Farmer 2 Farmer groups taking the Great Southern by storm

Farmer 2 Farmer groups taking the Great Southern by storm

Building on a successful pilot program facilitated by Evergreen Farming and supported by the South West Catchments Council (SWCC), the Farmers 2 Farmers initiative is now in full swing with two new groups holding their inaugural meetings over the last couple of months.

The program, whilst still being facilitated by Evergreen, is now being funded by South Coast NRM.

The Farmer 2 Farmer Initiative brings groups of around five farmers of similar knowledge together to discuss various management systems, and work towards developing systems and skills that will improve how they manage their own land.

Under the current program there have been three groups established, two of which draw their membership from the Stirlings to Coast Farmers Group.

Having small local groups is the key to this initiative, as the smaller group size give members confidence to talk openly about there farming systems and share what is and is not working in their business. This in turn enables to group to work together to try and tackle each others problems.

This approach focuses on a peer learning model rather then a traditional mentor/mentee style of learning, enabling members to learn off each other through the transmission of ideas and experiences.

The groups also have a facilitator to help guide discussions, set ground rules and to help keep the group working towards their goals.

Whist these Farmer 2 Farmer groups are not an Stirlings to Coast Farmers project, it is envisaged that by being involved in a Farmer 2 Farmer group will give participants greater confidence to take on leadership roles with the group.

The rise in the Farmer 2 Farmer groups, as well as business discussion groups throughout the wheatbelt, highlights the desire for growers to not only engage at a large grower group level but to also work in small groups to address and improve specific skill sets.

For more information about the Farmer 2 Farmer Initiative click here or contact Penni Hewett, T: 9845 8507, E: pennih@southcoastnrm.com.au.