Rural farming – Indice Rural Tue, 26 Apr 2022 03:57:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Rural farming – Indice Rural 32 32 Milton Downs sells to a farming family in the district Tue, 26 Apr 2022 00:55:21 +0000

Milton Downs in Bellata is a major producer of grain and dry cotton. Photo: Moree Immobilier

ONE of Australia’s largest and best-known farm properties, Milton Downs, near Moree in north-west New South Wales, has been sold at an undisclosed price to a young family who was already farming in the wider region.

The 19,060 hectare property is located west of Bellata and north of Wee Waa, and went on sale last year with Moree Real Estate on behalf of the seller Ron Greentree.

the Kahlbetzer The family’s Twynam Farming Group sold Milton Downs and neighboring Boolcarrol to Wee Waa in 2008 for $75 million to Greentree Farming, a partnership between Mr Greentree and the Harris family.

This added around 48,000 ha of mainly cropland to the now defunct Greentree Farming portfolio, spread across the north west plains of New South Wales.

Prior to the purchase of Twynam, Milton Downs was owned by the Honan the family’s Manildra Group, which used the property to produce high-protein wheat for its milling operations.

Across Australia, planting of winter crops has started after good rains in most parts, and sources report that harvesting is already underway in Milton Downs following the clearing sale on the property last month. , according to Greentree Ag.

Eight years later

Greentree Farming first listed Milton Downs and Boolcarrol in 2014 with Ray White Rural.

As part of the liquidation of Greentree Farming, the Harris family now owns Boolcarrol outright and in September 2016 The Australian Financial Review reported that 10,000ha in the southeastern part of the Milton Downs aggregation were sold to the American investment firm Westchester for around $50. M

Milton Downs’ average rainfall over the 10 years to 2020 was 592 millimeters, and the country features black and gray self-mulching loams suitable for summer and winter crops.

A crippling drought that swept through southern Queensland affected most of New South Wales’ farm country from 2017 to 2019 and dampened activity in the state’s property market.

A return to good seasons, coupled with high grain and cotton prices and low interest rates, has led to a resurgence in sales since 2020 to family and corporate interests.

Transactions include: Tiela to Bullarah; Merrimbla to Gurley and South Callandoon to Goondiwindi.

Moree Real Estate declined to comment on any aspect of the Milton Downs sale, and the buyer and seller did not respond to calls from Grain Central.

Grain Central understands that Mr Greentree continues to run a family farming business based in Mungindi on the NSW-Queensland border and is also involved in cotton farming in the Ord region of Western Australia.

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Mayo Sheep Farmer Joins Farming for Nature Network Sun, 17 Apr 2022 09:00:03 +0000

A County Mayo sheep farmer who considers himself a steward of the land has joined the Farming for Nature (FFN) Ambassador Network.

Now in its fourth year, FFN has been created to highlight the stories of farmers across Ireland who are managing their land sustainably, while providing an income for their families.

A total of 23 ambassadors were selected, including beef; sheep; forestry; dairy; horticulture; and soil farmers.

Participants manage a wide range of “valuable habitats” such as
species-rich meadows and heaths; swamps; woodlands; and hedges.

The FFN Awards are sponsored by Bord Bia and supported by a wide range of relevant stakeholders including the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM), National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS ) and the National Rural Network.

agriculture in the west

FFN Ambassador Colm Gavin is an eighth generation farmer in the Bundorragha area where he raises up to 100 Mayo blackface ewes.

The sheep are on the mountain all year round, grazing the multi-species natural vegetation and tending the land.

Colm Gavin on his farm. Image source: FFN

Colm operates a very large farming operation and very few external inputs are needed on the farm.

“Active farming is the best thing I can do for nature on my farm. A lot of upland needs to be managed to get the most out of it,” he explained.

The Mayo Man is also part of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) of the Pearl Mussel Project (PMP).

It rewards participating farmers for the ecological quality of their land, which in turn contributes to the quality of pure water needed by the freshwater pearl mussel.

As part of his work on the project, Colm removed the invasive rhododendron from the mountain.

