are diverse and valuable teaching and research resources. With the exception of Tullimba, the farms are located adjacent to or within a 5 minute drive of the main UNE campus, allowing easy access for research and teaching activities. Tullimba is located 40km west of Armidale.
Joining the Farms as Managing Director in 2016, Lewis is responsible for the strategic direction of the Farms and oversees the management of operations and budgets. With a background in parasitology and agricultural consulting Lewis’ expertise is well suited to this role and the challenges it involves. His recent appointment as Associate Dean Research for the Faculty of the Sciences, Agriculture, Business and Law also complements the research function of the UNE SMART Farms.
Paul has been with UNE as Farm Manager for 9 years and has responsibility for the overall management of the staff, the farming and research facilities and operations of the Armidale SMART Farms. With the assistance of a number of farm staff Paul is responsible for the day to day management and operations of the SMART Farms located in Armidale including Kirby, Newholme, Laureldale, Trevenna, Toombs, Clarks and Maxwellton. Paul also works closely with researchers and other users of the Farms to ensure their purposes are met. With a background in sheep and cattle management. Paul brings extensive experience to this position which can be particularly challenging in balancing the needs of a commercial grazing enterprise with research objectives.
Colin has been at Tullimba since 1995 and took on the Farm Manager position 9 years ago. With responsibility for the overall management of the Farm and research feedlot facility Colin has a full-time staff member and a number of casual staff to ensure the smooth operation of day to day management activities. With extensive local knowledge and a background in farming Colin brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this position.
Rachelle joined the Farms in 2017 to provide support to the SMART Farms Managing Director in establishing and equipping UNE SMART Farms as a development and innovation site that provides the background and the opportunity for growing collaborative connections between UNE researchers and industries. Providing a conduit between researchers and industry with the Farms Rachelle aims to involve more researchers to make the most of the opportunities these Farms represent for industry research. With a research background in early lamb behaviour and impacts on lamb survival and undergraduate teaching experience in sheep and wool production, agricultural consulting and extension, Rachelle brings a range of knowledge and skills to this position.
Many researchers across a number of disciplines but particularly in the Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Business and Law utilise the SMART Farms for a range of projects.
Find out more about some of our key researchers and their areas of interest here.
If you'd like to learn more about the UNE SMART Farms, or if you are interested in deploying technologies on the farms or in supporting this initiative some other way, please contact Dr Rachelle Hergenhan.