The appointment of a new Rural Support Worker under the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Rural Resilience Program will support farming communities in the Lower Hunter, Gloucester and Manning areas.
DPI manager business resilience program Sonia Muir said the appointment of Peter Brown to the new role, based at Taree, would address an identified need for support in the area - in particular for dairy farmers, fishers and oyster growers.
“Peter brings a wealth of skills and experience to the role as he grew up on dairy farm at Wingham NSW and has managed his own dairy farm for more than two decades,” Ms Muir said.
“The dairy industry is going through some challenging times at the moment and Peter is well placed to listen to farmers needs and to provide support for them and their families.
“Peter’s main focus is to create opportunities to connect farmers with others in farming communities and to the range of support services available to them.”
Ms Muir said the DPI Rural Resilience Program provides information, tools, and development opportunities that build farmers’ skills, knowledge and experience, which will help them to build their own resilience.
“Peter will work with other government agencies and partners to deliver workshops and events for farmers and farming communities that build personal well-being, leadership, knowledge and business skills,” Ms Muir said.
“The Dungog and Lower Hunter communities are still recovering from the 2015 flood and Peter’s role is to help the community to build resilience and to be better prepared for the next natural disaster.
“Also, now that conditions have turned dry, Peter is currently working with the Hunter Local Land Services in the Dungog and Gloucester areas to connect with farmers and provide information to help ease the impacts of the changing seasonal conditions.”
Peter completed the Dairy Apprenticeship through Tocal College and achieved a Diploma of Agriculture. He operated the family dairy farm for 24 years before deciding on a career change.
Information on the Rural Resilience Program is available on the DPI website www.dpi.nsw.gov.au