Mayor Bob Kirk attended the launch on Thursday of a new group seeking to promote improved farming practices in our region.
The Goulburn Mulwaree Grazing and Farming Group will share innovative ideas that implement the current best sustainable methods.
In opening remarks at the launch, Cr Kirk said that, although not a farmer himself, he was pleased to be able support the aims of the group to encourage more profitable and sustainable farms in the area.
It is part of the Grow Goulburn Mulwaree Farms and Garden Project run by Community Voice for Hume, a registered Landcare body. The overall project also has received the endorsement of Cr Kirk, as well as that of State MP Wendy Tuckerman and council general manager, Warwick Bennett.
Community Voice for Hume is awaiting official confirmation of a federal government grant that will help the grazing group achieve its goal of encouraging and supporting landholders to transition to best sustainable and regenerative farming practices. These have as their highest priorities the health of soil and pastures.
An example of the new approach is that, instead of maintaining stock numbers during dry periods and hand feeding, animal numbers are reduced so as to retain maximum ground cover. As well as allowing a quicker recovery from droughts, in the longer run this increases levels of organic matter and carbon in the soil, making for more productive pastures.
An important additional benefit is lower input costs for feeding and fertilisers.
The launch was held at the Tirrannaville property of Gail and Robert Favaloro, who heads the new group, and was attended by about 20 people.
The main presentation was by Ruth Aveyard, Landcare co-ordinator for Upper Lachlan, and Paul Hewitt, the facilitator of the Upper Lachlan Grazing Group, whose activities have inspired members of the new group.
Mr Hewitt, a farmer near Grabben Gullen, explained that his group supported land management practices that delivered better outcomes emotionally and environmentally, as well as economically. While encouraging a move towards more regenerative land management, it acknowledged there was a diversity of approaches: there was no single recipe for success.
The convenor of Community Voice for Hume, Bob Philipson, said he was amazed by the breadth of experience and knowledge at Thursday's meeting, encouraging him to believe there was a real opportunity to make a difference.