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Farming Together

Author: Regenerative Agriculture Alliance

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Farming Together, brought to you by Southern Cross University. A conversation between host Farming Together Program manager Amanda Scott and the farmer, fisher and forestry groups which were supported by the University’s program.
You will hear how groups worked collaboratively to build stronger, more resilient farming communities in the face of increasingly complex environmental, economic and social challenges.
16 Episodes
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Karly Nimmo <karly@karlynimmo.com>10:07 AM (25 minutes ago)to meAnd now we wrap up season two of Farming Together.In the first season we explored collaborative farming. The messy human stories, the process at arriving at a collaborative model, and the ways they’ve made it work.If you have any interest in starting collaborative farming – whether it be forming a new group ortaking an existing one to the next level – head back into the back catalogue to the first season of Farming Together, where you’ll find find some great tips , raw truths and inspiration.One particular episode of season one struck a chord with many of you. We chatted with Katie and Hugh Finlay of Harcourt Organic Farming Co-operative. Katie and Hugh realised that as they aged they couldn’t physically continue with all the farm work required, Katie and Hugh formed a co-operative that would not only ensure the farm’s continued productivity, it would also help mentor the next generation of farmers and offer them greater lease security.In response to this episode, the farming together team received an influx of questions and feedback in relation to succession planning for farmers, and the different way share farming could be a solution.In the first episode we had a conversation with young farmers Sas Allardice (one half of Gung Hoe Growers) and micro dairy farmer Tess Sellars, both members of the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op. Two young farmers keen to dig in, but with little capital, Sas and Tess knew they had to think outside the square when it came to accessing land and equipment. We hear how they made it work for them -- legally and financially – and the hard work, strong values, and sense of humour that helped them along the way.Episode two saw us chat with Andie White, who enlisted the help of Sam Marwood of Cultivate Farms. Andie was among a growing number of landless farmers who could prove they were productive farmers but couldn’t quite get a foothold in the property market. She talks about how she made it happen with Cultivate Farms, which matches retiring farmers with aspiring farmers and investors.In episode three we heard from Cheryl Smith from medicinal herb farm Solum Farm and young hemp farmer Hannah Navara. Together they have forged a unique sharefarm model in which labour exchange, accommodation and equipment are all factored in to a unique mutually beneficial arrangement. The farmers connected through Young Famers Connect, a not-for-profit organisation that supports pathways for young farmers. We also speak to its co-founder and Principal co-ordinator Joel Orchard about the need for greater resources and support to achieve fairer outcomes for emerging farmers.And episode four saw us chat with Gordon Williams, owner of Eastlake Farm about creating a win-win leasing agreement between generations. Gordon tells us about his lease agreement which gives him an income and a say in how the farm is run while giving his leasees a mentor. who knows the land and can provide hard won knowledge and decades of experience.In episode five, Amanda speaks to Victorian dairy farmer Stuart Crosthwaite about the delicate situation of sharing a farm with your family. He talks about how the right succession planning strategy has given him the freedom to invest and grow the farm -- and importantly ensure his parents are well looked after.And in our last ep of this season, Amanda explores a share farming model which is radically different.Food system change-makers...
This episode explores a share farming model which is radically different.Food system change-makers Kirsten Larsen and Serenity Hill reveal their ground-breakingnew collaborative farming model and succession plan designed to improve ecologicalfunction, support a diverse range of small-scale businesses, and ensure security of tenurefor emerging farmers. These inspirational farmers in North Eastern Victoria have establishedput the family farm in a trust and created an agreement which over 80 years shifts theequity of their family’s farm into a not-for-profit – conditional on improving ecologicalconditions of the land.Show notes:Open Food Network (OFN): Started as an online marketplace to match farmers with eaters which supports collaborative distributionOFN as an open-source platform: Working with people in 29 countries to develop platform.Model keeps on improvingRegenerative farming something positive for climate and improving ecosystem but it is so labour intensive. We need solution to this problemTrust the collaborative process to bring along people in to solve problems on the farmLeasing 400 acres North East Victoria from family (Pukawidgee) and marketing lamb on OFNCore issue of young farmers is they need security of tenure and longstanding connectionSet up a Non-profit with a long-term lease arrangement with a trust over 80 yearsShift from Land custodianship rather than ownership: improving health should be tied to land custodianshipBuilding a succession plan around the condition of improving ecological conditions.Further resources:Full story about Kirsten Larsen and Serenity Hill share farming modelOpen Food Network websiteOrder from Pukawidgee (Warrenbayne Farm Collective)Open Food Network Facebook Page
In this episode Amanda speaks to Victorian dairy farmer Stuart Crosthwaite about the delicate situation of sharing a farm with your family. He talks about how the right succession planning strategy has given him the freedom to invest and grow the farm -- and importantly ensure his parents are well looked after.
