Landcare Adventure’s Focus on ‘Farming Smarter Communities’ Set to Attract Forward-Thinkers
Local community organisation, Southern New England Landcare, is preparing to host the 18th New England North West Landcare Adventure, in and around Armidale and Uralla, on 4-5th May 2017.
The two-day event is themed ‘Farming Smarter Communities’ and will showcase a number of initiatives that Southern New England Landcare see as key to facilitating thriving, sustainable communities in the region.
Karen Zirkler, Executive Officer at Southern New England Landcare, is excited about the way the program is coming together.
‘Regenerative farming is the first topic on the program and will be presented by Colin Seis, a farmer from the Gulgong area who has been experimenting on his own place for 30 years,’ Karen said.
‘Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and question the science behind Colin Seis’ work with Dr Maarten Stapper from BioLogic AgFood,’ Karen said.
At the University of New England’s ‘Kirby’ Smart Farm, scientists and local landholders will hold sessions on how they are working smarter together, to achieve sustainable outcomes.
Topics include soil health, ground layer biodiversity under different grazing systems, fire-stick farming at ‘Wattleridge’, weed technologies for farms and mobile sprouted feeding systems.
‘UNE researchers are a real asset to our farming community,’ said Sara Schmude, Landcare Coordinator with Southern New England Landcare.
‘I’m really passionate about finding pathways for building relationships and creating more experimentation opportunities between farmers and researchers,’ Sara said, ‘so these sessions are designed to be interactive and pro-active.’
Day one will wrap up with the Regional Landcare Awards Dinner, when winners will be announced in seven categories, across the two regions involved. The Awards Dinner will be held at UNE’s historic Robb College Dining Hall, with entertainment by local jazz band Ash Hall Trio.
During day two, Uralla businesses that are finding pathways for local produce, will have a chance to showcase their stories. The Alternate Root Café, New England Brewery, Uralla’s Z-Net Energy group, the Uralla Woolroom and the New England Foodie Trail, have already indicated their interest in being on show.
David Henderson, Chair of Southern New England Landcare, is keen to hear participant’s views on how to ‘farm smarter communities’, the topic of a facilitated session in Uralla.
‘It’s important that we recognize and duplicate, wherever possible, the initiatives that make regional Australia stronger, and I believe we have some of those great initiatives right here on our doorstep,’ David said.
The event will conclude with lunch and a stroll along Dumaresq Creek in Armidale, to view the great work being done by Armidale’s Urban Landcare Groups.
This will be the 18th New England North West Landcare Adventure, an event that usually attracts between 100-150 farmers and community members.
The Landcare networks of the region take turns to host the event annually or biennially, and this year, the event is hosted by Southern New England Landcare Ltd with funding and support from NENW Landcare Network Chairs Inc, the Regional Landcare Facilitator Program, the National Landcare Programme, NSW Environmental Trust and Landcare NSW.