International study targets East Gippsland farmers

International researchers have approached East Gippsland Shire Council to collaborate on worldwide research looking into the impacts of extreme events on agricultural producers.

Lund University, in conjunction with the University of Montana (United States), is surveying agricultural producers in the United States(Montana), Sweden (Skane), Bangladesh, Cambodia, Martinique and East Gippsland.

Dr Guy Jackson, from Lund University Centre of Sustainable Studies, said they are reaching out to specifically understand the experiences of East Gippsland and Wellington agricultural producers who have experienced extreme weather events, such as drought, heatwaves, floods and bushfires.

“We hope to learn how individuals have experienced extreme events over time, better understand any impacts these events have had on you, your family, and/or your businesses, and who you believe is responsible for their management,” Dr Jackson said.

“Your responses are important and will help inform our understanding of the impacts of extreme events on Victorian farmers and pastoralists.”

Mayor Cr Mark Reeves said East Gippsland had a wide range of experiences to share.

“This is a great opportunity for not only our farmers and agribusinesses, but for our region to be included in important international research,” Cr Reeves said.

“Having this opportunity for our agricultural sector to share lived experiences of some of the most challenging circumstances with international researchers is testament to what our farmers have been through, their resilience, and that East Gippsland is a valued contributor to this sector.

“We look forward to the findings contributing to science and policy development both locally and internationally.”

East Gippsland Agriculture Sector Advisory Committee’s Ken Eckersley also welcomed the opportunity.

“I encourage everyone on the land in East Gippsland to participate in this important short survey about experiences of extreme events,” Mr Eckersley said.

If you are a farmer in East Gippsland or Wellington, you are invited to complete the survey and provide your feedback. The survey and related information can be accessed online at: https://lucsus.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2iwTeMGbTzvbD0i.

Hard copy surveys are available at East Gippsland Shire Council customer service centres and libraries or by contacting Council’s Agricultural Development Officer Kaylene Wickham.

This research survey follows the East Gippsland Farmer Survey conducted by Council last year.

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