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Local News

Lizzy Chappell, Northern NSW

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Lizzy Chappel

Lizzy Chappell, Northern NSW

 

Lizzy Chappell is a down to earth 27-year-old female dairy farmer in Northern NSW working every day alongside her fifth-generation farmer husband, Brian and raising their three children Luke (5), Jacob (3) and Amelia (1).

Lizzy fell in love with farm life 15 years ago joining her then high school sweetheart Brian on his family farm and under the guidance of Brian’s mother discovered her passion for farming.

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Brian’s mum shared with her the ins and outs of dairy farming and passed on the knowledge she had learnt throughout the 15 years as a Norco dairy farmer.

“I fell in love with the farm and farm life, as previously I had only been a hobby farmer in my hometown of Clunes and had no family history in farming,” said Lizzy.

Lizzy and Brian first entered a partnership with Brian’s mum and stepdad four years ago, however due to unforeseen circumstances with Brian’s mother falling ill – they took over and have been running the farm together ever since, making them one of Norco’s youngest dairy farmers.

“It happened sooner than we expected as we are still quite young, but we felt ready and well prepared,” Lizzy adds.

“Brian’s mum was so knowledgeable, she taught me everything I know including how to bring up the best cows possible and run an efficient farm.” Lizzy adds.

Lizzy and Brian currently employ five staff members and manage a herd of 750 cows in total with 400 milking jerseys. As Lizzy also is raising three children, the farm is family focused not only for Lizzy but all staff members.

When asked what she loves most about being in the dairy industry Lizzy reports bringing the kids up on the farm is an amazing experience and the joy it brings to their whole family is priceless.

“The boys absolutely love it, and they already talk farming. They feed the calves and help us out where it’s safe of course, but I love the farming lifestyle and sharing it with my kids, Lizzy adds.

Being one of Norco’s youngest dairy farmers and a female, Lizzy has found a great support network of fellow female dairy farmers from farms close by and a Women in Dairy Facebook group which serves as a place for sharing tips, advice, and interesting news updates.

When asked what a day on the farm looks like for Lizzy it’s a 3:30am start to milk the cows, before getting Luke and Jacob ready for daycare then it’s back to the farm for chores throughout the day whilst caring for Amelia her youngest.

“I will be honest, I am not hands on or confident with the machinery so I leave that to our staff, maybe one day I will learn. But really my passion lies with innovation on the farm, caring for our herd and striving for success.

“The innovation we have implemented on our farm comes from a real love for our cows. We have introduced collars for cow health which will connect to the Autodraft, a chip in their ear with a personalised number. This will tell us if a cow is sick or on heat when it walks past the scanner and we can tend to it immediately, enhancing on farm efficiency.

Lizzy and Brian also received a grant to create a big dam on farm for effluent recycling and have plans to upgrade their farm in the future. Lizzy hopes to pass down her knowledge to her kids as they get older, showing them the ropes of dairy farming.

“I love seeing my kids grow up on the farm and I hope that maybe one out of the three will catch on to my enthusiasm for the dairy life and become a sixth-generation dairy farmer. After all there is nowhere else I would rather be,” Lizzy concludes.

 

For more rural news, click here.

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Local News

The Beauty of the Sugar Industry

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Harwood Sugar Mill Mural

The Beauty of the Sugar Industry

 

A recently completed mural at the entry to the 150-year-old Harwood Sugar Mill is stopping traffic and creating excitement in the little village with the oldest Australian owned sugar mill.

In the lead up to the 150-year celebrations, artist Nitsua, has created an artwork that reflects the blending of the cane growing and milling activities in the Northern Rivers, that exists thanks to the all-Australian partnership between the grower-owned NSW Sugar Milling Cooperative and family-owned Manildra Group.

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The artwork was commissioned by Sunshine Sugar as part of the preparations to celebrate the significant milestone of 150 years continuous manufacturing operation and Australian ownership – all on the same location on the bank of the mighty Clarence River.

