Two Central West groups, Central West Lachlan Landcare Inc and Central West Farming Systems Inc, are thrilled to have received ARTC Drought Assistance Landcare Grants.
Simon Ormsby, Acting CEO of the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), said drought is an issue close to many of the company's people.
"Our staff live and work in locations right throughout regional NSW, many of whom are born and raised members of the local communities in which we operate," he said.
"The 2019 ARTC Landcare Australia Drought Assistance Grants are part of our ongoing commitment and support to Landcare groups and the farming community located in drought affected areas in NSW in close proximity to our rail network.
Dr Shane Norrish, Landcare Australia CEO said "The aim of the grants is to help Landcare groups to increase community and environmental drought resilience through the implementation of on-ground projects, workshops and education and to share their stories with a wider audience."
Recipients of the two 2019 ARTC Drought Assistance Grants are:
Central West Lachlan Landcare Inc.
The Central West Lachlan Landcare Group received a $9000 grant for their project - Planting out the Future.
The project sites will be over the Parkes and Forbes Shires, some 720,000ha.
Individual properties will be sought to plant biodiversity corridors and three community projects will be undertaken.
Landholders will be provided with trees and guards to either establish a windbreak, biodiversity shelter or fill in existing corridors - Activities which are known to protect stock and soils, while supporting increased productivity and property values.
Plants will also be used at three community planting events with a goal of two events, planting a total of 500 trees.
Central West Farming Systems Inc.
The Central West Farming Systems (CWFS), based in Condobolin, is a not-for-profit farming systems organisation working with local farmers and the community in the low rainfall zone of NSW to encourage better land management practices.
They'll be using their $8,750 grant to conduct a Drought Fight Back Workshop on Pasture Recovery and Soil Health.
This workshop will give participants the knowledge and skills to assess pasture composition and ground cover, and stress the importance of understanding the pasture growth cycle, so critical to recovering pastures from drought.
According to Diana Fear of Central West Farming Systems, the benefits of greater knowledge and skill in pasture management are huge.
"Not only does greater sustainability, greater production and more resilience come to mind, greater organic levels can lead to the large benefits of improved microbial function," she said.