16 episodes

Farming Together, brought to you by Southern Cross University. A conversation between host Farming Together Program manager Amanda Scott and the farmer, fisher and forestry groups which were supported by the University’s program.
You will hear how groups worked collaboratively to build stronger, more resilient farming communities in the face of increasingly complex environmental, economic and social challenges.

Farming Together Regenerative Agriculture Alliance

    • Science

Farming Together, brought to you by Southern Cross University. A conversation between host Farming Together Program manager Amanda Scott and the farmer, fisher and forestry groups which were supported by the University’s program.
You will hear how groups worked collaboratively to build stronger, more resilient farming communities in the face of increasingly complex environmental, economic and social challenges.

    Wrap up of Season Two of the Farming Together podcast

    Wrap up of Season Two of the Farming Together podcast

    Karly Nimmo
    10:07 AM (25 minutes ago)



    to me





    And now we wrap up season two of Farming Together.

    In the first season we explored collaborative farming. The messy human stories, the process at arriving at a collaborative model, and the ways they've made it work.

    If you have any interest in starting collaborative farming - whether it be forming a new group or
    taking an existing one to the next level - head back into the back catalogue to the first season of Farming Together, where you'll find find some great tips , raw truths and inspiration.

    One particular episode of season one struck a chord with many of you. We chatted with Katie and Hugh Finlay of Harcourt Organic Farming Co-operative. Katie and Hugh realised that as they aged they couldn't physically continue with all the farm work required, Katie and Hugh formed a co-operative that would not only ensure the farm's continued productivity, it would also help mentor the next generation of farmers and offer them greater lease security.

    In response to this episode, the farming together team received an influx of questions and feedback in relation to succession planning for farmers, and the different way share farming could be a solution.

    In the first episode we had a conversation with young farmers Sas Allardice (one half of Gung Hoe Growers) and micro dairy farmer Tess Sellars, both members of the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op. Two young farmers keen to dig in, but with little capital, Sas and Tess knew they had to think outside the square when it came to accessing land and equipment. We hear how they made it work for them -- legally and financially - and the hard work, strong values, and sense of humour that helped them along the way.

    Episode two saw us chat with Andie White, who enlisted the help of Sam Marwood of Cultivate Farms. Andie was among a growing number of landless farmers who could prove they were productive farmers but couldn't quite get a foothold in the property market. She talks about how she made it happen with Cultivate Farms, which matches retiring farmers with aspiring farmers and investors.

    In episode three we heard from Cheryl Smith from medicinal herb farm Solum Farm and young hemp farmer Hannah Navara. Together they have forged a unique sharefarm model in which labour exchange, accommodation and equipment are all factored in to a unique mutually beneficial arrangement. The farmers connected through Young Famers Connect, a not-for-profit organisation that supports pathways for young farmers. We also speak to its co-founder and Principal co-ordinator Joel Orchard about the need for greater resources and support to achieve fairer outcomes for emerging farmers.

    And episode four saw us chat with Gordon Williams, owner of Eastlake Farm about creating a win-win leasing agreement between generations. Gordon tells us about his lease agreement which gives him an income and a say in how the farm is run while giving his leasees a mentor. who knows the land and can provide hard won knowledge and decades of experience.

    In episode five, Amanda speaks to Victorian dairy farmer Stuart Crosthwaite about the delicate situation of sharing a farm with your family. He talks about how the right succession planning strategy has given him the freedom to invest and grow the farm -- and importantly ensure his parents are well looked after.

    And in our last ep of this season, Amanda explores a share farming model which is radically different.Food system change-makers Kirsten Larsen and Serenity Hill reveal the...

    • 4 min
    A radical share-farming model based on custodianship, not ownership

    A radical share-farming model based on custodianship, not ownership

    This episode explores a share farming model which is radically different.

    Food system change-makers Kirsten Larsen and Serenity Hill reveal their ground-breaking
    new collaborative farming model and succession plan designed to improve ecological
    function, support a diverse range of small-scale businesses, and ensure security of tenure
    for emerging farmers. These inspirational farmers in North Eastern Victoria have established
    put the family farm in a trust and created an agreement which over 80 years shifts the
    equity of their family's farm into a not-for-profit - conditional on improving ecological
    conditions of the land.

    Show notes:

    •Open Food Network (OFN): Started as an online marketplace to match farmers with eaters which supports collaborative distribution
    •OFN as an open-source platform: Working with people in 29 countries to develop platform.
    •Model keeps on improving
    •Regenerative farming something positive for climate and improving ecosystem but it is so labour intensive. We need solution to this problem
    •Trust the collaborative process to bring along people in to solve problems on the farm
    •Leasing 400 acres North East Victoria from family (Pukawidgee) and marketing lamb on OFN
    •Core issue of young farmers is they need security of tenure and longstanding connection
    •Set up a Non-profit with a long-term lease arrangement with a trust over 80 years
    •Shift from Land custodianship rather than ownership: improving health should be tied to land custodianship
    •Building a succession plan around the condition of improving ecological conditions.

