Author Archives: Lindy Thompson

It’s a wrap! Agribusiness Today Forum 2019. The round-up from Cowra


Last week the Central West town of Cowra hosted a major agribiz forum for local beef, mutton and lamb producers. The annual Agribusiness Today Forum’s presentation of key-note speakers was held at the Cowra Services Club followed by Field Trips around the region the next day.

This year’s theme was how to maximise red meat yields and business opportunities. The two-day event successfully attracted over 100 delegates to town.

The Forum was addressed by a number of high calibre speakers including representatives from Meat and Livestock Australia, JBS and NAB. Delegates had the opportunity to attend one of three field trips the following day. These included a Gundamain Feedlot tour, a Back Creek Pastoral Feedlot presentation and a Greenethorpe Farming Systems tour. These are all local Cowra region operations who were generous in opening up their farm gates to interested delegates so they could learn more on the ground.


REMINDER! Rural Arts Fund applications close this month

Regional Arts Fund (RAF) Community Grant applications CLOSE 5pm, 25 August, 2019.

The RAF is designed to benefit regional and remote arts practitioners, arts workers, audiences and communities like the many who live and practice in the Central West region.

Arts OutWest executive director Tracey Callinan, will hold a workshop regarding general arts funding to be held 16 August, BUT unfortunately this has now BOOKED OUT.

However, you will find all of the relevant information you need here:

Or contact the Manager, Grants & Projects at Regional Arts NSW: t. 02 9270 2502 e.

Stronger Country Communities Fund

Applications NOW OPEN!

In Round Three of this fund the NSW Government will aim to deliver crucial local infrastructure and programs to improve the quality of life for people living in regional NSW.

Since 2017, the Stronger Country Communities Fund (SCCF) has supported more than 1000 local projects that make regional communities even better places to call home.

Round Three will provide an additional $100 million for community projects in regional NSW, with at least $50 million for youth-related projects.

Applications CLOSE 5pm, Friday 27 September, 2019.

Visit: for more information.


NSW Farmer of the Year and the NSW Young Farmer of the Year

2019 Nominations are NOW OPEN!

These awards are designed to recognise excellence in the state’s agricultural sector. Who do you know in the Central West who works as a farmer or in any other primary industry enterprise who deserves a nomination? Both younger and older!

NSW Farmer of the Year Award is open to all farmers 36 years + in NSW and the NSW Young Farmer Award is open to NSW farmers aged between 18 and 35 yo. The winner of each category will receive $4k prize money while runners up receive $2k.

The awards are a joint initiative between NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and NSW Farmers’, with support from Safe Work NSW and The Land.

NOW OPEN, don’t miss out on getting your nominations in before the CLOSING date: 23 September, 2019. For more info visit:

‘Women in Agriculture Leadership Development’ scholarships

Funding has just been released to support the development of female leaders across Australia’s agriculture sector.

The scholarship funding is provided with the specific intent of providing powerful and effective development opportunities for women in the ag. sector.

The initiative is providing women with grants of between $3k-$7k to enable participation in one of three programs that covers such things as: Presence & Presentation Skills, Leading Innovation & Change, and Emotional Intelligence & Conflict.

Women & Leadership Australia are taking Expressions of Interest up until: 13 September, 2019.

Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form at:

First ever NSW Youth Summit on ‘Living with Drought’ Apply NOW!

Are you a young person (14-24yo) living in the Central West and impacted by the drought?

UNICEF Australia, with support from the NSW Government, is hosting the first ever NSW Youth Summit on ‘Living with Drought’.  What a great opportunity to speak up on behalf of your friends, family and community and have YOUR say.

The Summit will be held in Lake Macquarie on 9-11 October, 2019

BUT applications CLOSE on Friday 30 August. Make sure you don’t miss out!

Visit: for more info or to apply.

Image credit: Forbes City Council/Forbes Advocate taken of Sally Downie, a young Forbes resident who is encouraging other Central West youth working in agriculture to apply.