Freshwater pearl mussel
Freshwater pearl mussel. Image source: Dr. Patrick Crushell

It uses silt traps to prevent excessive sand and silt runoff from the ground from entering the river and livestock bridges to protect water quality.

“Being part of the EIP Pearl Mussel project brings to light lands that we would not have considered very valuable in the past.

“These areas actually turned out to be the most important areas on the farm in terms of biodiversity.”

Colm considers himself a steward of the land and hopes to pass it on to the next generation in a better state than he found it.

“As a hill farmer, all you do is tend the land,” he said.

Jeremy Clarkson’s farming neighbors back Top Gear star’s plan for Diddly Squat restaurant Fri, 14 Jan 2022 19:05:01 +0000

Jeremy Clarkson has been backed by fellow farmers, food producers and local residents in Oxfordshire after his plan to build a hilltop restaurant was rejected by council.

The Amazon Prime star, 61, said he was ‘very’ frustrated after local authorities turned down his bid to build a new restaurant and 70-space car park on the site of his 1-acre Diddly Squat farm. 000 acres near the quiet village of Chadlington, Oxfordshire.

Mr Clarkson personally attended a meeting of West Oxfordshire District Council’s planning sub-committee on Monday in a last-ditch attempt to press ahead with his plans, but seven out of ten councilors voted against the plans.

The Grand Tour host left the meeting saying it was a bad day for farmers and called one of the planning officers a comedian.

But he has found support in his community among those who say council planners are dismissive of new ideas in agriculture.

Jeremy Clarkson has been backed by fellow farmers, food producers and local residents in Oxfordshire after his plans to build a hilltop restaurant were rejected

Pete Ledbury, who operates the North Cotswolds dairy with his wife Emma a few miles from Diddly Squat Farm, said The Guardian: ‘We know that we need to diversify to earn a living and create more jobs for the countryside.

“Turn down projects like this doesn’t help. I think that’s pretty myopic on the part of the planners.

His wife Emma said their farm had lost 40 of their herd of 100 purebred Holstein cattle to bovine tuberculosis in recent years, as she highlighted the pressure farmers are currently facing.

A liter of milk costs them 32 pence to produce, and supermarket buyers currently pay them 28 pence a litre.

TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson's controversial bid to expand his popular Diddly Squat farm failed after councilors rejected his bid

TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson’s controversial bid to expand his popular Diddly Squat farm failed after councilors rejected his bid

She said: “British agriculture is a mess.”

Clarkson overcame some of these obstacles by selling directly to the customer through a vending machine in his farm store.

He hoped to include his own products including milk, cream and butter in his restaurant before his plans were rejected.

Another Cotswold resident, Max Abbott, owner of the Sourdough Revolution bakery in Lechdale, had hoped to supply bread for Clarkson’s future restaurant.

He said: “Jeremy employs people, makes money. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but what the council is doing seems absurd.

Pictured: The landscape proposal for Diddly Squat Farm including a 70-vehicle car park

Pictured: The landscape proposal for Diddly Squat Farm including a 70-vehicle car park

Pictured: The plantation proposal for the cafe which would sit just behind its current farm shop on the site

Pictured: The plantation proposal for the cafe which would sit just behind its current farm shop on the site

Victoria Steffens, who works at the store in the village of Chadlington, says it’s mainly newcomers who are unhappy with Clarkson because of the levels of traffic his farming success has brought to the area.

Describing the TV personality as a “marmite”, she said she always supports him in providing jobs to the area and locals who have been there for a long time know the hardships farmers face.

Meanwhile, District Councilor Merilyn Davies, who backed Clarkson’s proposals, said the plans were ‘interesting’ and said officials needed to remember that people live in the area and need to support themselves .

Over 50 objections were registered with the council over fears of increased traffic in the village following the success of its hit series Clarkson’s Farm.

Since the Amazon show’s debut last summer, hundreds of Clarkson fans from across Britain have caused traffic chaos by queuing for hours to enter Clarkson’s beloved farm shop. the star.

Since the Amazon Prime show debuted last summer, hundreds of Clarkson fans from across Britain have queued for hours to enter the star's beloved farmhouse.

