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Apply now for the 2015 NSW Landcare awards - Innovation In Sustainable Farm Practices

The Australian Government Innovation In Sustainable Farm Practices award will be made to a primary producer or enterprise which has implemented innovative farm and/or land management practices to improve natural resource management and productivity outcomes. The term innovation in this award should be defined as the demonstration of early adoption, excellence and/or leading-edge projects or practices. Eligible primary producers or enterprises may include an agricultural co-operative, network, agricultural industry association, research group, private business or primary producer.

Three finalists will be selected in 2015, with one of the finalists being selected to become the NSW nominee for the 2016 National Landcare Awards.

In 2013 the following nominees were the NSW Finalists.

  • FigTrees Organic Farms

FigTrees Organic Farms has transformed a degraded farm and resource base into a working model of successful eco-agriculture, It has also played an important role in enhancing the health of regional ecosystem processes. Courtesy of extensive studies it has been able to communicate vital new information to help better understand the potential for better soil health to address key social and environmental challenges such as climate change, health through nutrition, water security and biodiversity protection.

  • Derek, Kirrily & Sandy Blomfield
The Blomfield family own and manage “Colorado”, located near Caroona, on the Liverpool Plains of NSW. The Blomfield’s current management of their beef cattle enterprise focuses on improving ground cover and biodiversity through innovative grazing management, whilst also improving the agricultural productivity and sustainability of their landscape. “Colorado” is now 100% pastured, comprising of sown perennial grass & legume pastures, as well as recently established and prior existing native grasses. There is no longer any tillage used. Livestock are managed using planned rotational grazing, focussing on plant recovery as well as animal performance.


  • MIchael Taylor - (the picture is of Michael's property "The Hill", near Uralla displaying engineered woodlands)

Michael has participated in a number of projects involving the establishment of engineered woodlands during recent years. These have clearly demonstrated the improvements to the ecosystem and commercial production at his property .Results of his past and current involvement in fauna and flora surveys has confirmed increased biodiversity within and around each woodland, especially with regard to threatened woodland bird species. The well-placed belts have significantly improved the capture of rainfall events across the sloping landscapes of “The Hill” so that soil water availability for adjacent crops and pastures has been increased, and peak storm flow in adjacent creeks and across hillsides (which have high erosion potential) have been moderated. Ground cover has also been increased and erosion of soils from hillsides has been substantially reduced. The woodlands enhance and buffer existing habitat features in each paddock. Biodiversity is healthy and diverse while sheep have valuable shelter during the Tablelands winter storm chills.

The selection criteria for the Innovation In Sustainable Farm Practices award in 2015 are:

  1. How has the primary producer or enterprise demonstrated innovative farm and/or land management practices that deliver improved productivity and commercial outcomes while improving natural resource management? The key natural resources targeted are soil, water quality, native vegetation and the marine environment. The following are examples of activities that could be used to demonstrate success in this area. This is not an exclusive list.
    • Activities that improve any of the following: soil condition, water quality, native vegetation and weed and pest management. Integrated projects will also be considered, e.g. increasing the growth of native grasses to reduce soil erosion, the loss of soil nutrients and improve productivity. For Aquaculture, activities could include those targeting improvements in water quality and environmental health.
    • Other activities could be used to demonstrate success: a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions ; increased biodiversity; increased ground cover, particularly during periodic seasonal feed gaps and reduced soil erosion; or improved management and handling of stock to provide both animal welfare and improved natural resource management outcomes.
  • Describe how the innovative farm and/or land management practices undertaken by the primary producer or enterprise have improved productivity outcomes on commercial scale operations. This can be demonstrated through any of the suggested methods outlined below:
      • Use of techniques not previously applied in the geographic area or to this type of primary production,
      • Application of practices on a commercial scale that were previously only undertaken on a research scale, or
      • Development of techniques that have significantly improved productivity outcomes while improving natural resource management outcomes.
  • Give examples of how the primary producer or enterprise has cooperated with and encouraged involvement of others in sustainable/innovative farming practices.
  • Describe any challenges that were encountered by the primary producer or enterprise in the development and implementation of new or innovative practices and the strategies used to address these challenges
  • Please click here to submit an online nomination on the Landcare Australia website

    Applications for all NSW award categories close 31 May 2015. Don't miss out!