Read more at:

REMINDER! Don’t miss the FREE Rural Health Innovation meet up this evening Thursday 15 August

This event will inspire local entrepreneurs and educate our community about the innovation

opportunities for our health system. Our community has great ideas about how to improve the system and the patient experience. Come along, bring a friend and have your say! The event is FREE but registrations are essential.

Thursday, 15 August 2019, 6pm-8pm.

Complete event details and registration at:

Charles Sturt University – Orange Campus, Leeds Parade, Orange

Supporting the Central West’s growing region of entrepreneurs and innovators

Sam Harma from RDA Central West (R) and Gerarda Mader from Upstairs in Bathurst (L) discuss the newly launched Entrepreneurial Ecosystem map.

Regional Development Australia Central West (RDACW) has launched the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem map to provide a visual road map for up-and-coming local businesses to help better understand, integrate and collaborate in the start-up/entrepreneurial professional landscape.

The map is about identifying and bringing together the organisations across the Central West that support aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses; from networking and start-up events, education, co-working spaces, advisory services, ideas incubators and accelerators through to commercialisation and investment opportunities.

To download a copy of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem map, visit:

If you have a hub or business in the Central West that you think should be included on the map, contact Rebecca Taylor e. or t. 02 6369 1600.


A message from CEO Sam Harma – eNews August 2019

RDACW’s Chair Christine Weston welcomes
new CEO Sam Harma. Photo Credit: Central Western Daily

The Central West has a vibrant and resilient agricultural sector. The red meat industry is a major employer of our region and was on show last week at the Agribusiness Today Forum held this year in Cowra.

Over 100 delegates attended and learnt about innovative ways to maximise red meat yields and market opportunities. On behalf of RDA Central West, I would like to thank all sponsors, partners and committed organisers for their support to help create such a successful event.

The Agribusiness Today Forum grows in importance each year. Providing the region’s agricultural industry with avenues like this forum in times of drought are vital in both a business, networking and learning sense.

We’d love to hear your feedback about what you might like to see as the focus of a future Agribusiness Today Forum.

Please email your suggestions to me: Sam Harma e.

Follow RDA CW on social media to see what plans there will be for 2020’s event and where.

Follow us! Join our Central West community to keep up to date:

Facebook: @RegionalDevelopmentAustraliaCentralWest

Instagram: @rdacentralwest

Twitter: @RDAcentralwest

Hashtags: For RDA CW in general: #RDAcentralwest  / or for Agribusiness Today Forum: #agribusinesstodayforum

Image: Sam Harma CEO Regional Development Australia Central West (R) with RDA CW Chair Christine Weston (L). Central Western Daily


Agribusiness Today Forum 2019 – Beefed up and ready to go in Cowra, 8-9th August. Register here!

Cowra is set to host a major forum for local beef, mutton and lamb producers and industry representatives with the annual Agribusiness Today Forum to be held on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th August at the Cowra Services Club.

The theme for the 2019 forum focuses on how to maximise red meat yields and business opportunities. The forum is expected to attract well over 100 delegates to town.

The two-day event will be addressed by a number of high calibre speakers including representatives from Meat and Livestock Australia, JBS and NAB. Delegates also have the opportunity to attend one of three field trips.

Registrations have NOW been EXTENDED! Book here:


FREE Energy 101 courses for small business in Parkes & Orange

Parkes Shire Council and Orange City Council in collaboration with the NSW Government are running FREE courses for business owners and their staff. Limited to 25 participants at each event so be quick to register!

Orange:  Wednesday 7 August 2019, 6-7pm, The Greenhouse Function Room, Orange Ex-Service Club, Anson Street, Orange

To register:

Parkes: Thursday 8 August 2019, 5:30-6:30pm, Astro Dish, Bogan Street, Parkes

To register:

In this practical one-hour workshop you will:

  • learn how to analyse your energy bills
  • understand how your business uses energy
  • identify energy saving opportunities, including no-cost/low-cost solutions
  • learn about funding options and resources that will help you take-action

For more information email: