One year on from COVID lockdowns cancelling face-to-face workshops and events, Central West Local Land Services is continuing to advise and educate primary producers using a blend of face-to-face and online training methods.
Close to 50 producers from across the region participated in farm business training recently, with face-to-face workshops in Forbes and Dubbo, while participants in Coonabarabran and Coonamble accessed the same workshop remotely from training rooms in Local Lands Services offices.
Central West Local Land Services Mixed Farming Officer Wendy Gill said the team has found being able to broadcast the training to other offices meant people could attend and interact without long distance travel.
"The satellite venues allowed producers to participate in training opportunities, ask questions, join in discussions with producers from other locations and receive assistance from staff without having to travel too far," Wendy said.
"We have also found most producers prefer the opportunity to meet with others in their local area over a webinar at home."
Over the last 12 months the Central West Local Land Services ag team has delivered 10 webinars to more than 700 producers across the state, she said.
"Webinar uptake over the last 12 months has been fantastic and has allowed us to continue to connect with producers and comply with COVID restrictions," Wendy said.
"However, most people are missing the opportunity to take some time off the farm and meet with others in their area, not only to learn new things but also to connect socially.
"Face-to-face delivery, combined with satellite sites, will continue to be explored into the future as a way to ensure that we can continue helping people to improve their financial literacy, and business productivity and profitability."
The Farm Budgeting Masterclass presented by Carmen Quade from AgriFocused led participants through the process of preparing and reviewing a budget for their farm business and said participants would be supported with online materials.
"Attendees told us they enjoyed the practical side of the workshop as well as being able to access materials once they get home," Carmen said.
"The time pressures of farming may mean that it is sometimes weeks or months before the opportunity for implementation arises.
"The online access means that workshop participants can quickly refresh or share parts of the course with their business partners who may not have been able to attend on the day."
Information on future training events is available from the events page of the Central West Local Land Services website www.centralwest.lls.nsw.gov.au or call Wendy Gill on 0438 358 819.