The Future Face of Farming – Farmers Working Together for Long-term Economic, Social and Environmental Sustainability

In this project, the concept of a farm 'cluster' or 'commons' was explored as a way for farmers in and around the Furracabad Valley of the NSW Northern Tablelands responding more effectively to their ongoing adjustment pressures. The concept is innovative because it allows a locally-coordinated collective response to the economic, social and environmental challenges faced by the district's farmers. The potential of the concept was demonstrated in the project case study, and preliminary budgeting indicated that farmers joining the cluster would benefit financially. Nevertheless, it was not possible to obtain sufficient commitment from enough farmers in order to establish a farm cluster during the short life of the project. Even so, the project made considerable progress in this direction. A business plan and operating guidelines were developed for a 'model' farm cluster, and a number of farmers remain committed to translating this model into practice. 

Related publications

Final Report
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Related article: 'Catalyzing common property farming for rural sustainability: Lessons from the Furracabad Valley'
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Furracabad Farm Cluster - Project Brochure
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Completed in 2003

Funded by: Glen Innes Natural Resources Advisory Committee

Contact: Graham Marshall