The Regional Landcare Facilitator (RLF) Program is an initiative of the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, with RLFs present in each of the 56 Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions throughout Australia.
RLFs are tasked with helping land managers, Landcare groups and farming systems groups in a variety of ways including:
- promoting the Landcare ethic and sustainable agriculture to farmers and land managers
- helping groups seek funding, membership and resources for NRM activities
- supporting the development, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of the region’s community engagement plan or strategy
- delivering community activities such as workshops, farm demonstrations and NRM officer learning activities.
In 2015/16, SWCC’s RLF program delivered 14 events attended by more than 600 participants. In addition, 15 individuals were supported to attend training or workshops related to NRM.
In 2016/17, three targeted activities were successfully delivered. The RLF facilitated Landcare displays at the Wagin Woolorama and Balingup Small Farm Field Day, providing a site for two Landcare groups, a catchment group and a grower group at Wagin; and two catchment groups, a biosecurity group, Landcare group and agroforestry network at Balingup.
This provided these groups and SWCC officers with the opportunity to promote the Landcare ethic, network with community members and establish relationships.
The NRM Muster was successfully delivered, providing training and networking opportunities for 25 NRM officers from 10 organisations.
Ten groups or individuals were supported with funding to hold community events with a sustainable agriculture focus.
The RLF also directly facilitated five other events. Six individuals were supported to attend events not facilitated or supported by the RLF.
This community support has provided many opportunities to promote the Landcare ethic and raise awareness of sustainable farming practices, as well as help farmers implement new practices and help them achieve their aspirations for sustainable farming enterprises.
“Fantastic sharing of highly useful knowledge & practice. Meeting people on a similar journey’ ”
Shane Hunter, Regrarian Open Consultancy with Darren Doherty, Rosa Brook
One of the key National Landcare Program outcomes that the RLF supports is “increase in the number of farmers and fishers adopting practices that improve the quality of the natural resource base, and the area of land over which those practices are applied”.
The behaviour change associated with adopting sustainable practices comes up against many barriers that can’t all be addressed in single workshops. The RLF will therefore look at supporting more events that are a part of a broader and ongoing program.
The program will also monitor the area of land that attendees manage more closely and aim to increase engagement with larger landholders, while maintaining support for small landholders.
The Wagin Woolorama Landcare display included three dot surveys about future farming challenges, and innovations and skills required for the future. The most popular options selected were ‘maintain or improve soil health’, ‘water use efficiency’ and ‘business management’ respectively.
- Women in Farming Enterprises (WIFE)
- South West FoodBowl Association Inc.
- Fair Harvest
- South West Agroforestry Network
- iHemp WA
- Rylington Park Management Committee Inc.
- 9 individual landowners and community members
Facilitate 3 events
Facilitated 17 events