2021 – Hints for living a sustainable life
Creating a sustainable future for farming in the Northern Rivers Young Farmers Connect With the age of the average Australian farmer nudging 60, local group Young Farmers Connect (YFC) has formed a network that facilitates opportunities, land sharing, collaboration, education, mentorship and industry support to new, young and aspiring farmers throughout Australia. The group says ‘It is apparent to young people just how important a healthy, sustainable food culture is to society. We are a generation that has grown up with the challenges of climate change, globalisation and inequality and for many of us agriculture represents an inherently positive response to these challenges’. Having sprouted and grown in the Northern Rivers in 2015, YFC has inspired a growing national network of chapters with a definitive focus on supporting new entrants into local food economies, sustainable food systems and ecological agriculture. The not-for-profit organisation is committed to cultivating peer-support
networks, building resources and providing educational platforms that encourage a new generation of agrarians to engage in the critically important work of community food security, biodiversity preservation and mitigation against climate change.
Understanding the challenges Within an incredibly challenging economic environment, and with so many additional challenges for young people to access land throughout a rapidly gentrifying Northern Rivers, YFC has set out to ‘understand the barriers and challenges for new farmers and advocate for resources and supportive pathways to mobilise young people into the agricultural sector. When we support our next generation of farmers, we support our environment and the health of our communities’. YFC Northern Rivers chapter coordinators Venetia Scott and Dani Wolff-Chambers have been working in partnership with
Young people have realised that farming is key to combatting climate change and shaping a liveable world. the Department of Primary Industries, Young Farmer Business Program and the Tweed Shire Council to develop and deliver a program of free and heavily subsidised workshops aimed at providing relevant and accessible programs to support the region’s small-scale farming sector. With a specially designed program of workshops titled ‘The Business of Regeneration’ the group held a booked-out field day in the Clarence Valley in early April, focusing on ‘value adding’, hosted at The Peach Farm and Solum Farm, to discuss
creating profitability through vertical integration and onfarm partnerships.
Looking forward Upcoming events being run by the group include Holistic Management for Small Scale Farming workshop in Myocum on 11–12 June; Sustainability for Successful Farming in the Tweed on 22 June; and a Small Farms for Success field day in Newrybar on 29 May. The events are open to anyone in the community interested in being involved in the sector. The group also runs a number of successful
programs including an Education Fund that supports ‘new and young farmers to overcome the financial barriers associated with attending workshops, seminars and conferences that will help our next generation of farmers access information, resources and support to develop best practice in regenerative farming systems and sustainable farm enterprise’. They have also started the Farm Links program which aims to support land-sharing and share-farming opportunities. The pilot program has been designed to support young farmers to connect with offers from landholders who are interested in developing farming opportunities, in partnership, on their land. Young Farmers Connect says the success of the local agricultural sector will depend on wide support from a range of local industry and government stakeholders. ‘Land access is not the only issue – it’s a complex problem of housing shortage, affordability, marketplace access and challenges with the capital expense of new
farming start-ups’ that are creating big hurdles for the region’s new farmers, says Joel Orchard, Principal Coordinator of YFC who has been researching the challenges for new farmers in Australia for the last five years. ‘We will need substantial investment from the public and private sector in alleviating these roadblocks and developing effective pathways into the sector if we want to see a revival and the survival of our local food economies’. YFC is calling on the Northern Rivers local councils and local food system stakeholders to address what YFC sees as critical systemic challenges ‘to provide effective development of the sector and unlock huge potential for growth in the sustainable farming industries’. To get involved, or register for their upcoming events, head to www.youngfarmersconnect.com
METAL RECYCLING Cliffords shop has 3 purposes • We upcycle all our gloves into a product used to make kids playground equipment. • We are a collection site for all used oral care products, which we recycle • We are paperless • We use technology to lessen our negative impact on the environment • We use low or no VOC, locally sourced, sustainable materials on our ﬁt out • We have no carbon footprint • We are the only carbon positive dental practice in the world.
You’ll ﬁnd: Old homewares that have been given a new life. Bathtubs converted into couches, old pots turned into beautiful lights, forks, and taps that are now knobs to hang your coat on at the door!
1 d urpose Buy rep ycled c and up like old goods s, antique wares, t. r a and
ed ycl rec the d Fin tals in the me d for man. yar handy e hom
The yard is the home handyman’s dream! We’re always happy to take or buy your metals.
Drop off your metals for coin.
It’s not just a shop or a yard. It’s an experience. Come on in, take your time and enjoy ﬁnding your unique pieces!
Dr Marcus O’Meara B.D.S | Dr Louise Barr, B.D.S Ms Caitlin Wilkie, B Oral H (OHT) | Mrs Rachel Andersson, B Oral H (OHT)
59/1 Porter Street, Byron Bay, NSW 2481 This is a carbon positive practice.
02 6694 3083
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Free, independent weekly newspaper from the Byron Shire, on the Far North Coast of NSW, Australia.