In Autumn, two ambitious agricultural field days were held in the Natural Resources South Australian Arid Lands region, bringing the local community together to share information and learn more about sustainable land management.
North East Pastoral Field Day and Marla-Oodnadatta Field Day were organised and run by the local natural resources management district groups, to bring people together to share ideas and learn about local issues, best practice and new technology.
In remote communities, opportunities to meet at events like these are very important, with more than 100 people attending Mt Barry Station and the Coober Pedy Golf Club for the Marla-Oodnadatta Field Day and 120 people descending on Weekeroo Station for the North East Pastoral Field Day.
The events attracted a range of pastoralists who had not engaged in natural resources management business for several years, particularly in the North East Pastoral area, helping Natural Resources SA Arid Lands connect with more of the community.
The events were also well supported by local industry, with support from Meat and Livestock Australia, Bush Heritage Australia, Outback Communities Authority and many other local businesses, agricultural suppliers and presenters.
Both events were featured on the ABC’s SA Country Hour which added a lot to the day, but also helped raise the profile of the good work being done by the local community groups.
Activities at the events included:
a traditional Adnyamathanha welcome
pregnancy testing cattle scanners
weather and climate information
a range of pastoral appraisal tools
plant identification and wild dog information sessions
panel discussions with members from the Dog Fence Board, Pastoral Board, Outback Communities Authority, Regional Development Australia and SA Arid Lands NRM Board.
Good catering is an important part of making these kind of events a success.
At the North East Pastoral Field Day, catering raised funds for the local Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association group, and live music helped socialising to continue until the early hours.
Coober Pedy Area School students catered for lunch on both days of the Marla-Oodnadatta Field Day, and the lamb and pig on the spit on the Thursday night went down a treat, as did the courtesy bus to continue 'networking' back in town.
Feedback from attendees was very positive and highlighted the relevance of holding such events for sharing knowledge about managing natural resources in the region, and also for pastoralists in these districts to get together and socialise as a community.
Terrence Coulthard performs a welcome song as part of the Adnyamathanha welcome at North East Pastoral Field Day
Marla-Oodnadatta Field Day at Mount Barry Station
North East Pastoral Field Day bringing the community together