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The Tweed Shire Community Strategic Plan 2017- 2027 identifies the need to lead and engage the community to enhance awareness and improve sustainable management of the environment, including agricultural landscapes.

The Sustainable Agriculture Program is a response to these community objectives. By working with local landholders, community groups, state agencies, and research organisations, Tweed Shire Council is seeking to improve the viability and environmental capacity of the Tweed’s farmland. We do this through a range of initiatives including education programs, on-ground research and demonstration projects, policy work and advocacy. Council also offers a Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants Program for local producers.

Primary producers, market gardens and small lot farmers interested in participating in the Program are encouraged to contact the Program Leader – Sustainable Agriculture on (02) 6670 2400.

Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants Program

Tweed Shire Council’s Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants Program is an on-going Council funded program to assist landholders to implement best land management practices that benefit the farm, community and the environment.

A limited number of grants of up to $4,000 are available for eligible activities. The 2019-2020 grant round has now closed, however you can begin preparing your application for the 2020-2021 round which will open July/August 2020.

Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants Program Guidelines (411kB PDF)
Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants Program Application Form (150kB PDF)
Sustainable Farm Plan Template (118kB PDF)

Current Projects

Photo of Dave Forest from the Soil Improvement Plan
Dave Forrest - Soil Improvement Plan

Growing sustainable farms from the ground up, a soil improvement project.

Tweed Shire Council has received $36,558 from the National Landcare Program to support Tweed vegetable growers to implement best practices soil management techniques. The project aims to help enhance the skills of local growers to:

  • Regenerate soil carbon and soil biological activity.
  • Increase plant resilience to climate and biological stresses.
  • Improve plant production and nutrient density.
  • Use sustainable and economically viable techniques which minimise environmental impacts.

The grant will cover costs associated with initial training and one-on-one extension advise, development of soil improvement plans and soil inputs i.e. compost, cover crops etc.

Expressions of interest (155kB PDF) to participate in the project are currently open until 18 October 2019 (unless otherwise advertised). Download the EOI form (155kB PDF) and return to the Sustainable Agriculture team at agriculture@tweed.nsw.gov.au.

Download the Soil Improvement Plan information sheet (700kB PDF)

Small Farms Big Changes – workshop series

Tweed Shire Council has been awarded a grant from the NSW Environmental Trust to conduct a series of farm field days and workshops over the 2019-2020 period.

For more information visit Small Farms Big Changes.

Sustainable Agriculture Strategy

Agriculture is one of the main land uses in the Tweed Shire. However, a range of social, economic and environmental pressures - including an ageing farming population, changing land uses and increasing variability of environmental factors - are all impacting on the viability of agriculture in the Tweed. At the same time new opportunities are emerging for producers around local food systems and sustainable farming practices. The Tweed Shire Sustainable Agriculture Strategy identifies actions and delivery pathways to address these challenges and opportunities.

A discussion paper was developed in 2011 to describe the background and extent of agriculture in the Tweed Shire. The discussion paper also outlined a range of key challenges for agriculture in the Tweed Shire. The discussion paper posed questions about how to balance environmental, social and economic considerations in Tweed's agricultural and food production systems, and sought public feedback.

Discussion Paper - Sustainable Agriculture Strategy (6.39mB PDF)

Council adopted the Tweed Sustainable Agriculture Strategy in June 2016, following extensive consultation and issues analysis.

Sustainable Agriculture Strategy (3.07mB PDF)

Recent Projects

Increasing Soil Carbon in Tweed Valley Farmland
Floodgates
Greenbanks
Drain Filling
Blacks Drain Project
Cudgen Soil Conservation
Acid sulfate soil research and remediation
Sustainable grazing in the Tweed Valley
Biological farming on the Cudgen Plateau
Restoring the Waterways of the Cudgen Plateau
Dung beetles of the Tweed

Further information

Census Data
Acid Sulfate Soils
Farmers Resources
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