Since the Amazon Prime show debuted last summer, hundreds of Clarkson fans from across Britain have queued for hours to enter the star’s beloved farm shop.

A neighbor even sued the restaurant’s plans, alleging the area was at risk of becoming a “Jeremy Clarkson theme park.”

At Monday’s meeting, Mr Clarkson insisted he was simply trying to ‘diversify’ his business and warned that farmers would not be able to properly care for the natural environment due to their finances.

“Farmers take care of the forest, they take care of the hedgerows, the streams and the fields, they keep it beautiful,” he said.

“Farmers won’t be able to do this much longer because of the state of farmers’ finances. As farmers, we’ve been told to diversify — that’s exactly what this proposal is.

Although councilors at the meeting were divided over Mr Clarkson’s proposals, local officials agreed to refuse permission.

They argued the cafe would be ‘incompatible’ with the Cotswolds Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Mr Clarkson personally attended a meeting of West Oxfordshire District Council's planning sub-committee in a last-ditch attempt to push his plans forward.

Mr Clarkson personally attended a meeting of West Oxfordshire District Council’s planning sub-committee in a last-ditch attempt to push his plans forward.

His pleas fell on deaf ears, with seven in ten councilors voting against the measures

His pleas fell on deaf ears, with seven in ten councilors voting against the measures

Locals are divided over the tourism boom, with some saying it has put the Oxfordshire village on the map and boosted the local economy

Locals are divided over the tourism boom, with some saying it has put the Oxfordshire village on the map and boosted the local economy

Council planning officer Joan Desmond said: ‘Due to its location, design, scale and location, the proposed development would not be sustainable and would not be compatible or consistent in terms of scale with the existing farm business or its location in the countryside.

“Due to its design, scale, location and nature of use within the Cotswolds Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty, the proposed development would have an intrusive and detrimental visual impact on the rural character, scenic beauty and the tranquility of the region.”

Councilor Dean Temple, who represents Chadlington, told the meeting: “With a heavy heart, I move that we reject this proposal.”

And Councilor Elizabeth Poskitt added: ‘There are plenty of less intrusive places where you could have a restaurant.

The TV presenter had hoped to convert a lambing shed built in 2020 after buying a new flock of sheep to expand the farming business. It has now been merged with another local farmer’s herd.

Documents indicate that the building has since been used, without planning permission, as a cafe and bar.

Chadlington Parish Council said it held a public meeting in November to decide its views on the “diverse and controversial” request, but a vote was inconclusive.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England West Oxfordshire said any new restaurant would be a ‘major incursion’ into the AONB and ‘spoil the rural nature of the upper Evenlode Valley’.

Representatives for Mr Clarkson had already been forced to change transport plans for the project with a new one-way system and overflow parking in an attempt to appease the growing number of objectors.

He had also received notice following complaints that the farm shop had breached the original layout terms by selling souvenirs from out of town.

The council served the notice of violation amid allegations that products sold at its store were not grown, raised or produced on the farm, or by other local producers.

If proven, it would breach a condition of the November 2019 planning permission, council warned.

Aengus Mac Grianna opens up about alpaca breeding and home life Tue, 04 Jan 2022 11:48:41 +0000

Former presenter of RTE Aengus Mac Grianna reflected on her life with husband Terry Gill after stepping down from his role with the national broadcaster in 2018 after 30 years.

Aengus is currently preparing to take on other Irish celebrities on the ballroom floor in the final season of Dancing With the Stars.

Aengus revealed that after finishing his role with RTE, he returned to college to study religions and theology.

Former RTÉ News anchor Aengus Mac Grianna has been announced for Dancing With The Stars 2022. Photo: RTÉ.

“I had been in the RTÉ newsroom for over 30 years and loved going there every day. But I wanted to be able to work in a different way as I got older, ”the former news anchor told RSVP.

“A lighter route but also a route that would allow me to work well beyond the age of 65. I was interested in peace studies, development aid and conflict mediation and that is why I returned to university. I signed up for a world religions and theology course because I wanted to master religion in terms of conflict and culture.

