What do matching retired farmers with tree changers, an app to improve farm safety, and sharing learnings from founding a food cooperative have in common? The women behind these diverse projects have been selected as the 2018 Victorian AgriFuturesTM Rural Women’s Award finalists.
Projects by Cara Hadzig, Jade Miles and Melissa Connors were chosen from 16 high-quality applications.
The award celebrates outstanding leadership and innovation throughout rural and regional Victoria.
Cara Hadzig from Murra Warra is passionate about workplace health and safety, especially on the farm. To assist in reducing farm work injuries and fatalities, Cara is developing an application that provides farm safety inductions, alerts for maintenance requirements, and a platform to log faults and issues around the farm.
Jade Miles founded the Beechworth Food Co-Operative, now in its third year of operation. Jade, from Stanley, wants to share her learnings from developing a community-owned regional food cooperative and build a social enterprise-based model that can be rolled out in other regions.
The ‘This Farmer Needs a Farm’ project is Melissa Connors’ way of giving back to the Kyneton community after moving there from Melbourne a few years ago. Melissa wants to create stronger and more engaged communities by connecting tree changers with established and retired farmers who can pass on their invaluable local knowledge to motivated newcomers.
The Victorian winner will be announced at a ceremony on 20 March at Melbourne Museum and will receive a $10,000 bursary to implement their project vision. The winner will also participate in the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course and represent Victoria at the national awards in September.