Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan was today joined by Agriculture Minister Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie to inspect the Farming Together Program based at Southern Cross University.
The $3 million grants program will be used to grow and support agricultural cooperatives right across Australia.
“This is a great program to strengthen the co-operative sector across the country,” Mr Hogan said.
“I wanted the new Minster for Agriculture to meet with the team who have put the program together, which was initially set up with a $13.8 million Government grant.”
“This program provides grants to assist farmer groups establish farm co-operatives and other collaborative business models.
“Farming Together has already helped support more than 224 existing co-operatives and helped establish 69 new ones.”
Minister McKenzie said: “Farming Together has been a very successful way to deliver the knowledge and support farmers need to prosper through collaboration under the co-operative model.”
“I have always been a big supporter of doing business in this way: a strong suite of resources—available now and into the future—that will drive better decision-making, collective bargaining and co-operative structures.”
Farming Together Director Lorraine Gordon said: “Farming Together has reached across every region and every primary industry sector in Australia.
“It has the capacity and networks to address the very complex problems we are experiencing in rural and regional Australia around climate change and understands the role for farmers in formulating solutions to these challenges. It is through collaboration that we remain resilient in difficult times.”
Southern Cross University Vice President (Engagement), Ben Roche said: “Through Farming Together we have demonstrated that collaboration and co-operation are proven tools to grow farm businesses and support greater resilience in agriculture.”
“The Northern Rivers of New South Wales is the collaboration and cooperative capital of Australia and Southern Cross University is deeply committed to the role we can play in supporting innovation within the agricultural sector.”