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Recovery and Resilience Farm Business Resilience Program
Friday 13 October 2023

In this edition

Latest news

  • Prepare your farm for the fire season
  • 23 March hailstorm support – applications closing soon
  • Free financial counselling with RFCS

Events, programs and workshops

  • Managing the seasons – nutrition and feed budgeting for livestock: Heyfield, Swifts Creek, Orbost and Clifton Creek
  • Farm fire preparedness webinar
  • Farm HR – creating employers of choice: Red Cliffs
  • Farm Business Resilience course: Rochester/Elmore
  • Creating an animal health plan for sheep: Rochester
  • Managing Seasonal Variability webinar series
  • North East Emergency Expo: Corryong
  • Australian Wool Innovation Breeding Leadership 2024
  • Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) course


  • Introduction to soil carbon eLearn – what you need to know
  • On-farm visitor management in your pocket
  • Farm Fitness Checklist
  • Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool
  • Climate Services for Agriculture


  • Victorian flood and storm support for farmers
  • National Centre for Farmer Health
  • Health and personal wellbeing
  • Farm Business Resilience Program

Latest news
Prepare your farm for the fire season

Agriculture Victoria’s new Fire Preparedness Toolkit is designed to assist farmers and land managers to prepare their farm for the fire season.

The toolkit contains checklists and templates to help farmers prepare their farm business, livestock, staff, and infrastructure ahead of the season.

The checklists and templates published in the toolkit were developed with input from farmers.

Learning from the experiences of farmers that have been impacted by fire, key things were identified in the development of the toolkit that made it harder to recover after a very traumatic bushfire experience.

For example, having a documented farm asset inventory can greatly assist in assessing loss and damage in the aftermath of a fire.

Similarly, ensuring your farm documents are securely stored (on the cloud or off-farm) and on-hand, will help ease the pressure when it comes to seeking financial support or making insurance claims.

A Farm Fire Preparedness free webinar on Thursday 19 October will step through the newly available toolkit (see information below).

The Fire Preparedness Toolkit and other bushfire resources are available on the Agriculture Victoria website and should be used in conjunction with existing information and resources from the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and your local council.

23 March hailstorm support – applications closing soon
pears on a tree: text reads: 23 March hailstorm support - applications for concessional loans closing soon

Applications close 4pm on 14 November for Concessional Loans available to support producers impacted by the 23 March hailstorm event.

Primary producers in the City of Greater Shepparton and the Yarra Ranges local government areas are eligible to apply for a Hailstorm Primary Producer Concessional Loan of up to $250,000.

For more information, visit the Rural Finance website or call 1800 260 425.

For assistance in applying contact the Rural Financial Counselling Service on 1300 771 741.

Free financial counselling with RFCS
Man looking into the sunset; text reads: Free financial counselling with the Rural Financial Counselling Service

Have you been impacted by recent floods, fires or dry seasonal conditions?

The Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) provides a free and confidential financial counselling service to eligible farmers and small related enterprises who are experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship.

They can help you to access available support, analyse your business situation, negotiate with lenders and develop strategies to improve your financial position. 

Find your closest service here RFCS office or call 1300 771 741.

Events, programs and workshops

Managing the seasons – nutrition and feed budgeting for livestock: Heyfield, Swifts Creek, Orbost and Clifton Creek

Join Agriculture Victoria to share ideas and gain some tips and tools on managing your livestock over the coming months.


  • Nutrition requirements and feed allocation to stock classes
  • Feed budgeting
  • Early weaning
  • Management for re-joining
  • Importance of knowing feed quality.

Locations, dates and times:

  • Heyfield Wetlands Centre, 1A MacFarlane Street: Monday 16 October, 10 am to 1 pm 
  • Swifts Creek, 13 McMillan Ave: Monday 16 October, 5 to 8 pm 
  • Orbost Football Clubrooms, Lochiel Park: Tuesday 17 October, 10 am to 1 pm
  • Clifton Creek Hall, 810 Deptford Road: Tuesday 17 October, 5 to 8 pm

Register here

More information: email James Paulet or call 0429 018 879.

