Topic: Farmers Ageing Well Pilot Program Launch 2021- Cultivate Farms

Day: Thursday 15 October 2020

Time:  3:30pm- 4:00pm AEDT


The Problem:
In rural, regional and remote areas we have communities of ageing farmers who are often identified as one of hardest groups to engage with from peak organisations and local government authorities. Factors such as isolation, access to information through technology, children moving away, resource strain on current health and aged care services with limited choices are all impacting on farmers who wish to age on their farm.

The physical demands of work on a farm as farmers age, and the ever present chance of sudden health decline with little or no support or resources place pressure on farmers to give up on their ageing on farm plans.

Ageing farmers not supported to age well and with support on their farm, is a key factor in regional decline as knowledge leaves once a farm is sold, or productivity reduces and impacts on the economy.

Purpose and Method:
The Cultivate Farms -Ageing on Farm pilot project to be launched in 2021 in the Towong Shire in North East Victoria will be working with local retiring farmers to identify pathways of support to age well on farm. Cultivate farms is an established program that has already been working in rural, regional remote areas across Australia to assist communities to bring young people into farm ownership and support retiring farmers on the land.

Cultivate Farms will deliver this project with Maria Berry who is an advocate and a local with extensive knowledge of the farming community.

Together they will engage 6 retirement-aged farmers to uncover all the components farmers need to think of to enable them to stay and age on their own farm. A strong focus will be to work with community champions to empower them to engage farmers ongoing to help them think through ways they can stay on their farm and in their community.

The project will develop an ‘Ageing on Farm’ guide which can be used by any farmer and regional community across Australia to encourage more farmers to realise their farming vision .





Maria has worked with older people for over 30 years both professionally as a nurse, volunteer and as a carer for her ageing parents. As a passionate advocate for older people Maria works for the Older Persons Advocacy Network and is actively involved as a Health Consumer Representative both locally and nationally. Her local community involvement includes Age Friendly North East Victoria Alliance steering committee, Border Rural Ageing Group, Tallangatta Health Consumer Engagement Committee and the Indigo Prevention of Family Violence Working Group. Maria lives in north east Victoria with her family, and her other passion is her community. After graduating with a scholarship from the Alpine Valleys Community Leadership program she has now joined the board.