Who are we?
The Fleurieu Forward Farming steering committee was formed in April 2016, as a cooperative venture between the Parawa Agricultural Bureau and the Fleurieu Beef Group, also involving local independent agribusiness consultants, to provide oversight for projects looking at soil fertility and health issues that affect pasture and thus grazing enterprise productivity, in the western Fleurieu Peninsula sub-region of SA.
From Left: Jeff Edwards (AMLR NRM – Sustainable Agricultural Officer), Paul Erkelenz (FFF Secretary), Amy Williams (Williams Farm and FFF member), Peter Filsell (FFF President), Melissa Rebbeck (FFF Project Officer).
Projects have included literature reviews, field trials, field days, case study trial sites, soil moisture probes and workshops. Current and past projects can be viewed under our projects tab and include:
• A review of past soil research carried out on the Fleurieu Peninsula
• Biochar trials
• pH and EM mapping demonstrations
• Soil health case studies under conventional and alternative farming systems
• Soil health replicated trials
What is the purpose of the Fleurieu Forward Farming Group?
The Fleurieu Forward Farming Group is in the business of:
• Defining farming system issues and opportunities of a strategic nature on the Fleurieu Peninsula
• Defining ways to overcome strategic issues and capitalise on the strategic opportunities
• Linking, collaborating and communicating between existing and new groups, and individuals across the region
• Creating opportunities for learning, debating, exploring and researching innovations, specific issues, new business models and projects
• Attracting resources, including research funds, scholarships and PhD’s, for the benefit of the region
• Building a structure and support to enable the management of projects on behalf of smaller groups, for the benefit of the region
• Building confidence that results in practice change and adoption of technology
Why are we forming a Board?
Based on its progress to date and the experience of other farming systems groups in SA (e.g. the Barossa Improved Grazing Group (BIGG), the MacKillop Farm Management Group etc.), the Fleurieu Forward Farming steering committee feels that it is timely to consider development of an expanded, ongoing group, with a more defined purpose and structure. It has recently undertaken a strategic planning process, during which it has identified its preferred structure and governance arrangements.
The appointment of a motivated, appropriately skilled governing Board is required to implement this structure and to drive the group forward to its next stage of development.
What will the Board Do?
The proposed Terms of Reference for the Board are to:
• Define and continuously review whole of region farming systems research, development
and extension opportunities, that benefit landholders on the Fleurieu Peninsula
• Invigorate and add value to existing landholder groups that operate on the Fleurieu Peninsula
• Screen, prioritise and approve project ideas
• Be aware of funding opportunities and timeframes
• Ensure effective communication of project outcomes
• Provide effective governance for Fleurieu Forward Farming, including oversight of the FFF Operations Group
Who will make up the Board?
We have decided on a mixed “skills based” and “representative based” approach to Board membership. That is, we are looking for a Board that collectively have the mixture of skills we need (see selection criteria below) and can represent, and communicate back to, a number of the local farmer groups present in the region.
The aim is to have local primary producers operating at a commercial scale in the majority on the Board; however we also recognise the value that others who are deeply involved in/committed to improving agriculture in the region (ie service providers, researchers etc.) would add as Board members.
Why join the Board?
• A chance to influence research, development and extension priorities in region
• A chance to initiate & be involved in projects that have real benefit for region’s primary producers
• A chance to assist local farming groups to address issues together, that they don’t have the capacity to address separately.
• A chance to build a successful farming systems group from “the ground up”.
The way that the Board chooses to operate will be its own decision, once it has been formed. This will ultimately determine the level of commitment required. However, as a guide, the following commitments are likely.
• 4 – 6 meetings a year (3 -4 hours length); additional meetings from time to time
• A commitment to keep contact with existing networks and feed info to and from the Fleurieu Forward Farming Group
The term of members will be three years; the term of members for the initial Board will be split into 1/3rd one year, 1/3rd two years and 1/3rd three years.
Initially, Board members should expect to be involved on an entirely voluntary basis. Some support for travel costs, sitting fees etc. may be available from time to time (depending on project funding) and is more likely as the group develops.
Individual Board members should possess as many of the following skills, experience and attributes as possible:
• Well networked in primary industries and the region, particularly with farming groups
• Knowledge of farming systems on the Fleurieu Peninsula
• Experience and expertise in business and governance
• Enthusiasm for, and interest in, on-farm adoption of innovation and continuous improvement across all elements of the farm business (productivity, sustainability, people)
• Good communication skills
• Ability to think strategically
• Skills in leading and managing people
• Knowledge of Research ,Development and Extension (R, D&E) frameworks and scientific rigour
It is recognised that a number of individual Board members may not meet all of these criteria; however the Board collectively should meet all criteria.
How to apply
Completion of an application form is required, which asks you to briefly describe how you meet each of the above selection criteria. The application form can be found here