WIFE West Arthur 

The West Arthur branch started in early 2015 and had a membership of over 30 in our first year. We are amazed at the support received by the local women and the community during our establishment.

Our monthly meetings have seen plenty of lively discussion and an amazing amount of tips and tricks shared between the group, with huge benefit to all members. We are very lucky to have a local Community Resource Centre where we hold our meetings and they have also been a great support to the group.

Organised childcare is an important part of allowing all women to attend meetings and the group has been very lucky to receive funding support from Bendigo Bank to assist with crèche costs for children during our meetings. As well as our monthly meetings, the group have organised various ‘field trips’.  The group have been shown through the soil testing process with local CSBP rep, Nathan Cuthbert. After collecting a soil sample from a local paddock, we followed the process of the testing through the labs in Kwinana. The following month the group worked through the soil test results and what they all mean in terms of what’s in the soil and the resulting fertiliser recommendations.

Our first ‘Grass Roots Agronomy’ Day involved 16 women jumping on the bus and touring around paddocks in our shire. Local agronomist, Ashton Gray (ConsultAg) took us back to basics, covering a range of topics over both the pasture and cropping enterprises. We viewed a pasture manipulation trial and discussed different pasture species and which ones we want to remove from the system when we manipulate the pastures. We even got hands on and dug a hole, removing the dirt in layers to discuss the soil profile features such as the different clay and gravel contents. Growth stages of the barley plant were demonstrated and we had a discussion about the different canola varieties available to us, including how GM canola may be used as a tool in our cropping systems. After a very informative afternoon, we settled in for a sundowner of wine and nibbles which was a fantastic opportunity to socialise and get to know other members.

The group has also covered topics of Fire safety & preparation with the Community Emergency Services Manager and instigated a meeting with local police to discuss a wide range of issues including trespassers on farm, gun licensing and storage requirements and what to do if you see suspicious behaviour in your area.

We have run a session on how to use Dropbox and had the opportunities to attend the Farm Office Efficiencies and Being a Better Boss workshops (run by Partners in Grain and organised with our local CRC).

For enquiries to the WIFE West Arthur Branch, please email westarthur@wife.org.au​  or use the form on the Contact WIFE page and mention West Arthur branch in your message.