In the rangelands, stock are grazed on mostly intact natural systems of native pastures, and increasing perennial pastures enables farmers to produce more food. It’s a win-win situation where, if done well, food production can work in harmony with the environment; that’s a concept that’s not really understood in areas outside the rangelands. Many producers in the Western Region of NSW are already using stock to regenerate their landscapes while producing world-class meat with incredible health, environmental and welfare credentials. Western Landcare working in conjunction with Western Local Land services felt this was an issue that needed to be addressed and shared with not only the region but the broader state.
Western Landcare hosts a Forum every two years bringing together land managers and groups from across the region to share success stories about sustainable agriculture and learn of new opportunities and innovations. The 2017 Western Landcare Forum provided a perfect platform for the organisations to air the idea, develop the concept and bring a broad range of stakeholders together and explore the unique connection between environmental and production outcomes in the region and discover ways we could brand our produce. The Forum committee spent 12 months working towards the forum organising speakers, workshops, field trips and venues.
The forum was a great success with just over 200 attendees, the most a Western Landcare Forum has ever attracted. The Forum hosted a range of speakers including rangeland producers, consultants and industry representatives. High on the agenda included Sophie Hansen 2016 Rural Woman of the Year and Sir Major General Michael Jeffery. The constant message over the two day event was that Western NSW is thriving and that future production, the environment, and marketing will continue to move forward through the persistent hard work that the people in the region have been demonstrating to the rest of Australia. With grazing management, improved marketing and resource management, the rangelands of western NSW will prosper in producing healthy landscapes and healthy food to share with Australia and the world. Attendees left inspired and looking forward to working together to market the Western Region.
For more information and PDF download please visit: https://landcare.nsw.gov.au/groups/Western_landcare/healthy-landscapes-healthy-food/