Wheatbelt Champions

Nick and Lucy Kelly

Wheatbelt Champions

Overview
The Wheatbelt Champions project celebrated local farmers for trying new farming practices to increase productivity and sustainability and for encouraging others to follow their example. The project outcomes include a DVD highlighting the efforts of 5 Wheatbelt Champion farmers, a Soil Health Guide, and the Talkin' Soil Health Conference to encourage the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices in the Wheatbelt.
Delivery Organisation
Wheatbelt NRM
Contact

Felicity Gilbert

Program Manager – Sustainable Industries

Phone: (08) 9670 3112

Email: fgilbert@wheatbeltnrm.org.au

The Wheatbelt Champions project celebrated farmers involved in Wheatbelt NRM's Soil Conservation Incentive Program (SCIP). It highlighted local farmers for trying new farming practices to increase productivity and sustainability and for encouraging others to follow their example.

 

The project produced a DVD, guide and conference based on actual examples of sustainable agricultural practices to improve soil health in the Wheatbelt.

 

Wheatbelt NRM also worked directly with farmers to develop agroforestry management plans to help them include revegetation and conservation activities on their farms. This created options for farmers to combine revegetation for improved productivity with biodiversity plantings to connect and provide habitat.

 

This project supported the SCIP, which strongly influenced behavioural change towards sustainable agriculture in the Wheatbelt.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Produced a DVD highlighting how 5 Wheatbelt Champion farmers have introduced sustainable practices onto their farms.
  • Produced a Soil Health Guide designed with the farmer in mind. It includes 24 case studies drawn from the SCIP covering different grazing, cropping, agroforestry and soil management practices. The guide covers practical tips based on real-life experiences of fellow Wheatbelt farmers to show how you can change your farm practices to manage particular issues.
  • Organised the Talkin’ Soil Health: Invention and Innovation in Soil Management Conference, held in York in March 2013. The 2-day conference was organised to address farmer’s questions on declining soil health and sustainability of current practices in broadacre farming systems. It was attended by over 200 farmers, scientists and industry representatives from the Southern Wheatbelt. The conference included panel discussions and hands-on workshops covering soil degradation, biology and building, and the future of agriculture. Presenters included Major General Michael Jeffery (the country’s first Advocate for Soil Health), Minister Joe Ludwig (Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), CSIRO and university researchers, and several Wheatbelt Champions.
  • Developed the Seedling Selector smart phone application (Android and iPhone), which helps you select the right species for a particular purpose (e.g. forage, timber, carbon sequestration, or other agroforestry products like brushwood and sandalwood).
  • Ran workshops and training opportunities for the community to encourage them to use/the use of strategic agroforestry plantings for biodiversity conservation.