By Growcom CEO Stephen Barnard

As we prepare for a feast this Christmas, spare a thought for the hard slog a farmer goes through to get food on to your plate.

Whether it’s bushfire, flood, drought, or workforce challenges, growing food takes dedication and commitment. Please note, this isn’t an exhaustive list. 

We may be in a La Nina weather pattern at the moment, but drought is a fact of life in Australia and as surely night follows day, drought will return.

Farmers in Australia are some of the world’s most resilient when it comes to managing extended periods of drought and for being some of the most innovative in the world too.

To boost the longevity and strength of Queensland horticulture, Growcom is working with government bodies, industry service providers and natural resource management groups to enhance farm business outcomes, through the Farm Business Resilience Program. At Growcom, this program will be known as Hort360 – Drought.

Growcom’s Hort360 – Drought program will support farmers to prepare for, manage and recover from drought, with access to subsidised learning and development opportunities in strategic business management, farm risk management and decision-making, natural resource management, and personal and social resilience.

The program, to be rolled out across Queensland, is supported and funded by the Federal Department of Agriculture Water and Environment, through the Future Drought Fund and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Farmers know best how to grow food that Australians enjoy year-round and they do a top-notch job.

We are excited to get the ball rolling and will utilise our Best Management Practice program, Hort360, to assist growers to identify gaps in their management systems.

This process will enable businesses to target issues and major risks and enhance the business’s ability to plan and grow in the face of drought.

Growcom will engage with fresh produce growers on key topics such as business, people, climate and environment through this program.

Growcom stands firmly on its mission to support fresh produce growers to be sustainable and profitable and this program will provide a process to assist growers through thick and thin.

The Farm Business Resilience Program will be open to all primary producers – a drought declaration isn’t required to access planning.

We wish all Country Life readers a Merry Christmas and ask as consumers we give thanks for the farmers who work tirelessly to get food on to our tables this festive season.