    Further resources:
    Full story about Kirsten Larsen and Serenity Hill share farming model
    Open Food Network website
    Order from Pukawidgee (Warrenbayne Farm Collective)
    Open Food Network Facebook Page

    • 44 min
    Family Share farming: A way to look after your parents while following your dream

    Family Share farming: A way to look after your parents while following your dream

    In this episode Amanda speaks to Victorian dairy farmer Stuart Crosthwaite about the delicate situation of sharing a farm with your family. He talks about how the right succession planning strategy has given him the freedom to invest and grow the farm -- and importantly ensure his parents are well looked after.

    • 31 min
    Farm Leasing with an older mentor: a win-win solution

    Farm Leasing with an older mentor: a win-win solution

    Creating a win-win farm. leasing agreement between generations

    • 31 min
    Commitment to regeneration and respect drives share farm arrangement with young farmers

    Commitment to regeneration and respect drives share farm arrangement with young farmers

    On this episode Amanda chats to sharefarmers Cheryl Smith from medicinal herb farm Solum Farm and young hemp farmer Hannah Navara. Together they have forged a unique sharefarm model in which labour exchange, accommodation and equipment are all factored in to a unique mutually beneficial arrangement . The farmers connected through Young Famers Connect, a not-for-profit organisation that supports pathways for young farmers. She also speaks to its co-founder and Principal co-ordinator Joel Orchard about the need for greater resources and support to achieve fairer outcomes for emerging farmers.

    In this episode we explore:

    Introducing Cheryl of Solum Farm: Growing Medicinal herbs and why Cheryl and Mike were looking to share the farm

    Introducing Hannah and her regenerative hemp farming practices.

    Introducing Joel Orchard from Young Farmers Connect who brought the two together and has organised a field day at Solum

    Supporting a thriving human and non-human ecology: Both parties need to be passionate, open-hearted communicators and, and hard workers

    Lessons learnt: Communicate clearly and find people who share the same ethos

    Meeting through Young Farmers Network

    How the local increase in housing prices has meant the young couple couldn't afford renting farmland in addition to somewhere to live

    The arrangements: One is a crop sharing arrangement: Labour is also factored in to a rental living agreement. The share-farm agreement is a separate agreement

    The challenge of arriving at a fair deal and importance of appreciating hard work

    The share farm arrangement with the young farmers has meant that Cheryl has been able to expand her medicinal herb business. They have a day per week where it is all hands on deck which has enabled Cheryl's deep dreaming for the farm to become a reality.

    7 hours per week labour is part of the arrangement: For Hannah the work is upskilling and pleasurable . It's pleasure to give those labour hours as a young person.

    Young Farmer Connect addressing challenges: New landholders that don't come with a farm background. Other countries support the process for younger farmers.


    Getting the structure right

    Fundamental barrier to farming is land prices.

    The need for clarity of collaboration before "we begin the dance".

    Resilience: Working together during bushfires

    Young people want purpose: There are so many young people looking for somewhere to live and something to do. We want to encourage the lifestyle among young people. Get on the land and grow!

    Young Farmers Connect: A substantial national network that assists pathways to market and growing local food economy with collaboration.

    On-farm events provide inspiration and enthusiasm and make connections and peer-support


    Further resources

    •Visit the Solum Farm website
    •Download the Solum Farm Case Study
    •Young Farmers Connect website
    •Young Farmers Connect Farm FarmLinks - a Landmatching program and dedicated service of YFC to support land sharing and share farming.

    • 43 min
    Teamwork makes the farm ownership dream work

    Teamwork makes the farm ownership dream work

    In this episode of Farming Together host Amanda Scott talks to Andie White who enlisted the help of Sam Marwood of Cultivate Farms to turn her family's dreams of owning a farm into a reality.

    Andie was among a growing number of landless farmers who could prove they were productive farmers but couldn't quite get a foothold in the property market. She talks about how she made it happen with Cultivate Farms, which matches retiring farmers with aspiring farmers and investors.

    Topics covered:

    The vision and journey of Cultivate Farms: How do you make ownership possible for those who are not going to inherit farms?

    Andie's farm ownership journey: from devastation and rejection to hope.

    Surrounding yourself of with a 'Tiger Team' of farmer friend experts who wanted is to succeed.

    Don't be scared to ask people for advice: it's a confidence booster for others!

    Andie's new Farm: irrigation and a house!

    Cultivate Farms: Retiring farmers who love the idea of ageing of farm and are open to the idea of sharing and supporting younger farmers

    Packaging the pitch: Prove you can do it, be ready and confident and keep hunting for opportunities (Cultivate can help with this)

    Putting yourself out there: Prove you have the morals and values in common with farmers

    Older farmers want to grow communities and support young farming families.

    Retiring farmers have so much power to make money and support their community.

    A question of values: Corporate owners vs locals farming families. Giving retiring farmers confidence that the land is going to be loved

    Investors want to be able to trace the provenance of where their money is invested

    There is nothing new about the legal framework

    Farmers need to get over their modesty

    Share farming is risky: Ask yourself, what is your exit strategy and are you being matched with someone who you can go into business with - but those risks are not unsurmountable.

    Further resources:

    Cultivate Farms website

    • 35 min

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