Introducing Digital Harvest, a free program to support agri-food businesses

La Trobe Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Agriculture Victoria are joining forces to offer a new program for farmers and business people.

The training program, Digital Harvest, is free, delivered online, and designed to help agri-businesses adapt and grow in response to the events of 2020. Digital Harvest aims to support farmers and producers to develop and enhance e-commerce skills and implement an effective e-commerce strategy as part of ongoing operations.

Participants will join online workshops delivered over 12 weeks. Workshops will run midweek, for two hours, 6-8pm, from February to April. The workshops will cover digital strategy agribusiness; Google platforms plugins and tools; analytics and data; search engine optimisation and search engine marketing; digital content and storytelling; email marketing, and social marketing.

If you know anyone who'd benefit from Digital Harvest, please direct them to the Digital Harvest website for more information and to register. La Trobe University is encouraging farmers, agri-producers, distributors and sellers to apply.

Registrations close Thursday, 28 January 2021.

Supporting regional Victoria

La Trobe Accelerator Program Director Dr Cerasela Tanasescu said the University is committed to supporting regional businesses through initiatives such as Digital Harvest.

“As a University with campuses across the state, we work closely with business owners every day. We understand the many and varied challenges Victoria’s agricultural sector now faces,” Dr Tanasescu said.

“2020 was a tough year, but Digital Harvest is a golden opportunity for food producers to rapidly adapt and move forward, through harnessing the knowledge of our business experts and the experience of others who have already taken the step of using affordable digital solutions to benefit their e-agribusiness.”

Building a strong online presence

Simon Mildren, founder of beekeeping software and sensor technology startup HiveKeepers, will host a workshop on innovation in agriculture as part of the program.

Mr Mildren, whose business is on the Mornington Peninsula as well as at an experimental farm outside Bendigo, said it was vital food producers embraced the business opportunities available through having a strong online presence.

“It’s easy to get comfortable and not realise the world is rapidly changing and we need to become better connected to it. Now is the time to develop these skills to position ourselves ahead of our competitors,” Mr Mildren said.

More information

Digital Harvest is an initiative involving Agriculture Victoria and Business Victoria, funded by the State Government’s $1.5m E- Commerce and New Marketplace Transition Package as part of its Agricultural Workforce Plan.

La Trobe University will deliver the program with Investible, experts in entrepreneurial and business development, and partners Outcome.Life and La Trobe Business School.

You can register for Digital Harvest here. If you need any further information on the program, please contact Lauren Giusti or Jenny Bevis.