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92.9fm Regional News

  • Writer's pictureAlayna Fong

Workshopping climate resilience

The highly successful Farming Family Reboot workshop will be back for a second year this April and could be your grazing or farming family business’ opportunity to gain new insights and skills to becoming more climate resilient.


The Southern Queensland Northern NSW Innovation Hub’s Armidale Node Manager, Lu Hogan, from the University of New England said the three-day event is a chance for people to take some time out from the daily work of the farm, to think, plan, review their goals and build some new skills that will help in managing future climate related challenges.


“Every farmer across Australia has endured a very severe recent drought and also more recently, extremely wet conditions,” said Ms Hogan.


“It is this sort of variability that we’re now experiencing in our agricultural systems and the whole point of this program is to help people to become more resilient and be able to deal with that level of variability while also maintaining their profitability.


The program is also a chance for members of farming families and businesses to improve their critical decision making and teamwork skills.


“When you are part of a family-run livestock, cropping or mixed enterprise, being able to work together is critical to not just the success of the business but the family as well,” Ms Hogan said.


This free event features high quality guest speakers and hands on in-paddock sessions. Accommodation and meals are included, thanks to the support of Rural Aid, the University of New England (UNE) and the SQNNSW Innovation Hub, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund. Childcare may also be available at the UNE campus (bookings required).


“This is the second year we have offered the Farming Family Reboot, after overwhelmingly positive reactions in 2022. We heard excellent feedback about not just the quality of our speakers and hands on activities, but about how much benefit there was when the whole family could attend.”


Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said 100 per cent of the pilot cohort agreed that they were likely to use the provided material again, that the content was relevant to their needs, and it was easy to understand. More than 90 per cent strongly agreed they were likely to either make practice changes or consider making changes because of attending.


“Rural Aid is well-known for the critical support it provides farmers affected by natural disaster, but we also have an important role to play in helping producers prepare for those challenges,” Mr Warlters said.


More than 90 per cent of attendees in 2022 strongly agreed they were likely to either make practice changes or consider making changes because of attending.


The three day program covers: the way decisions are made on the farm; understanding and using critical decision points and weather forecasts in the livestock and cropping cycle to better manage climate challenges; matching stocking rate to feed supply; supplementary feeding of livestock to meet production goals; considering investment in new infrastructure to better manage drought and other climate challenges; relationships within the family and making better decisions as a family; and research and development at UNE SMART Farms.


The Farming Family Reboot will be held at the University of New England, Armidale on April 18-20, and all accommodation and meals are included.


To express your interest in attending (places are limited), register via bit.ly/FFR2023. For more information about the program contact Lu Hogan on lhogan22@une.edu.au or 0427 687 432.

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