Farm fire preparedness webinar

In this webinar, Kylie Macreadie will discuss the tools and templates available in the new Fire Preparedness Toolkit to help you  plan for the fire season.

Download a copy of the Fire Preparedness Toolkit from the Agriculture Victoria website and join the webinar.


  • Farm asset inventories
  • Fire preparedness checklists and action plan
  • Saving farm documents to the ‘cloud’ or off-farm
  • Updating your Property Identification Code (PIC) and NLIS details.

Location: Online

Date and time: Thursday 19 October, 12 to 1 pm

Register here

More information: email Kylie Macreadie or call 0427 052 352.

Agriculture Victoria is working with Victorian farmers and industry to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural disasters, including fires, floods and storms.

Farm HR – creating employers of choice: Red Cliffs

This workshop will update knowledge and provide reassurance that you are doing the right thing with your employees and family members.


  • Do we need to pay leave loading?
  • How many overtime hours can employees work?
  • What is included in a salary offer?
  • What do we need to include in a job description?
  • How do we retain great staff?

Location: Red Cliffs

Date and time: Tuesday 24 October, 9.30 am to 4 pm

Register here

More information: email Roger Harrower or call 0407 729 024.

Farm Business Resilience course: Rochester/Elmore

The Farm Business Resilience program provides farmers with the opportunity to develop a plan for their farm business.

Participants will improve their skills and knowledge to better prepare for and manage risk, adapt to change and strengthen their farm business.

The course will be delivered face-to-face in November in a series of facilitated workshops and a one-on-one session.


  • Jane Foster, Senior Agribusiness Consultant, ORM Pty. Ltd.
  • Sam Henty, Farm Business Economist, Agriculture Victoria
  • Michele Jolliffe, Dairy Extension Officer, Agriculture Victoria
  • Dale Grey, Seasonal Risk Agronomist, Agriculture Victoria
  • Martin Hamilton, Land Management Extension Officer, Agriculture Victoria


  • Identifying and managing risks, strategic planning and setting business goals
  • Financial management, budgeting and profitable decision making
  • Managing people on farm, succession planning and farm safety
  • Climate risk and natural resource management.

Location: Pine Grove Fire Station, 2691 Whinfield Road, Lockington


  • Friday 3 November (Module 1)
  • Wednesday 8 November (Module 2)
  • Tuesday 14 November (Modules 3 and 4)

Register here

More information: email Elizabeth Alsop or call 0457 838 537, or check out the Agriculture Victoria website.

Agriculture Victoria is working with Victorian farmers and industry to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural disasters, including fires, floods and storms.

Creating an animal health plan for sheep: Rochester

Join Agriculture Victoria and sheep veterinarian Dr Frankie Collett from Rochy Vet Clinic for a free workshop.

At this interactive workshop you will identify local health issues and learn about their prevention and treatment option solutions to create an animal health plan for your flock.

Presenter: Dr Frankie Collett, Rochy Vet Clinic


  • Local animal health issues and solutions to prevent and treat them
  • Creating an animal health plan
  • How your animal health plan is part of your biosecurity plan
  • The records you need to keep and the systems you can use to comply with regulation and the Livestock Production Assurance program.

Location: Rochester Shire Hall, 45 Mackay Street, Rochester

Date and time: Thursday 16 November, 10 am to 1 pm

Register here

More information: email Kirstie Anderson or call 0427 990 967.

Managing Seasonal Variability webinar series

Lots of grass and full dams in many parts of the state make this an ideal time to start planning for the next dry season. Agriculture Victoria is running a series of lunchtime webinars to help farmers make early plans, with two remaining webinars.

Note, webinars have been recorded.

