The Farmer Exchange roadshow helps connect central west producers

The Farmer Exchange roadshow helps connect central west producers

Taylor Jurd
MAY 26 2018 – 3:30PM
Western Magazine

Twenty-five central west producers attended a forum in Dubbo on Thursday to hear the story and vision of Deniliquin producer Airlie Trescowthick and her goal of digitally connecting landholders from right across the country.

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The Dubbo event was the last leg of a national roadshow where Ms Trescowthick introduced the free online agricultural exchange platforms, The Farmer Exchange and The Farm Table.

Ms Trescowthick created The Farm Table in 2016, which is a one-stop shop website full of resources, and a place where farmers can go to connect with other producers.

The Farmer Exchange was launched in May this year and is a dedicated space for farmers to connect, ask questions and share information.

“They can all see the benefits of sharing that inter-generational knowledge and increasing that network of farmers they can call upon to ask questions,” Ms Trescowthick said. “Everyone in the room was really collaborative and positive..”

Ms Trescowthick said the tour has been “incredible”

“It’s a primarily digital platform , but I’m very much about person-to-person contact. I think we use digital forms to enable contact we wouldn’t have been able to do because we’re isolated, but to get out and talk to producers is amazing. It’s been an amazing opportunity…,” she said.

Ms Trescowthick said there was a good mix of producers at the Dubbo event, as it has been at all forums.

“The demographic.. has been young and old, a mix of sexes and predominately primary producers and then a gap of the next generation up,” she said.

“Afterwards they see the genuine service we’re trying to create. It’s not just some fleeting ag-tech product. There’s been a lot of good feedback in the room.”

One of the young farmers who have helped develop the program is market gardener Joel Orchard from Mullumbimby.

“I see real value in digital networks as a tool to provide peer support and capacity building for the development of a sustainable agriculture industry,” he said.

“Farming has historically been such an individual and isolating pursuit. Being able to build connections and peer-support through digital platforms offers huge benefits to the success of the industry and to the health and wellbeing of our farming community.

They can all see the benefits of sharing that inter-generational knowledge and increasing that network of farmers they can call upon to ask questions.

Airlie Trescowthick

“If we are separated we can’t tackle industry issues in unison. We have a real change to rally farmers together and push for solidarity as an industry.”

The Farmer Exchange Project has received funding from the Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program, known as Farming Together, to establish the web-based application and introduce it to farmers nationally in 15 visits across WA, SA, Queensland, Tasmania, NSW and Victoria.

Farming Together program director Lorraine Gordon said The Farmer Exchange boosts real-time connectivity among farmers.

“It enables them to share knowledge, resources and strategic insights. It harvests the best of farmer knowledge and uses the most-adaptable form of online delivery,” she said.

See original article here.

Airlie Landale

Airlie Landale is an Agricultural Economist and Independent Consultant at Landale Rural who works part time on her family farm out of Deniliquin. With a background in commercial business, farming and corporate agriculture and a passion for the Australian agricultural industry. Prior to Farm Table Airlie worked at Macquarie Bank as an Agricultural Business Analyst and was named as a ‘Tomorrow Maker’ by the AMP Foundation. As well as this Airlie was NSW Rural Young Achiever of the year.