Farmers hop on-board to share success

“Please sir, can I leave the room? My brain’s full”

That famous Gary Larson cartoon caption was almost the phrase on everyone’s lips at the end of a marvellous Natural Resource Management bus tour conducted around Perenjori last week.

NACC, together with Perenjori Farming Forward (PFF), hosted a Natural Resource Management bus tour, to explore different sites and allowed for several of the area’s best agricultural and biodiversity success stories to be shared with community members.

The tour included site visits to an AusCarbon revegetation and carbon sequestration site, a Central Wheatbelt Declared Species Group (CWDSG) bait racking site, a NACC Hidden Treasures protected site, and visits to both the Sparkman and Logue farms.

NACC Natural Resource Management Officer Sarah Gilleland said feedback for the event was positive and highlighted an important message.

“People enjoyed the range of topics, with many people saying that they really enjoyed being able to see a trial happen right in front of them, and simultaneously being able to discuss and share ideas whilst on the tour,” she said.

“This was a great way to get community discussion happening, and also an effective way to engage and involve community members.

“One key message highlighted was the importance that landcare still has in our community; and there is a lot to learn; and for those wanting to try different things, support is available.”

As part of the tour, attendees visited a local Aboriginal heritage site, west of Weelhamby Lake, and North East of Perenjori, overlooking an AusCarbon farm.

Geoff McArthur spoke about AusCarbon, and the development of a biodiverse carbon project. Another presenter, Rod Butler, discussed an alternate high intensive grazing system for sheep, and integrating traditional fire management techniques into modern day agroforestry.

Participants then took a look at where, when and how 1080 meat baits are prepared by the CWDSG, while Phil Logue discussed the behaviour of wild dogs and foxes in the region, their impacts on livestock and native fauna, and the efficacy of baiting.

Brendon Nichols, from Regional Men’s Health, addressed the group during lunch, creating a very good discussion around Men’s Health – particularly in rural areas – covering such key topics as recognising when there is a problem and knowing how to deal with it, and having somebody to help, whether it be your own health or that of somebody close to you.

Participants then visited one of NACC’s Hidden Treasures site, where Rod Desmond guided the group around and through areas of remnant vegetation on his farm that he has fenced-off with funding from NACC’s Hidden Treasures Incentive project.

As the day came to a close, all attendees took part in a clay ball trial of salt-tolerant pastures at the Sparkman farm. Phil Logue discussed a clay ball trial that has been conducted at the Sparkman property, alongside PFF, thanks to funding through NACC’s Sustainable Agriculture Program.

The clayballs have been impregnated with various pastoral and eucalypt seeds and dispersed across a moderately saline trial site. Everyone is hoping they will be a success and another innovation for land restoration in the region.

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