Upper North Farming Systems will hold its inaugural Farming Well Event on March 14 at the Blacksmith's Chatter, 7 First Street, Orroroo.
This event will bring farmers in the Upper North together to listen to some great speakers on all aspects of life on the land, with talks on livestock and cropping in the current conditions and improving the overall health and wellbeing of the farming community.
Opening at 12.30pm, the afternoon session will comprise a series of presentations.
The formalities will be followed by a relaxed dinner at 5.30pm provided through funding from the Country SA Public Health Network secured by the Mid North Local Health Cluster.
During dinner the attendees will be entertained by live music from local John O'Dea.
With the generous support from the Mid North Local Health Cluster, who secured funding from the Country SA Public Health Network to support mental health initiatives in the region, we have been able to bring Dr Kate Gunn to the region to discuss the I Farm Well initiative.
Kate works as a Research Fellow in the University of South Australia Cancer Research Institute.
She carries out both qualitative and quantitative research in psycho-oncology, rural health and rural mental health with experience as a Clinical Psychologist and a farming background, having grown up on an Eyre Peninsula property.
Kate has recently led the development of www.ifarmwell.com.au which is an online, farmer and ACT-informed intervention, designed to help Australian farmers' better cope with things beyond their control (e.g. the weather).
This funding has also enabled Alex Thomas, the 2018 SA Agrifutures Rural Woman Award, and developer of the "Plant a Seed for Safety" Campaign, to be brought back to the region for the afternoons' event.
Alex grew up on Parnaroo Station, east of Yunta, and is passionate about inspiring conversations about health and safety in the farming environment and driving change in the culture of farming to ensure farmers and their families safety and well-being is a priority.
There will be a production focus to the event with Deb Scammell, Alltech Lienert Australia, talking on livestock nutrition in particular confinement feeding into lambing.
Tom Moten from Kerin Landmark Jamestown will be discussing the considerations for seeding after the lack of late season or summer rainfall and the resulting chemical residues, nutrient availability and lack of stored soil moisture.
Pest animals are an ongoing issue in the region, Marty Bower, the State Wild Dog Coordinator with PIRSA Biosecurity SA will be presenting on Cooperative Wild Dog Management whilst Northern and Yorke NRM staff will present on effective fox and kangaroo management and will be on hand with fox baits and destruction permits for those that bring their section numbers along.
Ruth Sommerville, executive officer of UNFS, said it would be a great afternoon of practical information to help farmers improve their production outcomes during a challenging year and hopefully provide some tips to implement to benefit the well-being of the farming family and the broader Upper North Community.
"It will also be a great opportunity to catch up with your neighbours and enjoy a free meal whilst enjoying some live music," she said.
The Upper North Farming Systems Group (UNFS) aims to provide its members and the broader community of the Upper North Region of South Australia with access to information and networks to make farming in this region more profitable, sustainable and productive.
The current conditions are providing unique challenges and they hope that this event will give the community an opportunity to come together and learn some tips to help them to Farm Well in 2019 and into the future.
The UNFS Farm Well in 2019 Event will run from 12.30-7.30PM and is free to all. It is a family friendly event. Dinner will be provided for all attending. Registrations for catering purposes are appreciated: Kristina Mudge: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0438840369.