Meeting organised to offer online and off-line networking

Meeting organised to offer online and off-line networking


Steve Evans
MARCH 28 2018 – 7:50AM
Glen Innes Examiner

Internet entrepreneur and farmer. Airlie Trescowthick works on the land and works from the land to unite farmers.

 Internet entrepreneur and farmer. Airlie Trescowthick works on the land and works from the land to unite farmers.

“Farmer Exchange” is a new idea meant to meld the old and the new.

Farmers getting together to discuss common problems is not new – it’s the original idea behind the annual shows which are so central to country towns, particularly Glen Innes.

But the use of the internet is relatively new.

The idea is to provide an on-line forum for farmers across Australia – a way for farmers to talk to each other.

It’s been set up by a woman with a rare combination of skills – Airlie Trescowthick is an internet entrepreneur who farms.

So, you might have a problem with blackberry bushes on your property (see left), you go onto the Farm Exchange site and raise the problem. Somebody on a property at the other end of the state might have dealt with a similar situation and have really useful tips. You talk to each other.

On April 9, the founder will be at the Club Hotel in Glen Innes (between 6 and 9 pm) to explain. The event is supported by the Glen Innes Natural Resources Advisory Committee (GLENRAC).

Airlie Trescowthick’s idea is that the online platform will enable farmers to archive answers and also have their own particular space within the wider website. They can go into the online library and also talk to each other outside it – a bit like life but across the country.

Farmers and would-be farmers join for free but the way Airlie Trescowthick hopes to make it pay is by charging businesses to get involved. The gain for them is that they get access to a national market – and for that they need to stump up money.

She said: “Farmer Exchange is about building a place where farmers can help other farmers no matter where they live across Australia.

“Current social networks do not have the farmer, at front and centre of their design and functionality.

“On other platforms, there is often only one vertical stream of conversation (rather than a group discussion). In a matter of hours (sometimes minutes), a thread can disappear out of sight, making it difficult to continue to engage, or find it weeks or months later.

“Farmer Exchange, built by farmers, for farmers, will connect us in order to transfer knowledge in a way we have not seen before.”

The whole website is called Farm Table and it contains an archive of information and a directory of events of interest to the industry and then, within that website, is Farm Exchange, the platform where farmers can talk to each other.

The Club Hotel event is free with light refreshments.

Access 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.