Presenters and topics:

  • Nick Linden, Livestock Extension Officer: Animal nutrition and feeding during dry times
  • Clem Sturmfels, Land Management Extension Officer: Is your water supply up to scratch?

Location: Online

Dates and time: remaining webinars 18 and 25 October, 12:30 to 1:30 pm

Register here

More information: email Clem Sturmfels or call 0429 018 879.

North East Emergency Expo: Corryong

Get Ready, Respond, Recover is the message for this year's action packed North East Emergency Expo.

Emergency services, support groups, emergency related businesses, clubs and schools big and small will be displaying resources, vehicles, interactive displays, workshops, demonstrations and much more.

Agriculture Victoria will be there promoting the fire preparedness toolkit for farmers, so drop by, say hello and pick up your copy of the toolkit.

Location: Corryong Recreation Reserve

Date: Saturday 14 October

More informationNorth East Emergency Expo FB page.

Australian Wool Innovation Breeding Leadership 2024

If you are passionate about your wool industry and want to develop your skills to make a difference in the future, this course is for you!

Course profile

Breeding Leadership is designed for anyone 25 to 35 years old
working in agriculture with a focus on the wool industry.

The five-day program covers a range of topics including understanding yourself (personality typing), strategy (understanding your business and industry), working in teams (accountability, communicating expectations, decision making) and the future (returning to your business and managing change).

Applications have been extended and now close on 18 October.


Breeding Leadership program is funded by AWI. Participants are required to pay a course fee of $484 (including GST) to attend Breeding Leadership, which contributes to the cost of the program.

Date and location: Monday 12 February until Friday 16 February 2024 in Clare, SA, with participants arriving on Sunday, 11 February.

More information: email Carlyn Sherriff at Pinion Advisory or call 0439 773 688. To speak to a past participant, email Declan Harvey or call 0418 826 942.

Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) course

A LTEM course is being held in north east Victoria in November. The course facilitator is Dr Kristy Howard, from Inspiring Excellence.

Course profile

Being involved in a Lifetime Ewe Management course gives you
the skills and support to make feeding and managing your ewes

Working with groups of 5-7 farmers who meet six times in 12
months, your trainer, an experienced sheep consultant, will work
with you to:

  • learn how to condition score
  • prepare ewes for joining
  • manage singles and twin-bearing ewes at different stages of their reproductive cycle
  • assess pasture and calculate supplementary feeding rates
  • set up lambing paddocks
  • form weaning strategies to maximise weaner survival
  • set targets for condition score, conception, lamb survival, ewe mortality, lamb growth rate and feed on offer.


The cost of LTEM is $2,450 plus GST per participant. Australian Wool Innovation offers eligible woolgrowers a subsidy of $900 bringing the course cost to $1,550 plus GST per participant.

How do I join a LTEM course?

LTEM is delivered on farm and is ideally suited to a small group
of 5-7 participants. We encourage you to contact like-minded
neighbours and farmers in your local area to form a group; a
Trainer will come to you to deliver the LTEM course.

Register here

More information: email Kristy Howard or call 0400 282 222.


Introduction to soil carbon eLearn – what you need to know

Soil carbon is critical for soil health, improving productivity, profitability and resilience.

This soil carbon eLearn module provides key information about soil carbon.

By building knowledge of soil carbon it will help provide an understanding of the potential mitigation options in managing climate change on-farm.

At the completion of this module, participants will have a better understanding of:

  • the soil health benefits of soil carbon
  • the difference between soil carbon and soil organic matter
  • the influence of soil type, climate and land management on soil carbon stocks
  • the impacts of agricultural practices on soil carbon
  • where to go for further information and resources.

View the eLearn here.

On-farm visitor management in your pocket

If you missed the Agriculture Victoria webinar presentation on the benefits of smartphone apps and how they are being used to maintain on-farm safety through visitor management, it's not too late.

