The University of New England has transformed 'Kirby-Newholme', a 2,900 ha commercial farm located 10 km north west of the campus, into a SMART Farm (Sustainable Manageable Accessible Rural Technologies Farm). Kirby-Newholme is part of the university's Armidale commercial farms. The SMART Farm showcases the latest technologies aimed at improving productivity, environmental sustainability, safety, workflow and social/business support networks on Australian farms.
With $2 million SMART Farm Innovation Centre perched atop a knoll in the middle of the farm, and linked via AARNet and the national broadband network (fibre, terrestrial wireless AND satellite), the predominantly grazing SMART Farm is a national demonstrator site.
Building on the university's international leadership in Precision Agriculture, Education, Rural Health and Environmental and Rural Science, SMART Farm also serves as an 'instrumented' research laboratory, a diagnostic landscape unmatched anywhere else in the world. With broadband connectivity, and serving as a test-site for new technologies, the SMART Farm is a connected classroom where the community as well as students of all ages can access the latest data streaming in from a range of field, animal and machinery sensors.