Today we speak to Gordon Williams, owner of Eastlake Farm about creating a win-win leasing agreement between generations. We chat about his lease agreement which gives him an income and a say in how the farm is run while giving his leasees a greater for they work.Key topics:Solutions to ageing on farmImportance of mentorshipPassing down hard-won knowledge to the next generation
On this episode Amanda chats to sharefarmers Cheryl Smith from medicinal herb farm Solum Farm and young hemp farmer Hannah Navara. Together they have forged a unique sharefarm model in which labour exchange, accommodation and equipment are all factored in to a unique mutually beneficial arrangement . The farmers connected through Young Famers Connect, a not-for-profit organisation that supports pathways for young farmers. She also speaks to its co-founder and Principal co-ordinator Joel Orchard about the need for greater resources and support to achieve fairer outcomes for emerging farmers.In this episode we explore:Introducing Cheryl of Solum Farm: Growing Medicinal herbs and why Cheryl and Mike were looking to share the farmIntroducing Hannah and her regenerative hemp farming practices.Introducing Joel Orchard from Young Farmers Connect who brought the two together and has organised a field day at SolumSupporting a thriving human and non-human ecology: Both parties need to be passionate, open-hearted communicators and, and hard workersLessons learnt: Communicate clearly and find people who share the same ethosMeeting through Young Farmers NetworkHow the local increase in housing prices has meant the young couple couldn’t afford renting farmland in addition to somewhere to liveThe arrangements: One is a crop sharing arrangement: Labour is also factored in to a rental living agreement. The share-farm agreement is a separate agreementThe challenge of arriving at a fair deal and importance of appreciating hard workThe share farm arrangement with the young farmers has meant that Cheryl has been able to expand her medicinal herb business. They have a day per week where it is all hands on deck which has enabled Cheryl’s deep dreaming for the farm to become a reality.7 hours per week labour is part of the arrangement: For Hannah the work is upskilling and pleasurable . It’s pleasure to give those labour hours as a young person.Young Farmer Connect addressing challenges: New landholders that don’t come with a farm background. Other countries support the process for younger farmers.Getting the structure rightFundamental barrier to farming is land prices.The need for clarity of collaboration before “we begin the dance”.Resilience: Working together during bushfiresYoung people want purpose: There are so many young people looking for somewhere to live and something to do. We want to encourage the lifestyle among young people. Get on the land and grow!Young Farmers Connect: A substantial national network that assists pathways to market and growing local food economy with collaboration.On-farm events provide inspiration and enthusiasm and make connections and peer-support Further resourcesVisit the Solum Farm websiteDownload the Solum Farm Case StudyYoung Farmers Connect websiteYoung Farmers Connect Farm FarmLinks – a Landmatching program and dedicated service of YFC to support land sharing and share...
