‘Fields of Farmers: The Next (re) Generation’
This coming February 2013 Regrarians Ltd. is again hosting the ‘World’s Most Innovative Farmer’ (Time Magazine) Joel Salatin in Oceania. For the first time however Joel will be teaming up with his son Daniel Salatin to deliver some very special 1 day workshops titled, ‘Fields of Farmers: The Next (re) Generation’ in Canberra, Melbourne & Auckland.
This unique workshop was originated by Regrarians’ Director Lisa Heenan a few years back & there has never been a better time to get this up and running. ‘Structural Aging’ (Barr, 2012) is a massive issue in agriculture with the average farmer age more or less 60 and continuous reports in the media telling us of record low enrolments in tertiary Ag courses, footy club closures/mergers continuing unabated, farms getting larger and larger, greyer and greyer, debt loading greater and greater. Something has got to be done to regenerate agriculture and rise to the challenge of turning this atrophic slide. In short we need to ‘get this sorted’…
Within our Regrarians Platform we start with 1. Climate as being the most intractable, permanent item. The ‘climate’ of the human mind is, we believe, almost as difficult to change as the climate of the biosphere. In our research & feedback we keep getting told that one of the most difficult topics to discuss in a family is succession. We continue to hear the ‘war stories’ and bitter break-ups resulting in yet another bright productive land steward leaving not only the district but also their family usually for town or a mine. Clearly with succession is more difficult for the majority than studying the terrain (2. Geography), putting in a new dam (3. Water), where to put a laneway (4. Access) or shelterbelt (5. Forestry) and so on.
We believe that starting the conversation is the hardest part and that’s where our Virginian friends come in as they are pretty adept at the art, not afraid to delve in deeply but politely, and are uniquely experienced to provide the example of how to come out the other side. And its not just about dealing with things after you are gone its about dealing with things now, about engaging in root causes of why we have all of these problems that also need to be dealt with and that is why we are not just talking Intergenerational Succession strategies but also Farm Enterprise Planning, Complementary Marketing, ‘AgriPreneurialism’, Land Access & Scaling.
We want Agriculture to be talked up not down and no more so than at the kitchen tables and in the paddock. The psychological brunt that afflicts young people by the broad bashing of agriculture as a career and lifestyle is telling even when we have globally record numbers of people wanting to leave cities and take up a agrarian pursuit, so much so that these ‘tree changers’ now contribute in many areas more economically to rural economies than do professional agriculturalists (Weekly Times 2012).
So we need to get cracking and this workshop is all about starting the conversation, and giving the enterprise and land access tools to back it all up. There are many people already on the road and many of these people will be coming so you will have people just like you there to talk to in the breaks and hear from in the general discourse of these open conversation based talks.
Mark your spot in February 2013 at Canberra on the 24th, Melbourne on the 25th & then Auckland on the 2nd of March. Regrarians’ generous discounts mean that you can get a ‘Farmily-Friendly’ ticket get 20% off per head if you come with a family member or the same off if you come on our ‘Mate’s Rates’ ticket. We don’t want you to come alone as this is too important to go it alone: it doesn’t work that way and if it has up to now then that’s needs to change…
Thank you & see you there for what promises to be a truly life-changing event.
Lisa Heenan, Isaebella Doherty & Darren J. Doherty