Sally Fields is onboard to roll out the Healthy Farming Futures program

Sally Fields is onboard to roll out the Healthy Farming Futures program

Northern Gulf welcomes Sally Fields to our Mareeba office as the Intensive Agricultural Officer. Sally is a qualified agronomist and is currently running the Healthy Farming Futures Project.

Sally is a born and bred rural Queenslander. Since the mid-1800s, her family, a mix of Irish farming immigrants and convicts, have made their living entrenched in Australian agriculture. Timber getting, dairy, beef and stud cattle, sheep and cropping all form part of her family’s pioneering history.

Sally’s personal background is in both technical and farm-based agronomy. Graduating from a Bachelor of Rural Science at UNE Armidale in 1998, she began her career in Goondiwindi within the innovative and proactive cotton industry sector. During this time, area wide management strategies to pest management control were being rolled out and Sally saw first-hand how an industry forms successful integrated strategy to problems though collaboration.

Agricultural Officer – Sally Fields

Sally’s agronomy skills include crop nutrition, IPM monitoring and on farm growing across a diverse range of horticultural, greenhouse, and broad acre systems. Her crop experience includes Avocados, Blueberries, Macadamias, Citrus, Organic greenhouse lettuce/culinary herbs and tomatoes, Coffee, Cucurbits, Passionfruit, Papaya, Mangoes, and a variety of both dryland and irrigated broad acre crops.

Sally’s current focus is on the Healthy farming futures (HFF) project which is funded by the Australian Government’s $450 million Regional Land Partnerships program.   The project is all about building farm soil health for long term gain and aims to increase farmer awareness and access to expertise on building soil carbon and organic matter, balancing nutrition, and supporting soil biology. Participants of the program also learn how to balance their soils and read soil tests as well as understand the important role of pH and calcium.

The intensive stream of the July 2018 to June 2019 HFF program is currently underway with eight local farms involved. Some of the services being currently rolled out include soil testing, a farm management plan, technical agronomy advice, mapping, erosion control strategies, Soil Health Field Days and establishing a Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy Peoplefarmer network.

If you are interested in joining the Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy Peoplefarmer network and have not already been contacted, please email agriculture@northerngulf.com.auor call Northern Gulf on (07) 4092 1088.

If you are wishing to be fully engaged with the HFF project in round two, Expressions of Interest for July 2019 to June 2020 will open again midyear.

The HFF Project has funding until June 2023.  Watch this space!  Lots of good soil health initiatives to come.

Northern Gulf look forward to collaborating with you on our quest of increasing awareness and adoption of land management practices that improve and protect the condition of our soils – All the best for 2019, here’s to a year of building healthier soils in our region!

This project is supported by Northern Gulf Resource Management Group,through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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