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Hepburn Shire’s Artisan Agriculture project is presenting a series of webinars for producers and growers during November.

Artisan agriculture is the production of high value produce or premium food on a small scale or by specialised techniques with a clearly identified provenance. In March this year, Hepburn Shire launched a three-year project to foster and support local artisan producers. One of its primary goals is to provide training to build business skills and knowledge.

Webinar 1, Farmers and Foodies Together, will focus on models for developing regional food distribution. Jennifer Sheridan, the director of Open Food Network Australia, will host the webinar. Her guest will be Renata Cumming from Strathbogie Local, a volunteer-run ‘click and collect’ online farmers market. The market was designed to support farmers who lost their primary source of revenue with the closure of restaurants and farmers markets during the pandemic.

The second webinar will introduce Regenerative Agriculture and approaches that are generally agreed to be ‘regenerative’ in farming on small lifestyle and artisan agricultural properties. The webinar will be hosted by Ross Davey who has a farm between Clunes and Maryborough. His is one of 13 farms conducting on-farm demonstration trials of cover cropping and the application of biological amendments to improve soil health, soil microbial biodiversity and improved pasture resilience.

Webinars 3 and 4 will examine the benefits of producer-owned cooperatives and collaborative ways to manage marketing and logistics, for example by gaining efficiencies in shared deliveries or packing, or working together to backload produce between regions.

Artisan Agriculture Webinar Program

Farmers and Foodies Together: How communities are working together to build strong regional food distribution? 

Monday 9 November 2020, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Regenerative Farming: The new hope for farmers!

Monday 16 November 2020, 1:30pm – 3:00pm

Co-Operatives 101Insights and opportunities in forming Cooperatives for small farm sector

Wednesday 25 November 2020, 1:30pm – 3:00pm

Collaborative logistics: How to start working with other farmers to reach customers?

Monday 30 November 2020, 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Register for any or all of the events at https://www.hepburn.vic.gov.au/producers-growers-webinars/