A course aimed at farming women across the Lower Eyre Peninsula is helping them learn skills to become more actively involved with the daily operations of their properties.
Understanding Crop Production for Women is a course organised by the Lower Eyre Agricultural Development Association – a farmer-driven organisation that addresses issues and solutions to improve farming systems in the region.
LEADA regional landcare facilitator Megan Low said the workshop aimed to assist participants to be more informed with farm planning and management.
“Developing a greater understanding of the seasonal cropping program, including crop agronomy, managing pests and diseases, harvesting and marketing, has increased their understanding and discussions relating to budgets, programs, crop options, time pressures and more within the business,” she said.
Other areas that may be covered in the workshops include work health and safety, and succession planning.
Practical sessions include soil testing, weed identification, crop walks and visits to local businesses, such as a bulk handling site, grain mill and bakery.
Participants are encouraged to ask questions throughout the day and are asked to provide examples of practices on their farms. The organisers aim to include practical session or field trip in each of the workshops.
Speakers at the workshops include LEADA members, local agronomists and agribusiness consultants.
Participants are encouraged to complete homework such as a wheat germination test, gathering paddock weeds for identification; and monitoring a cropping paddock through the period of the workshops.
“Many women enter the farming family through marriage without agricultural knowledge or background,” Ms Low said.
“Their ability to significantly contribute to the success of the farm is dependent on opportunities to learn about the business and actively take part. Empowering women through opportunities to gain skills and knowledge on agricultural production will ultimately increase efficiency and economic production.”
The project has been designed through direct contact with farm business partners.
The program kicked off for the second time in April, with the remaining sessions held in May, August and October, finishing in February 2018.
Participants pay $110 to participate, with the workshops also funded through a National Landcare Program grant through the EP Natural Resources Management Board, as well as sponsorship from Cargill Australia, Lincoln Rural Supplies and LEADA.
Workshops develop cropping know-how
JOINING the Understanding Crop Production program has helped Sonja Robins, Yeelanna, understand what to look for when making cropping decisions.
Mrs Robins co-owns Shannonvale with husband Tony.
She joined the program to improve her cropping knowledge and in-turn, provide more support in the business. She said the workshops offered relevant and timely information.
“They (the workshops) have given me some tools to be more involved in making the decisions when it comes to pest management, cropping and agronomy,” she said.
“The speakers we had were able to break topics down, so they were easier to understand and the group was encouraged to engage in a broad range of conversations.
“Often these conversations took tangents not specifically on target, but they cleared up queries that participants raised.
“It is useful to hear other people’s experiences and to learn from them.”
- Details: eparf.com.au