“It meant I had to skip the undergraduate and move on to the masters course, something I had planned anyway, but the time went by a lot faster for me. I was relying on 3G on my phone for internet coverage, but over time we applied for rural broadband and installed satellite broadband so that was enough to get me online. I jumped forward during Covid and now I’m ahead of my plans, ”he said.

Aengus Mac Grianna reflected on life after RTE as he prepares for Dancing with the Stars. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Aengus and Terry have been married for eight years, currently living on an alpaca farm in Co Meath. A move that led the couple into a “big business,” though it baffled Aengus when introduced to him.

Aengus explained, “We moved here in 2006 and renovated it for about six months in 2008. We spent a lot of money on the house and then the crash happened. Of course, we spent too much and like everyone else in the country, I had a cut in salary and so did Terry.

“There was a bit of land around the house and we wondered how we could best use it. Terry came home one day and asked me if I had alpacas and I said, “What are alpacas? “

Aengus became a cult hero during his time with the national broadcaster. Photo: RTÉ

“It was a very steep learning curve from there, but it was a big undertaking. It was also a very smart gesture on Terry’s part. ‘

Dance with the stars starts on Sunday January 9 at 6:30 p.m., Aengus is eager to get started after having been unable to do so in the past due to his studies.

“I’ve been asked to do it since I left RTÉ, but I couldn’t do it because I was studying. I received a phone call from the team the week I was submitting my thesis. It was due on Friday and they called on Wednesday so I was up to it as you can imagine.

Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne host the ballroom competition. Photo: RTÉ

“When that was sorted out I started to think about it and thought it would be a really nice thing to do. It’s so different from what I’ve done before, both for my studies and my work on RTÉ. I knew it would be a big challenge to learn to dance while still being a fun and light thing to do, ”he said.

The 57-year-old enjoys his dance journey, despite the physical challenges it entails.

“It’s so difficult, but I appreciate it. I am delighted to learn steps and movements. Yes, it is physically difficult and I have aches and pains and aches, but that is to be expected. I’m just pushing through this in order to be as fit as possible. So far it has been a wonderful experience, ”he said.

The growing strength of agriculture as social justice Wed, 15 Dec 2021 16:19:21 +0000 A new crop of farms is taking root in the Capital Region, with shoots and leaves spreading towards the light of social justice.

The fertile soil of the Hudson, Mohawk and Schoharie valleys has long attracted urban transplants to try their hand at farming, but more of these farmers are now incorporating strong dietary and social justice practices. in their routines. There, agriculture is a tool to fight inequalities in modern society, but the challenges of justice and equity are daily struggles for the farmers who work the land.

“Food justice exists as a sub-category, but it shouldn’t just be an activist project. It should be our everyday reality, ”said Amanda Wong, farmer and partner at Star Route Farm in Charlotteville, Schoharie County. Formerly from Queens, where she worked as an artist, Wong got into farming after keeping a small garden and being introduced to farming by a friend. She began interning and working on farms in the Hudson Valley before joining as a farmer, then partner, at Star Route Farm with farm owners Tianna Kennedy and Walter Reisen. (Kennedy also manages the community-supported agricultural distribution network 607 for small farms in the Mohawk and Schoharie valleys.)

“We were all really touched by what was going on in the Black Lives Matter movement and the way governments don’t take care of people. We kind of saw the community organization going around, resisting the lack of help from the government. We all wanted to deliver food justice, but we didn’t know how to do it in the past, ”said Wong of the move towards mainstreaming social justice initiatives into Star Route Farm practices in 2020.

Wong, who is Chinese-American, said his experiences as a person of color and his work in food distribution networks in New York City made him understand how whitewashed food systems are in America and how aid designed for agriculture is often geared towards the needs of white land and agricultural property.

“My experience working with distributors has shown that everyone receives the same food. It’s not culturally relevant, ”she said. Growing foods that reflect the culture of the recipient is essential to Wong’s mission. Becoming a member of Star Route Farm’s leadership has exposed her to the unfairness of government funds and grants that exist for small farms, and more so for farmers of color who are just beginning their journeys and often lease land. “Working within the limits of the existing agricultural infrastructure is not enough,” Wong said. Along with Kennedy and Reisen (who are white), she farmed four acres of land and decided to keep it small, allowing her to focus on farming and not managing the employees.

