Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Talking to Shoalhaven Farmers

The team at the school farm
 We thought it would be a good idea to learn more about our local beef industry in the Shoalhaven. Here on the South Coast we have lots of small farms and because of the high rainfall and pockets of fertile soil, there is good pasture growth which supports a strong dairy industry. We wanted to learn more about the challenges that farmers face when running a beef enterprise in the Shoalhaven.

So we got in contact with Andrew Britton from the Small Farms network who put us onto an organisation called the Shoalhaven Beef Producers Association. They are an organisation that local farmers can join to learn more about all aspects of farming beef cattle and work together to establish a local market for their product. This would certainly reduce the carbon footprint of the beef consumed in the Shoalhaven  by farming and selling the product locally.

About the Small Farms Network
The Small Farms Network was created in 2004 in partnership with Southern Councils Group, Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority and NSW DPI. The Small Farms Coordinator position is funded by the Southern Rivers CMA from Commonwealth funding designed to help support community groups and landholders access services and advice to undertake sustainable land management.
The Network's primary role is to organise and deliver training/workshops on sustainable land management, including weed control, pasture, livestock, vegetation and water management. Workshops are generally landholder driven from surveys and feedback provided to the Coordinator. Since 2007, members have sought more advice and training on local food production in an attempt to reduce their carbon footprint.
The development of on ground projects is also an important role for the Network. The Network actively seeks funding to help deliver on farm projects for our members. Between 2004 and 2009, a total of $790,000 has been recieved for rural landholders in the region for projects and training.
Currently there are over 780 members supported through the Small Farms Network. Membership is free and is open to all rural and urban landholders who are interested in sustainable and productive land management.

The Shoalhaven Beef Producers' Assocation is a Not-for Profit organisation and was created in October 2009 to meet the increasing education and production needs of Beef Producers in the wider Shoalhaven District and environs including the Southern Highlands, Milton, Berry and Kiama.
Key Objectives:
  • Representative body for beef producers on the South Coast and Southern Highlands
  • Improve profitability and quality of beef production
  • Provide education and learning programs
  • Networking opportunities
For more information on the Shoalhaven Beef Producers Association contact Simon Hart on Email:

Victoria interviewing Janelle from the Shoalhaven Beef Producers' Association.

Henry and Janelle meet Sweetie Meaty Pie

Marni interviewing Henry Goodall
 Through this network we were also very lucky to get in contact with Henry Goodall who is the property manager at Bundanon. This property which is located on the banks of the Shoalhaven River, was entrusted to the nation by Australia's famous artist Arthur Boyd. Bundanon is an important place for the development of many disciplines of the arts and is also run as a commercial farming enterprise with beef cattle. There are many different education programs run at Bundanon.

When we start our video editing next week, we will be able to upload some of the interviews. Stay tuned.............................

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