In this episode of Farming Together host Amanda Scott talks to Andie White who enlisted the help of Sam Marwood of Cultivate Farms to turn her family’s dreams of owning a farm into a reality.Andie was among a growing number of landless farmers who could prove they were productive farmers but couldn’t quite get a foothold in the property market. She talks about how she made it happen with Cultivate Farms, which matches retiring farmers with aspiring farmers and investors.Topics covered:The vision and journey of Cultivate Farms: How do you make ownership possible for those who are not going to inherit farms?Andie’s farm ownership journey: from devastation and rejection to hope.Surrounding yourself of with a ‘Tiger Team’ of farmer friend experts who wanted is to succeed.Don’t be scared to ask people for advice: it’s a confidence booster for others!Andie’s new Farm: irrigation and a house!Cultivate Farms: Retiring farmers who love the idea of ageing of farm and are open to the idea of sharing and supporting younger farmersPackaging the pitch: Prove you can do it, be ready and confident and keep hunting for opportunities (Cultivate can help with this)Putting yourself out there: Prove you have the morals and values in common with farmersOlder farmers want to grow communities and support young farming families.Retiring farmers have so much power to make money and support their community.A question of values: Corporate owners vs locals farming families. Giving retiring farmers confidence that the land is going to be lovedInvestors want to be able to trace the provenance of where their money is investedThere is nothing new about the legal frameworkFarmers need to get over their modestyShare farming is risky: Ask yourself, what is your exit strategy and are you being matched with someone who you can go into business with - but those risks are not unsurmountable.Further resources:Cultivate Farms website
On the first episode of our ‘Share Farming‘ Season we explore the other side to the story of our most popular episode of Season 1: a conversation with Katie and Hugh Finlay, founders of the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op.As ageing farmers who saw they had a responsibility to nurture a future generation land stewards, Katie and Hugh finally landed on share farming as a fabulous solution.This time around have a conversation with young farmers Sas Allardice (one half of Gung Hoe Growers) and micro dairy farmer Tess Sellars, both members of the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op.With little capital, Sas and Tess knew they had to think outside the square when it came to accessing land and equipment. We hear how they made it work for them -- legally and financially – and the hard work, strong values, and sense of humour that helped them along the way.Links and resources:Visit the Gung Hoe Growers websiteSubscribe the Gung Ho Growers newsletterGung Ho Growers on InstagramVisit the Stellar Farmhouse Creamery website and subscribeListen to our podcast with Katie and Hugh Finlay of Harcourt Organic Farming Co-opRead the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op Case StudyWatch Farming Together’s Talking about Your Generation Webinar on Succession Planning with Katie & Hugh Finlay and Lorraine GordonVisit the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op websiteLike Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op on Facebook
Welcome to the first episode of Season 2 of the Farming Together podcast. This time around we’ve narrowed our focus to the creative and resourceful world of sharefarming. After receiving a bunch of requests from farmers asking us for more stories and resources about share-farming models, we’ve decided to dedicate our upcoming season to this very topic.On the one hand, we are hearing from ageing farmers who are looking for creative succession plans that keep them living on farm while also ensuring their land stays productive and regeneratively managed.We are also hearing from a powerful emerging cohort of younger farmers looking for share farming models that help them overcome significant barriers to farming – including rising property prices and lack of capital.In this Season, Farming Together program manager Amanda Scott will speak directly to farmers about their experiences. Sharefarmers will unpick how they arrived at their share-farming arrangement. They get down to the nitty gritty detail about leases and agistments. They explore how collaboration is key to farming regeneratively. They also reveal the pitfalls and unexpected rewards that come from their share-farm model.Not one of these share-farming stories are the same, but a common thread of creativity and inspired solutions-focused thinking is evident throughout the season.If you haven’t already don’t miss upcoming episodes by subscribing to the Farming Together podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.You can also Join the share-farming conversation on our socials: Follow the Farming Together Program on Facebook and Instagram. We are always get a thrill hearing from sharefarmers who are living purposefully and choosing to farm collaboratively. If you have an inspirational sharefarming story to tell, be sure to let us know.You can support these conversations and amplify the voices of these sharing, caring and creative farmers by letting people in your community know about the podcast or tagging them on social media.We can’t wait to share these creative and inspiring farming stories with you.
Get ready for Farming Together’s second season: All about share farmingThanks for coming along with us on the Season 1 journey of the Farming Together podcast. We’re pleased to say, it’s by no means over. After receiving a bunch of requests from farmers asking us for more stories and resources about share-farming models, we’ve decided to dedicate our upcoming season to this very topic.On the one hand, we are hearing from ageing farmers who are looking for creative succession plans that keep them living on farm while also ensuring their land stays productive and regeneratively managed. We are also hearing from a powerful emerging cohort of younger farmers looking for share farming models that help them overcome significant barriers to farming – including rising property prices and lack of capital.As always, Farming Together program manager Amanda Scott will speak directly to farmers about their experiences. Next seasons’ sharefarmers will unpick how they arrived at their share-farming arrangement. They get down to the nitty gritty detail about leases and agistments. They explore how collaboration is key to farming regeneratively. They also reveal the pitfalls and unexpected rewards that come from their share-farm model.Not one of these share-farming stories are the same, but a common thread of creativity and inspired solutions-focused thinking is evident throughout the season.We plan to launch the share-farming season in August. Make sure you don’t miss the first episode release by subscribing to the Farming Together podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also Join the share-farming conversation on our socials: Follow the Farming Together Program on Facebook and Instagram. We can’t wait for Season 2.You can support these conversations and amplify the voices of these sharing, caring and creative farmers by letting people in your community know about the podcast or tagging them on social media. Sharing is caring, and we can’t wait to share these creative and inspiring farming stories with you.