Star Route Farm has been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing agricultural efforts deeper into activism for social justice. Most of the farm’s income came from wholesale to restaurants before the pandemic, and massive restaurant closures have directed products to local food banks, community groups, and alternative distribution models, like the 607 CSA that Kennedy is leading. A portion of the $ 800 memberships, community fundraisers, and grants have kept the farm afloat since the start of the pandemic, but simply donating money is often not enough.

“The consciousness of people is led to validate a lot. People have to meet needs beyond themselves and understand how they are contributing to oppression, ”Wong said. Part of that oppression, she said, is the expectation that all food will be available at all times. The pandemic has put stress on food systems, and more so on low-income workers who work in agriculture to provide food. (Wong said most of the farmers she knows live below the poverty line.)

“You can’t just spend the money to fix this problem,” said Ashanti Williams, who founded the Black Yard Farm Collective near Sloansville, Schoharie County, with her partner Arian Rivera. Many of the financing programs for agriculture take the form of crop insurance, which generally only applies to staple single-crop farms. (Like the large soybean, corn, and wheat farms of the Midwest.) Other USDA federal programs have strict tenure requirements – how many years a beneficiary has farmed the land – or ownership. Without existing access to land, BIPOC farms are forced to start their path to sustainability small and inexpensively.

Williams and Rivera raised over $ 48,000 in a GoFundMe campaign to help secure farmland for their project. They operate a property owned by a group of investors, initially under the promise that the property would be transferred to Williams and Rivera, but those conditions have changed and now the duo are seeking land in the area for themselves, their farming activities and the 400 animals (mainly broody hens) that they reared each year.

“Land is generational wealth,” said Rivera, who said lack of access to agricultural property prevents many BIPOC farmers from succeeding in farming and passing on resources to the next generation of farmers. . The “40 Acres and a Mule” promised to former slaves after the Civil War granted land to black Americans, but Rivera said a generational disconnect with agriculture occurred when Jim Crow’s policies and the Endemic racist tactics have forced people to leave their lands and head north, industrial centers of work and relative safety.

The internalized racism of agriculture is still present, even in traditionally liberal states like New York. “Once you get into rural spaces, nobody wants to talk about that stuff,” Rivera said. “It’s not good to be repressed and bite your tongue.”

“You have to humanize yourself and express yourself. People ask, “Why do you need a document? “They don’t understand the extra work (of activating for BIPOC farmers) and the hurdles you have to go through even to be on the farm,” Williams said.

Rivera and Williams said the goal of the Black Yard Farm Collective is to build this generational land wealth. Working on land borrowed from white owners is a modern form of sharecropping, and “well-meaning people giving access to the land are not enough,” Rivera said. According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, only 4 percent of farms in the United States are owned by people of color, and the majority of those farms are under 180 acres.

By owning their own farm, they control what crops and animals are raised and how these goods are distributed to the communities that need them most. Many upstate farms direct their wares to urban centers, especially New York City, whether for food banks, restaurants, or paying individuals at farmers’ markets. But Rivera said food insecurity is also present on farms.

“Our neighbors are our neighbors. Food insecurity also applies to white people in rural communities. We need to move away from the idea that food insecurity and injustice only happens in rural communities, ”said Rivera, adding that when people realize their struggles are more about the economy than race, this poses a real threat to the existing power structures that control Resources. “Pay what you can” farm models, like that of white-owned farms like Biscuitwood Farm in Esperance, contribute to the mission of social justice through agriculture, Rivera said.

Wong, Rivera and Williams all say monetary reparations to black Americans (like those proposed by U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey) help establish fairness for BIPOC farms but still ignore other marginalized communities, such as than the indigenous communities who first inhabited the land. “We keep aboriginal names on everything, but we don’t give them any right to the land,” Williams said.

The act of choosing to farm is the first step towards social justice through farming, “and just being here is representation,” Rivera said. Williams contributed to the feeling and the fact that just being a person of color while cultivating is a form of activism, even if you don’t get involved in a change in policy.

“You don’t need permission to be in contact with the earth. Agriculture is the most liberated I have ever felt.