Farmer receives travel scholarship
WHEN dairy farmer Andrew Wilson began experimenting with peanut legumes in his pasture systems 10 years ago, little did he know it would be his ticket to South America.
The Woodlawn dairy farmer and Alison Duckworth, of Swan Creek near Grafton, are the latest recipients of the Kyogle Community Demonstration Farm (KCDF) Winston Sweeney Memorial Dairy Farmer Travel Scholarship.
Mr Wilson’s partner, Kelly, and their two-year-old son are joining him on his trip to Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil to study milk production from pasture-based systems.
At his Woodlawn farm, the Amarillo peanut legume, while expensive, has boosted nitrogen levels and is producing good results on his pastures.
He aims to further study the use of legumes in sub-tropical areas of Brazil and Argentina that share a similar climate to the Northern Rivers.
But whether local farmers will ‘go nuts’ over legume-rich pastures is uncertain.
“Dairy farmers have to think about every dollar. It’s expensive so it has to be worth it,” Mr Wilson said.
The KCDF Winston Sweeney Travel Scholarship is open to North Coast farmers and is funded by the sale of the Kyogle CommunityDemonstration Farm.
The scholarship is named after the late Winston Sweeney, a prominent dairy farmer and former chairman of KCDF, who championed the exchange of knowledge and ideas gained through travel.