As Sunshine Sugar CEO, Mr Chris Connors commented: “Not too many businesses in Australia can say they have achieved such a significant milestone, which is why we are making the effort to celebrate and promote the resilient industry we have here in NSW.”

Sunshine Sugar and the NSW sugar industry have a line-up of community events and activities happening at Harwood (near Yamba) in August. The celebrations with culminate in a massive outdoor community event to be held at the Harwood Cricket Oval on Sunday 25th August.

Find out more at: 150th Harwood Mill Landing Page – Sunshine Sugar

 

For more rural news, click here.

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Kyogle News

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre “Golden Wattle” to Visit Northern Rivers Region

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Golden Wattle

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre “Golden Wattle” to Visit Northern Rivers Region

 

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre, Golden Wattle, is set to visit towns in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, providing easy access to Centrelink, Medicare, National Disability Insurance Scheme, and Department of Veterans’ Affairs services.

Golden Wattle will visit:

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  • Nimbin: Wednesday, 17 July, opposite the neighbourhood centre, Cullen Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Urbenville: Thursday, 18 July, near Captain Cook Park, Urben Street (9:30 am to 3:30 pm)
  • Woodenbong: Friday, 19 July, in front of Woodenbong Hall, Unumgar Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Kyogle: Monday, 22 July and Tuesday, 23 July, in the Kyogle visitor centre car park, Summerland Way (9:00 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Bonalbo: Wednesday, 24 July, in front of Bonalbo Hall, Koreelah Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Tabulam: Thursday, 25 July, opposite the hotel, Court Street (9:30 am to 3:00 pm)

About Mobile Services Centres: Mobile Services Centres are 20-tonne trucks operated by Services Australia staff, providing regional and rural Australians with friendly, face-to-face service and tailored support. On this trip, staff can assist with:

  • Centrelink claims
  • Medicare registrations
  • Accessing online services

Additionally, information about the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Department of Veterans’ Affairs programs and support services will be available.

For more information, visit the Services Australia website.

 

For more local news, click here.

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Lismore News

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

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Lismore MP Janelle Saffin with North-Tracks Works Chair Patrick Higgins, Secretary/board member Kevin Bell and Mr Bell’s working dog Maezzie. - Youth Crime Prevention

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

 

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has successfully secured a $30,000 grant for North-Tracks Works, a Lismore-based organisation dedicated to empowering vulnerable young people. This funding will enable the expansion of their life-changing programs to engage more youth in Goonellabah, Coraki, and Casino.

Ms. Saffin expressed her gratitude to NSW Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley for approving the grant following her advocacy on behalf of North-Tracks Works. She praised the organisation, which operates out of a shed in South Lismore, for its impactful work with young people aged 11 to 18, offering one-on-one support, mentoring, and practical learning opportunities.

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“I previously secured a $44,000 Local Small Commitments Allocation grant to help North-Tracks purchase equipment and materials for skill-building,” Ms. Saffin said. “This additional grant will allow North-Tracks to employ youth workers and expand their proven youth program, which is supported by Richmond Police District Commander Superintendent Scott Tanner.”

Patrick Higgins, Chair of North-Tracks Works and a local real estate agent, thanked Ms. Saffin for her efforts in securing the additional funding from Minister Catley. “We don’t fit in the box for normal funding. Our approach is about creating a sense of belonging and purpose through our skills program and training working dogs. It’s the work with the dogs that bridges the gap,” Mr. Higgins explained.

“At North-Tracks, we spend 10 percent looking back, 10 percent at where you are now, and 80 percent looking forward. We help them chase their dreams and goals,” he added. “Our team has three basic goals: keep them safe and alive, keep them out of jail, and help them move forward to live a full and productive life.”

This funding is set to sustain and expand North-Tracks Works’ impactful initiatives, providing more opportunities for at-risk youth to gain essential skills and find a sense of purpose and for Youth Crime Prevention.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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