Today Amanda speaks with Deb Bogenhuber, ecologist, slow food proponent and co-founder and Executive Officer of Food Next Door Co-op and Out Of The Box.As a multi-stakeholder enterprise, the group engages of new migrant farmers, consumers and volunteers.Committed to nourishing its people as much as the land, Deb says the group keeps up engagement by focusing on communication, listening, and giving decision-making agency to members.Key conversation points:Principles of fairness for growersBuilding community: A social enterprise that supports new migrant partnersImproving the environment: using organic and regenerative practices that focused on building soil healthFood Next Door started life with a need to connect people in community with local foodWorking with private landholders to grow food on underutilised landTwo-way learning approach The multi-stakeholder co-operative modelHow to keep members engagedImportance of communicationSpend some time on deep relationships: your work can fall over is you lose relationshipsBuilding a culture of caring: What to do with difficult personalitiesWhat is short terms and long term success?Short terms success: Meeting funding requirementsOut of The Box challenge: Meeting the sudden increase in demandLonger term goals: To see more local food organisations adopt the modelThe incredibly challenging nature of building a multi-stakeholder social enterprise.The Community FarmThe Community Water BankGetting support and advice from other multi-stakeholder operationsSeeing the impact and joy in the community was a surprise! it turned out to be the most important part!Resources Watch Farming Together’s Out of the Box Solutions Webinar with Deborah Bogenhuber and Debrah NovakDownload the Food Next Door – Who We Are Flyer, page 1Download the Food Next Door – Who We Are Flyer, page 2Visit the Food Next Door websiteVisit the Out Of The Box Sunraysia websiteLike Food Next Door on FacebookDownload the Food Next Door Case StudyMildura Community Water bank
Diana Fear on empowering rural women and forging partnershipsThis episode Amanda talks to Diana Fear, CEO of Central West Farming Systems, a farmer-led not-for profit group that covers 14 million hectares of the lower rainfall country. Diana talks about her work driving projects that empower women in rural communities and the importance of embracing new roles, building confidence, and forging partnerships.Topics covered:· Central West Farming Systems: What is it and why?· Tackling an overdependence of chemicals in low rain all areas· Frustration over the metro perception of farmers: We need food and fibre but farmers carry so much risk· Empowering women in agriculture: Massive flow on effects for regional communities· Untapped resource of rural women· Diana’s experience in India with an NGO transforming rural communities through women’s empowerment· Adoption of a model that empowers smaller groups· Top tip: Try not to overreach. Keep groups small· Preventing rural youth drain· Challenges of meeting in person when your rural footprint is so large· Fantastic women: Sophie’s Venison farm· Mixing communication methods: Online and printed material. Covering social media channels. The effectiveness of a printed newsletter· Building confidence. Give women the opportunity to bolster confidence.· Barriers to new practices and better machinery. Farmers need to be profitable to invest in infrastructure· Partnering with researcher and institutions such as DPI, MLA, GRDC, Soils CRC· Challenges: Funding does not align with farmer needs· Collaboration is effective if the group is united in a common goal· Advice for embracing new roles: Don’t be nervous!· Increasing adoption of new ideas· Advice on the seasonal nature of projects: have a toolbox that is contextually relevant in low rainfall areas. Give farmers more options so they can make their own agile decisions.Additional Resources:Central West Farming Systems websiteCWFS Facebook Page
This week on Farming Together we speak to Co-op Federation Secretary Same Byrne. Sam explains why the co-operative model is still relevant and how many co-operative pitfalls can be prevented by educating members. He also gets excited about some up-and-coming co-ops which are set to disrupt the market and give more back to the community.Topics coveredWhat is the Co-op Federation?The Co-op business model: How does it work?Why would you choose a co-op over other models?Largest and oldest agriculture co-ops. Is it old fashioned?Importance of education for members.Co-ops get a reputation for its ‘burden of democracy’ but personality issues arise in any organisation. School students, accountants, and lawyers don’t have enough education regarding co-operatives.Why do co-ops fail?Exciting new co-ops: Disruptive solutions-faced co-ops. Solving community problems: Commerce with a conscienceThe unifying nature of farming co-operativesSam’s co-operative membershipsExtra resources:Co-op Federation websiteCo-op Federation FacebookCo-op Federation InstagramCo-op Federation Assembly 2021 registration
