Farmers in the far south west of Victoria are encouraging more landholders to take part in local Landcare projects, citing the importance of agriculture and environmental industries working together in the face of more volatile weather patterns.
Upper Glenelg Landcare facilitator Lynn Brown said it was important to keep up a valuable rapport with landholders as part of her role, and farmers were always keen learn more about environmental impact.
"Trust goes both ways and once they feel a connection with you and feel that they can trust you in your role, then they open up, and they're happy to take you for a drive down the paddock and show you some of their issues," she said.
"Whether it be erosion or weed control that they need help with... they know that you're in a position where you can give assistance, and if you can't, then you can find somebody that that might be able to."
Ms Brown said a growing number of farmers in the Upper Glenelg Landcare region, covering north and northwest of Coleraine from Balmoral to Wennicott Creek and out to the South Australian border, were concerned about a vast range of issues surrounding soil health in particular.
"We've had lots of interest around carbon farming options, soil health, utilising native grasses for a bit more constant growth in their pastures, biological options for improving soil health and understanding how to measure it and the options that are available there," she said.
"People are also quite interested in controlling erosion and exclusion fencing for creeks and erosion areas whilst at the same time creating biodiversity on their farms.
"As part of that people are very keen on vermin control whether it be foxes, kangaroos, wallabies, or regenerative practices on farms and healthier dams for both stock and other wildlife to utilise as well."
Ms Brown said the introduction and benefits of dung beetles and exclusion fencing in the area were also topics farmers were taking an interest in.
Wando River Landcare group president Kate Dorahy, who is also Cloven Hills, Nareen, stud co-principal said connecting private landholders with initiatives meant a better community and environmental outcomes.
"I think our group really saw value in doing that in connecting landholders, and making sure we do have a sustainable farm and workplace for the whole community in the future," Ms Dorahy said.
For Ms Dorahy, the need to fence off waterways and shelter belts influenced the planting of new scatter trees through her own property.
She also said planting trees on her property where there is salinity or erosion helped stabilise soil, and red gums on her property also assist in protection from the weather.
"The big red gums on our farms are not deep rooted, so over time, we are losing them and they take decades and decades to replace," she said.
"So we've been planting new tree stock on a regular basis and have scatter trees on an ongoing [basis], and then that, in turn, attracts wildlife, particularly birds that we want to keep as part of the environment."
Ms Dorahy said there was a real growing interest in local schools in Landcare which also showed "that agriculture and the environment can coexist very well in grazing operations."
"It's also about getting kids to feel comfortable outdoors, and we do things like a canoe day... or even programs where we plant, harvest and eat bush tucker," she said.
Ms Brown said they were always open to new landowners who needed help or assistance, especially as more volatile seasons are becoming the normal.
"Many hands make good work on the land, and we need the corridors to be connected," Ms Brown said.
"It's all right if a land holder in one area has done lots of work, but if it's like a little island and there's nobody around doing similar things, then wildlife do suffer when they cross over to other areas."
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