Regional Agriculture and Landcare Facilitator
Funded through Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, the PPWCMA’s Regional Agriculture and Landcare Facilitator (RALF) role supports agricultural industry groups and farmers in the Port Phillip and Western Port region.
The key services delivered by the Regional Agriculture Facilitator include:
- Engaging and informing farmers, community groups and agricultural industries about emerging ideas, climate change activities, on‐farm biosecurity, innovative practices and relevant new government policy to help improve the sustainability, productivity and profitability of agriculture in the region
- Facilitating partnerships that will best deliver agriculture outcomes, such as connecting industry, grower and community groups so that they can work together to address common issues and seek new funding opportunities
- Participating in ‘communities of practice’ to better understand complex issues, improve networks and help develop solutions for national priorities.
- Providing information, as part of two-way communication with the Australian Government, about emerging issues and events, e.g. reporting on the impacts of natural disasters on farmers, emerging farm management issues affecting sustainability, examples of farming better practice, and organising field visits for federal ministers.
In 2020-21, RALF delivered community engagement activities, both online and face to face, that focused on topics that supported landholders to contribute towards the protection of soils, water and biodiversity.
• A native bee workshop with Berries Australia in Silvan that had 13 participants
• A dung beetle workshop with Macedon Ranges Shire that had 50 participants
• A planting for pollinators workshop with partners from the Mornington Peninsula that had 40 participants.
The RALF participated in six advisory meetings with industry partners, supported the Bunyip fire recovery by being a member of the Bunyip Fire Natural Envronment Recovery Sub-committee, and facilitated discussions around the development of the National Soils Strategy.
The RALF also supported the PPWCMA’s Work Crews project by providing an induction on farm biosesurity, designing insectary plantings on vegetable farms and shelterbelt planting within the Bunyip Fire Recovery footprint.
The Regional Agriculture and Landcare Facilitator for the Port Phillip and Western Port region is Karen Thomas.