How many heads are better than one?

Shared Solutions Manual

Do you feel:

  • proud of your community but worried about its future?
  • that there are many opportunities you are either missing, don't know about or would love to explore? that the world seems to be progressing faster than you are?
  • that unless your farm becomes more profitable, efficient, adaptable and sustainable, it will eventually cease to exist?
  • that you are alone in this complex, technology-driven, uncertain, uncaring world?

Then being part of a 'Shared Solutions' group might be for you.

The Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) developed the 'Shared Solutions' concept. The BCG is a farmer-owned and farmer-run group in north-west Victoria, which has tried to confront head-on the questions outlined above. Its aim is to improve the profit and viability of the Mallee and Wimmera communities.

Sharing information, working in groups, learning from each other, asking questions, welcoming advice, accepting help and admitting success and failure are at the heart of the 'Shared Solutions' concept.

A 'Shared Solutions' group is a melting-pot of ideas and information. In the mix are industry, researchers, farmers, students and the general community.

Everyone in this melting-pot is important, equal, relevant, and dependent on each other. The effect is a flow of information between the groups involved, resulting in efficiency of research, greater relevance of information, an understanding of everybody's problems, and a greatly increased involvement by all parties in the region's future.

How to get started?

The GRDC has commissioned a Shared Solutions' training videotape and manual to help groups start all around Australia. These are available from the Birchip Cropping Group office for a nominal charge to cover postage and handling. Contact Caroline or Liz at the BCG office on 03 5492 2787, fax 03 5492 2753 or email bcg@ruralnet.net.au for more information or to obtain a copy of the training manual and videotape. More information about the Birchip Cropping Group is on the web-site at www.bendigo.net.au/birchip

Caroline Peters