Small farms network
The challenge Small landholders as a collective clientèle are challenging to engage due to their diverse rural lifestyles, off-farm employment, transient/absent nature and social disconnect with traditional community networks. The Small Farms Network, established in 2004, captures this rapidly expanding landholder demographic, functioning as a regional hub for workshops, natural resource management funding and the delivery of a whole of farm sustainable land management.
Work undertakenThe network has 622 members across the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands districts. Twelve workshops were delivered on a variety of integrated land management topics, building the capacity and skills of more than 350 landholders annually. It currently maintains communication with small landholders and the wider community through a regular e-newsletter.
- A free social resource network for small landholders to access information on a wide range of land management issues not readily available through existing programs.
- The establishment of industry sub-networks provides small landholders the opportunity to enter the learning spectrum at different levels depending on their interests and ability.
- Delivery of a wide range of workshops which act as engagement hooks for landholders.
- Regular distribution of an e-newsletter which is a main information source for local events for small landholders.
- Whole of farm approach to land management.