Farmers encouraged to apply for drought assistance grants
|The state government is encouraging farmers to apply for grants through the Drought Infrastructure Grant Program following a difficult growing season in 2018.
The government announced the dry seasonal conditions support package in October to assist farmers and communities to manage the current dry seasonal conditions and prepare for the potential for challenging years into the future.
There are several grants and programs available through the support package. North West Victorian farmers can apply to the Drought Infrastructure Grant Program for grants up to $5,000. Eligible farm businesses are required to provide at least dollar for dollar matching co-contribution funding.
The grants will assist farm businesses implement on-farm infrastructure that improves dry seasonal conditions management and preparedness.
So far, there has been great uptake of the infrastructure grants and farmers are building infrastructure such as Stock Containment Areas and water reticulation systems.
Expert technical and business support is being rolled out across the region. Workshops and technical information sessions are assisting farmers make early farm management decisions covering animal health, feed budgeting and land management. Stock Containment Area workshops, that have been delivered recently, will continue in 2019.
Robert O’Shannessy has been appointed as the Agriculture Victoria North West Dry Seasonal Conditions Coordinator. In this position, Robert will work with all agencies and community groups to ensure strong awareness of the support measures available.
Mental health is another key focus of the Government’s package. Mental health support counselling has been boosted, and the National Centre for Farmer Health will work with communities to provide information about health, wellbeing and safety for farming families and communities.
Rob’s message is clear - “Make early and informed decisions about your farm management and stay connected to your local community – don’t go it alone”.
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