Utilising the technology that is in everyone's pocket, these apps are designed to improve workforce communication giving growers a real time ability to be on top of management tasks.

This week's lunchtime webinar discussed the Onside platform, which has been designed specifically for the agriculture industry.

Learn how growers, industry associations and government are using this technology for tracing and responding to on-farm biosecurity risks.

Check out the Horticulture Industry Networks website to view this week's webinar (available early next week) and other webinars in the Future-proofing horticulture in a changing climate series. 

Farm Fitness Checklist

The Farm Fitness Checklist helps farmers assess where their business is at currently, and to identify areas and opportunities to strengthen their farm business.

It covers subjects including people management, skills and training, business planning and financial performance, emergency management, infrastructure, water supply, natural resource management, risk management, succession planning, off-farm activities and more.

Download the Farm Fitness Checklist from the Agriculture Victoria website.

Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool

Farmers can use the Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool (DR.SAT) to further assess their farm business resilience.

The tool includes climate projections and farm business resilience resources to support farmers strengthen their farm business.

Climate Services for Agriculture

The Climate Services for Agriculture (CSA) tool helps farmers understand the historical, seasonal and future climate at their location to help them make informed decisions for their farm business.

It provides farmers with historical data (1961-2021), seasonal forecasts (1-3 months) as well as future climate projections based on the 15 years before and after 2030, 2050 and 2070, for a given location.

Victorian flood and storm support for farmers

A range of support measures are available for flood and storm-affected farmers. Information about these measures can be found at For any urgent animal welfare needs, please contact 136 186. 

Technical Information and decision-making support 

Agriculture Victoria is working with Victorian farmers and industry to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural disasters (including floods and storms) through delivery of technical information and decision-making support services to help farm business recovery including: 

  • Grazing, cropping and pasture management
  • Irrigation and horticulture system rehabilitation 
  • Soil erosion management  
  • Land management 
  • Animal health and nutrition  
  • Farm mapping and planning  
  • Water quality
  • Weed management.

As of 9 October, Agriculture Victoria has been involved in and supported the delivery of 331 recovery events engaging 3,045 farmers. This includes the delivery of 160 technical activities and engagement and attendance at 171 community recovery meetings and committees.

These activities provide tangible support and information to farmers recovering from floods and storms in a range of areas including grazing, cropping and pasture management, irrigation and horticulture system rehabilitation, land management, animal health and nutrition, climate and seasonal outlook and pest and weed management.

Farmers are encouraged to contact the Agriculture Recovery team on Phone: 0427 694 185 (Mon-Fri between 8.30 am and 5 pm) or Email

National Centre for Farmer Health

The National Centre for Farmer Health is committed to supporting primary producers whose properties, livestock or crops were damaged or lost in the floods and storms through the delivery of initiatives to boost farmer mental health and wellbeing, including:

  • free access to online psychology support delivered by Lysn psychologists
  • distribution of mental health resources and support information.

Managing stress on the farm

Click to read or download this Managing Stress on the Farm book from the National Centre for Farmer Health website. You can also request free hard copies from the website.

Dealing with a stressful season

Stressful periods like floods, extended wet conditions and associated production losses often result in farmers themselves getting a bit stuck and operating at less than their best.

A key to recovery is to remain as healthy as you can and recognise that experiencing stress following extreme climatic events is normal.

The National Centre for Farmer Health has developed some quick tips to help you on the journey.

Health and personal wellbeing

It is normal to have strong reactions following a distressing or frightening event and people can experience a range of physical, mental, emotional and behavioural reactions.

There are a number of support services available (listed below) to assist you and your family recover from the strong emotional or physical reactions you may be experiencing.

Are you concerned about your own mental health? Reach out to Lifeline for a safe place to talk on 13 11 14.

Available support includes:

Farm Business Resilience Program

The Farm Business Resilience Program is jointly funded through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and the Victorian Government’s Future Agriculture Skills Capacity Fund.

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