Farmers rewarded by agritourism
Liverpool Plains farmers reap rewards of Regionality and NSW Small Business Commission agritourism initiative
Nine farms in the Liverpool Plains recently took part in a series of agritourism business development programs developed by Regionality with the NSW Small Business Commission.
The program, designed to help farmers with little or no knowledge of how to incorporate tourism into their farms, are helping farmers pivot their business and explore opportunities like farm stays, open days and other events.
Another 27 farms have been undertaking the program in the Wollondilly Shire Council and Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council areas over recent months.
Regionality managing director Rose Wright said the workshops were making it easier for farmers to understand the approval requirements to provide multi income streams on their properties.
“Agritourism is becoming a billion dollar business, and, as NSW farmers experience another severe drought, agritourism offers a way to keep farmers working and job opportunities in regional areas by attracting more visitors,”
The collaboration between the NSW Small Business Commission and Regionality has already seen great results, with farmers and rural land holders adding value to their income —allowing these regional producers to stay on the land.
“Participants in the Liverpool Plains Agritourism Program, like Windy Station, are collaborating to deliver agritourism experiences. They are already seeing increased revenue and every dollar into local economies, really helps communities experiencing drought conditions.”
Windy Station (pictured), in Quirindi, hosted a highly successful producers tour at the 21,400 hectare property as part of Meat and Livestock Australia and Red Meat 2019 held in Tamworth this week.
Windy Station’s Clare Lee described the event as an “absolute marriage of farm practices and tourism”. The tour showcased a range of on-farm technological solutions Windy Station is testing along with new breeding techniques recently featured in this article in The Land .
Other Liverpool Plains farmers have already started operating or are preparing for the DA process and collaborating with each other through The Plains Agritourism Network.
Ms Wright said that the program’s approach is to provide the right support to ensure farmers improve their chance for success.
“Farmers need to develop an understanding of the tourism sector and its requirements to understand how they might develop agritourism as a value add or ancillary activity to primary production or rural land management,” she said.
“Our business development programs help our candidates to learn while they are being mentored through the idea and business concept development phase on their farm.”
Ms Wright said close communication between facilitators, Local Government Associations and farmers allowed for the early consideration of DA and regulatory and compliance issues.
“Our program mitigates the risk of failure or loss of investment by taking a holistic approach to capacity building, mentoring, ideation and reality checking to ensure proposals are viable,” she said.
Regionality is an independent consultancy providing a comprehensive range of business development programs supporting farmers, individuals, organisations and communities throughout regional Australia. If you need to solve a problem, or maximise an opportunity within your farm, community or organisation, contact us https://www.regionality.com.au/contact/ or phone 0266 741 056.
Photo credit: Clare Lee, Windy Station