Farming dynamo Allison Mudford from Cassilis has received the Farming Together sponsored registration for the Australian Women in Agriculture conference in Brisbane.
Allison is a partner in a two-state mixed farming enterprise built up over the past 13 years with her husband Daniel and their three children.
She manages and oversees the financial, planning and marketing operations of the family beef, sheep and cropping enterprise. This spans over 1200ha of summer and winter cropping, 600 head of cattle, and 1200 cross-bred sheep enterprise over Victoria and NSW.
The pair are set to expand with a business plan over the next five years.
She said: “My husband and I have literally become self-made farmers in an industry which stereotypically spans generational land ownership. Young people can get into agriculture, but it takes planning, being bank-ready and backing yourself … and hard work!”
The home farm, ‘Yallambee’, at Cassilis embodies her vision of sustainable agriculture. As croppers, the Mudfords retain stubble, increase moisture by over-cropping, have a good rotation to avoid unnecessary spraying and disease and try to minimise compaction and passes of the paddock.
“As a farmer caring for this bit of dirt, looking after the land and animals is second-nature. And it makes good business sense. It is critical to get farmers thinking about their footprint and how it can be improved, while still being economically viable,” she said. “But don't get me wrong … it takes planning and hard work!”
The scholarship has been provided by the Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program, known as Farming Together. The two-year, $13.8m initiative from the Australian Government is designed to help agricultural groups value-add, secure premium pricing, scale-up production, attract capital investment, earn new markets or secure lower input costs.
Program director Lorraine Gordon said: “While the main driver of the program is collaboration, we also want to celebrate the individuals who set the pace for Australia’s agricultural future.”
The Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program is being delivered by Southern Cross University on behalf of the Australian Government. It comprises a highly experienced senior team drawn from a wide range of commodity groups from across Australia and is backed by an industry advisory group representing experts from Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and NSW.