Recently over 20 landowners and landcare support staff from West Gippsland participated in a 9 week Master Tree Growers program. The program proved to be an amazing opportunity for all participants to increase their knowledge, engage with other like-minded people and develop ideas and actions for their own properties.
Facilitated by national and local leaders in tree growing on farms, participants visited a series of outstanding West Gippsland properties and enterprises that demonstrated ‘what can be done’ and inspired participants to create a vision for their properties and landscapes that includes trees for multiple purposes.
Commencing in 1996, the Master Tree Growers Program (MTG) has grown into a comprehensive extension package involving many national, state and regional organisations and hundreds of individuals. The program remains focused on ensuring that the development of forestry and native vegetation management on farms is driven by the aspirations and opportunities of each landowner, and is supported by the best available scientific and practical knowledge. In fact, the program is designed to encourage participants to think specifically about their individual properties, to ‘paint their own picture’.
Over the 9 weeks a range topics were covered including:
The final day was a celebration for all participants who received their highly valued Master Tree Grower Gate sign. Participants expressed their gratitude for being involved in the program through the following quotes:
“Absolutely fantastic - depth of knowledge/experience, engaging, responsive and generous. All awesome”.
“Diverse selection of speakers and site visits covering multiple themes. Links wonderfully with ethics of diversification and local communities”.
“Really appreciate the information shared and opportunity to see different properties at different stages and the sense that there is no right or wrong”.
“Very interesting and inspiring to see the different approaches to tree growing and explore all the options available and potential end products”.
“Only course I have done that was actually fun. Very well structured and presented”.
“Loved it, it will be invaluable in how we transform our little patch by the Rainbow Creek. Great organisation!! Wonderful food, lovely, generous participants”.
The Master Tree Growers Course was coordinated by the Western Port Catchment Landcare Network Inc, Bass Coast Landcare Network Inc, Otway Agroforestry Network and the Gippsland Agroforestry Network.
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