Central West Farming Systems (CWFS) is an independent, not-for-profit, farmer driven organisation. We operate in an area covering 14 million hectares in Central Western NSW. Formed in 1998, the group now boasts over 300 members made up of farmers, private and public sector advisers, researchers and stakeholders.
As well as our research driven trials and extension, CWFS is involved in a broad range of activities and partnerships to benefit growers, industry and our regional communities. Snapshot is an overview of recent workshops and events, key points from trials and other relevant topics of interest.
NB: Upcoming events are listed in the Calendar. Our yearly compendiums with all trial results are in Resources – Member’s section. Newsletters are only able to be accessed by members.
CWFS 2019 Women and Youth in Agriculture Conference – ‘Resilience and Renewal’
The conference was held on Wednesday 27 March 2019 at the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station to a record crowd of 160 people. With perfect autumn weather, the crowd enjoyed a marquee on the lawn of the Ag Station; with a high number of industry stakeholders and local businesses providing stalls and displays. It was great to see such widespread media coverage with ABC Radio’s ‘Country Hour’ promoting the day by broadcasting live from the Conference.
We were fortunate to have a variety of fabulous inspiring speakers including the Hon Sussan Ley, MP; former State Drought Co-ordinator, Pip Job; Vanessa Bell of Sarah Jane Bond (merino products); Ginny Stevens from Active Farmers; Hamish Munro from Pairtree Intelligence and industry speakers from GrainGrowers; MLA; AWB, ADM, Rabobank; GrainCorp; Tocal College; NSW DPI and Sheep Connect. Our keynote speaker was the renowned comedian, Fiona O’Loughlin, who grew up in rural Australia and has a strong connection with rural life.
Vale Dr Neil Fettell
It is with great sadness that CWFS farewells our colleague, mentor and dear friend, Neil Fettell, who died on Saturday, 16 March after a long illness. Neil was a founding member of CWFS in 1998 and has been a strong advocate for agricultural research in our Central West region for most of his life. His passion focused on cropping and farming and he was particularly interested in what contribution research could make to improve agriculture. His impact on agriculture is indisputable and he was regarded as a leader in his field by his peers and organisations such as GRDC and CSIRO to name a few. Neil received a NSW Agriculture Staff Award in 2000 and the 2002 GRDC Seed of Light Award for excellence in communication and extension.
Neil graduated with First Class Honours in Agriculture at the University of Sydney and embarked on a career with NSW DPI in 1974 after winning a CSIRO scholarship to study how to maximize phosphorus use by dryland wheat in the Condobolin region. Neil then completed a masters and doctorate in science.
Neil has been a GRDC panel member, part-time lecturer at the University of New England and recently worked as a Senior Research Advisor for CWFS. Neil was respected by all who knew him and he had the rare ability to comfortably address farmers at a field day as well as present papers to the scientific community.
Neil’s brilliant mind and beautiful nature will be missed; he was always so generous with his time and advice, never failing to calmly help where he could.
We offer our most heartfelt condolences to Neil’s family. He was a wonderful man.