Managing farms after a fire: challenges and opportunities
As growers rebuild farms following the bushfires they face land management challenges and opportunities. These are some resources and tools to help.
General bushfire recovery advice
Replacing lost seed
Growers can donate or source replacement seed through registries in South Australia and Western Australia. Some grain receival sites are also accepting grain donations, and National Grower Register (NGR) cards are available to donate grain to raise funds for affected growers.
Re-fencing and redesigning paddocks
One of the joys of living in a rural community is friends and family pulling together to support one another in times of crisis. Recovery is still hard, but more manageable with support and making time to de-stress. Change management and resilience adviser Dennis Hoiberg, of Lessons Learnt Consulting, says it is essential after any period of trauma to make time to rest.
This is essential for rebuilding the emotional resources needed to fight the onset of chronic conditions, particularly anxiety and depression.
Mr Hoiberg was on the ground after the Pinery, South Australia, fires to help growers and their communities cope with the devastation.
One important piece of advice was to “say yes” to accepting help: “People in rural Australia often say ‘no’ or give the assistance to others ‘because they are worse off than me’,” Mr Hoiberg said. “Say ‘yes’ to people who want to help and are equipped to do so.”
His practical recovery tips include:
- live in the present, not the past or the future;
- recognise that we cannot control the circumstances and people around us, we can only manage ourselves and how we respond to difficulties or change;
- keep connected: stay involved with other people;
- attend community events;
- set realistic objectives; and
- find three things each day to be thankful for – research shows this does have a positive, real effect.
Mr Hoiberg says while a first step is to take time out, developing a plan is also important to deal with potential setbacks on the road to recovery: “Celebrate your achievements, care for yourself and your mates, and book a holiday. If, after a break, you still feel you can’t cope, reach out to others and develop a plan to deal with what you are experiencing.”
Mr Hoiberg says planning is a simple technique for creating the certainty needed for mental and physical health.
0418 384 619,
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