Landcare FARM GATE TOUR

Connecting farmers and communities through showcasing local farming enterprises

Reaching Out -

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Landcare FARM GATE TOUR

Connecting farmers and communities through showcasing local farming enterprises

The issue

We were keen to build our interface with the community and demonstrate the relevance of landcare activities in local food production and farm management.

It is difficult for people to visit properties which are not normally open to the public and discover how local farmers are protecting our natural environment and practicing sustainable agriculture.

The solution

The Farm Gate Tour was modeled on a previously successful self drive sustainable homes tour in the region. Local farmers across a range of enterprises who had been active in 'landcare' activities were canvassed to determine their interest in being involved and the best time of year to hold the annual event.

The Tour is predominantly self-funding via a $30 / car or family fee along with some dedicated pages for advertising sales in the booklet. We market it online through Facebook and by media release and have set up online payment and download options.

We have received support from Port Macquarie Hastings Council in media promotions and also the Visitor Information Centre which handles booklet sales in Port Macquarie on a fee for service arrangement. We have been supported by other local business as outlets for booklet sales.

The impact

The event provides our Network with an important interface with the participating farmers - proving attractive to both established and new landholders. A range of topics are discussed throughout the long weekend program - biological regeneration of soils and pastures, holistic management, biodiversity and water quality protection, invasive weed control and private land conservation and bees for pollination.

Our organisation has attracted new members and interest groups as a result of the interactions across the 3 day event.

Learnings

As the event grows we need to attract additional volunteers to assist in the smooth running of the event. There are also opportunities for additional fund-raising through the weekend which we are exploring.

Each year we need to introduce some new properties and rotate others to provide new interest and to minimise the demands on the supporting farmers.

Images

Key facts

  • Annual Event has grown 120 participants in 2012 to ~450 in 2016.
  • 'Farmer to Farmer' information exchange
  • Urban families connect with local food production.
  • 556 followers on a dedicated Facebook page

Project Partners