An initiative of Landcare groups in the North West of the South East - Yass Area Network, Boorowa Community and Hovells Creek Landcare groups, partnering with NSW Farmers and sponsored by Local Land Services, more than 50 farmers and industry specialists attended the "Strategies for 2020, making decisions for your land and business" at the CSIRO research station, Boorowa.
Facilitated by Mark Gardner, Vanguard Consulting, Dubbo keynote speakers included Norm Smith, Glenwood, Wellington, Rowan Medway, Agscope, Gunning, and Ted O'Kane, NSW DPI rural resilience officer, Goulburn.
Mr O'Kane's theme "friends and enemies of good decision making" focused on the need for those on the land to be aware of the emotional roller coaster you may be on when making decisions during times of stress such as drought, flood or bushfire devastation.
There are three known activities that will relieve stress, according to Mr O'Kane, exercise, listen to music and laugh.
"The best thing you can do is laugh because you get an instantaneous feeling of good," he said.
"We are not good at talking about our problems but it helps to talk about how we feel."
Mr O'Kane said one of the vital issues about making decisions is being able to feel good while you are making them.
"You can't solve a problem until you identify it and you have to be in a good personal space to make those decisions," he said.
"A 'good' decision is an informed decision.
"A 'right' decision can only be judged in hindsight - it becomes a matter of time."
Farming is complex and volatile and good farmers make good decisions, said Mr O'Kane.
Mark Gardner led the brainstorming session at the conclusion of the workshop and some of the 60 ideas raised from the floor when asked about decisions to be made once the season breaks were:
- review family succession plans
- reflect upon your five year plan
- let the grass grow
- sow native seed
- go on holiday
- continue containment feeding
- maintain 100 per cent ground cover
- communicate with family, consultants and mentors
- work more in the garden
- reassess the land capability
- deal with kangaroos.