Farm gate pro­gram

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Look Over the Farm Gate grants have opened for farm­ers and com­mu­ni­ties fac­ing drought and dry con­di­tions across north­ern Vic­to­ria as well as cen­tral and east­ern Gipp­s­land.

Com­mu­nity groups in drought-af­fected com­mu­ni­ties have al­ready started to ap­ply on­line for State Gov­ern­ment grants of $1500 to run events that ad­dress men­tal health and well­be­ing.

Vic­to­rian Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent David Jochinke said the pres­sures of drought con­di­tions were weigh­ing heav­ily on farm­ers and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

“The stress and un­cer­tainty cur­rently be­ing felt across the state will linger and men­tal health sup­port must be part of our long-term drought sup­port strat­egy,” he said.

Mr Jochinke said Look Over the Farm Gate events were an op­por­tu­nity for farm­ers to take a break from the farm, re­con­nect with their com­mu­ni­ties, ac­cess pro­fes­sional sup­port and par­tic­i­pate in men­tal health train­ing.

“You know what your com­mu­nity needs, so we en­cour­age com­mu­nity groups to think cre­atively about what sin­gle event or se­ries of events would be most ef­fec­tive,” he said.

“It could be any­thing from a bar­beque and com­edy night, reg­u­lar fit­ness meet-ups in the park, or a fam­ily movie night.”

The pro­gram is ac­cept­ing grant ap­pli­ca­tions for events un­til March.

The Look Over the Farm Gate grants scheme started ear­lier this year for fire-af­fected farm­ers in south-west Vic­to­ria.

Peo­ple keen to find out more can visit the Look Over the Farm Gate web­site www.lookover­the­far­m­

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