Braidwood Garlic Growers Co-operativeFarming Together Program Manager Amanda Scott speaks to Phil Shoemark and Dave Ellis of Braidwood Garlic Growers Co-operative.With a grant deadline looming, the group formed a co-operative very quickly. Members have since benefitted from the co-op’s marketing strength and greater access to a growing market. Phil and Dave speak about the importance of finding people with different strengths to drive the co-op and why ‘people skills’ are critical.Topics covered: Forming a co-operative with a deadline: Making it happen fast with a clear objectiveHow the co-op model provides economic return and collective marketing strengthThe impact of COVID 19The purchasing of collective commercial equipmentDisseminating information with members through a newsletterNavigating difficult personalities: finding common groundFind a mediator with good people skills and following meeting proceduresDifferent way of communicating with membersMaking it work: You have to have a strong goal, enthusiasm, and enough members and expert advice.Following a holistic management framework: What are you really trying to do?The growing garlic marketYou need four people with the following strengths: Finance, Marketing/Sales,Production, a People skillsResources:Braidwood garlic websiteBecome a garlic growerBraidwood garlic newslettersInstagram
Quality Timber Traders

Quality Timber Traders

2021-04-2642:48

Quality Timber Traders members bound by passion for rainforest timbersAmanda Scott speaks to Martin Novak and Dr Joe Harvey-Jones, board members of Quality Timber Traders. They are an enthusiastic group growing native rainforest timbers that was formed through the Farming Together Program.Martin and Joe talk about their decision to keep their motivated group of rainforest timber enthusiasts engaged through a more informal association, rather than forming a formal co-op or joint venture.They talk about how sometimes the experts and solicitors don’t have all the answers, and how members worked together to produce the successful Woodfest event.Topics covered:· Initially exploration of a joint venture model structure· Working with solicitors· Keeping people motivated, regardless of business structure· Starting small and basing decisions on beliefs· The success of the Woodfest eventAdditional Resources:· Quality Timber Traders website· Become a member· Woodfest coming soon
Growing the organic growers of tomorrow with a co-operative modelHarcourt Organic Farming Co-operativeAmanda Scott chats to Hugh and Katie Finlay of Harcourt Organic Farming Co-operative.Realising as they aged, they could not physically continue with all the farm work required, Katie and Hugh formed a co-operative that would not only ensure the farm’s continued productivity, it would also help mentor the next generation of farmers and offer them greater lease security.The farm includes five enterprises on site: including a dairy, orchard, market garden, fruit tree nursery and the Grow Great Fruit online teaching business. The couple share their secrets to making it work: From negotiating watertight contracts to building community and trust among its members.In this episode we explore:Katie’s discovery of her ‘inner farmer’Graceful exit: Reaching a stage that they could not physically continue with farm work and looking towards successionCreating a model with Gung Hoe GrowersCreating a campaign and https://gunghoegrowers.com.au/prospectus to engage with a new orchardistDeciding on a co-op model: To ensure the four business were not duplicating effort and costs.Negotiating with NASAA for the four businesses to be certified under the oneCo-marketing benefitsThe growing interest of young famers and the importance of growing the next generationNurturing the happy farming family: The importance of regular check-insThe importance of lease security for young farmers: establishing 9-year leases with the farmers signing up each three yearsUsing a consultant to get the base template right and negotiating with farmers to make it fair for all partiesEgos and personalitiesBuilding goodwill in the community volunteers, chefs, customersCommitment to environment, a commitment to sustainability, to regenerative agriculture, to organicsThe importance of mentoring and the gift growing young passionate farmersNewsletter and Weekly co-op blogExtra resources:Grow Great Fruit websiteHarcourt Organic Farming co-op websiteBecome a member of Grow Great FruitGrow Great Fruit Free Online Workshops:Subscribe to the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-Operative Newsletter.
Introducing the Farming Together PodcastWelcome to the introductory episode of the Farming Together podcast, where we briefly explore why the team at Southern Cross University’s Farming Together Program get so excited about collaborative farming conversations -- and why they think you will too.In this series, your host, Farming Together program manager Amanda Scott, has handpicked several of the most illuminating collaborative stories from the 730 farmer, fisher and forestry groups that were supported during the Farming Together Pilot Program between 2016 and 2018.Topics covered:Success of the farming Together ProgramThe importance of collaboration in uncertain timesA brief introduction to the Farming Together Program manager and host Amanda ScottResources:The Farming Together websiteSouthern Cross University’s Regenerative Agriculture AllianceRegenerative Agriculture Alliance: Facebook and Instagram
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