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NSW mentoring program seeks enthusiastic land managers

Sheep Central, April 1, 2015
Western Division sheep and beef producer Angus Whyte.

Western Division sheep and beef producer Angus Whyte.

Land managers running Merinos, Dorpers, meat goats and beef cattle will act as mentors in the NSW Western Division Resilient Landscapes Project’s mentoring program.

The project has mentors signed up from Cobar, Wentworth and Bourke and is looking for more participants to apply by April 10. Land managers who want to make positive changes on their properties and could benefit from the support of a mentor are being invited to participate.

The Western Division Resilient Landscapes Project’s Mentoring Program will provide landholders in the Western Division of NSW with peer-to-peer mentoring for the management of their properties.

Program aims to lead in innovative land management

Team Leader – Ag Extension & Rangelands Grazing, Gemma Turnbull, said the program was a joint initiative between Local Land Services Western Region, the national Soils for Life Program, chaired by former Governor-General Michael Jeffery, and the Rotary Club of Sydney.

The program has been designed to lead innovative development and change in land management in the Western Division and has attracted some very successful land managers as mentors.

“We have attracted some enthusiastic and progressive land managers who are willing to mentor other landholders over a 12-month period and are now calling for participants in the program,” Ms Turnbull said.

“The goal is to establish partnerships between experienced mentors and positive, forward-thinking landholders who will adopt and establish sustainable land management practices to build environmental and production resilience into their landscapes and enterprises.”

Mentors practising regenerative land management

Program mentors include:

  1. Angus Whyte, who runs Merino sheep and cattle on the 12,500 ha ‘Wyndham Station’ north of Wentworth in far south west NSW.
  2. Ashley McMurtrie, from ‘Gilgunnia Station’ who is controlling feral goats and restoring degraded land to breed dorper sheep north of Cobar.
  3. James Leigo, who runs a 25,000 ha livestock partnership with his family on ‘Dungarvan’, 160km north west of Bourke, primarily as a dorper lamb breeding enterprise.
  4. Glenn Humbert, who operates 10,000 ha ‘Gurrawarra Station’ on the Culgoa River near Bourke running mostly cattle.

For an overview of what some of these mentors hope to contribute to the program, visit the Local Land Services Western Region YouTube Channel.

As part of the Western Division Resilient Landscapes Project, Soils for Life has already documented the regenerative practices of the Whyte and McMurtrie families to showcase how their management is adding resilience to their properties.

Local Land Services has also uploaded videos to its YouTube channel from some of the mentors, encouraging people to apply for the program. To view these, visit youtube.com/user/WesternLLS.

To read these case studies and for further information on the project, visit www.soilsforlife.org.au/western-division-project

April 10 deadline for expressions of interest

Ms Turnbull said people who were interested in becoming involved in the program should obtain a copy of the Expressions of Interest and submit their application before 5pm on Friday, April 10.

“The idea is to develop one-on-one partnerships between enthusiastic and leading land managers and to provide an intensive program to support on-farm innovation, development and practice change,” she said.

“Mentors who have agreed to be part of this program have displayed a strong interest in sharing knowledge and experiences and are recognised within their community for their innovation.”

To obtain an expression of interest form visit www.western.lls.nsw.gov.au, phone 1300 795 299 or visit a local office.

Source: Local Land Service Western Region

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