The 2018 Rural Community Leader of the Year will use her national platform, recognised this week by the prime minister, to spruik the benefits of collaboration in providing rural resilience, through working together.
Ms Gordon has roots in grazing country near Ebor on the Northern Tablelands and possesses a drive to promote collaborative and regenerative farming.
Since 2016, Ms Gordon led the creation of Australia’s largest community of primary producers, keen to boost margins by forming co-operatives and collaborations.
The federally-funded program – hosted by Southern Cross University – attracted 28,500 participants in 730 farming, fishing and forestry groups from across the country.
In the last year of the two-year pilot program, a total of 57 new agricultural co-operatives had been encouraged to form and register.
Its success was noted by several developing countries whose ambassadors have approached Ms Gordon with the aim of rolling out a similar program in places like Papua New Guinea and Colombia.
Ms Gordon, now Southern Cross University’s director of strategic projects, this week launched Australia’s first “Regenerative Agriculture Alliance” utilising resources at the university which leads the world in plant science and is regarded as an independent in soil testing. It also now houses an organics research centre.
Ms Gordon was a speaker at the The Land’s Next Crop forum in Lismore, where she highlighted future opportunities already being created through socially responsible agriculture.
“This Regenerative Agriculture Alliance has great capacity and my job is to harness the best consultants, groups, the best people who know that space and can help us address the most complex farming problems,” she said. “We live in an interesting time. We have moved beyond the notion of sustainable farming. Now we’re looking at the biology of how we’re going to fix planet earth.”