Simon is President of Country Noosa Inc.
Simon and his wife Michelle have three beautiful grown up and moved out daughters and a grandson. They purchased 22 acres in Coles Creek from the State Govt in Feb 2013 that had three dams and a boundary fence. It was previously subdivided from a dairy farm and had a wonderful collection of Groundsel, Bracken Fern, Bladey Grass and various other nefarious prickly and spiny shrubs and creepers. They live there with some sheep and cows moving around regularly in planned rotational grazing in an effort to control the weeds and increase the soil life, plant diversity, and pasture grass productivity.
Country Noosa introduced Simon to Holistic Management and opened his eyes to the ways in which we should be working with the land and not against it, and how doing so can reap great rewards with productivity increases, decreases in labour and expenditure, and a better lifestyle for all those involved in primary production. Simon began employing these principles shortly after learning them and was rewarded well within weeks of implementation. He encourages everyone to look further into working with nature, not against it.
Simon: ” I can really see how the Noosa Hinterland can become a leader in this type of sustainable agriculture with ‘Care Farmed’ and Holistic practices in mind, and how we can then showcase our region to elsewhere in the country and further afield to show and assist them in how to create sustainable paddock to plate agricultural practices that are better for all the plants, animals, and humans that are a part of our environment.”
Maureen replaces Verity Morgan-Schmidt as Secretary for Country Noosa Inc. She has a wide scope of administrative experience across a spectrum of industries, tertiary education, oil & gas contract and procurement administration, police administration, management consulting, olympic sports administration, sugar refinery, and retail.
Maureen and her partner, Vince Cronin manage Broadmeadows farm at Kin Kin. The farm is one of the oldest in the district and has seen many iterations of farming from dairy, a variety of beef cattle breeds, crops, to alpacas today. The Piggott and Cronin families have been in the Kin Kin and Gympie areas for over 50 years. On the passing of her late father, William (Charlie) Piggott, the family was faced with the age old question that rural families face – of what to do with the family farm. At that time, it was too small to be a commercial beef property yet large enough to be an expensive holding. It was apparent to Maureen that thinking outside of the square was in order, a favourite expression. So she combined her passion for fibre production and helping to build a fledgling alpaca industry in the region and Queensland. She has experienced the ups and downs of developing a new rural business, the difficulties, hardships, and rewards of farming. Maureen has great empathy for the farmers’ plight in a fast changing world full of competing interests especially in the Noosa Hinterland region. You can find her on weekends at broadmeadowsfarm.com.au.
Anna is Vice President of Country Noosa Inc.
Anna and Michael Henbury run a small family farm, Melsted Park in Black Mountain, with the goal to regenerate the soil and create health and fertility from within the farm. Animals live full time in the paddock and are moved to fresh pasture regularly, with each making their contribution to the regeneration of the soil.
The pastured meat chickens fertilise while the laying hens cleanse the pasture, and produce delicious eggs. Melsted Park products, including eggs and chicken, are available locally and from their farm shop. They hold farm walks regularly for their customers to come and see how things are done on the farm. Check them out at melstedpark.com.au.
Dick is Treasurer for Country Noosa Inc.
Dick is a past president of Country Noosa Inc. He was born and educated in the UK but worked in many parts of the world in IT, Marketing, and Finance. For the last seven years of his business career he was CFO of one of the world’s largest companies. He “retired” in 2004 and he and his wife, Kim, settled in Noosa in 2006.
He developed an interest in farming and has a sustainable beef cattle operation in the Noosa Hinterland. With Rod Ritchie he founded Country Noosa two years ago as a self help group to encourage primary production in the Shire.
Dick is also the founding President of the Noosa Community Biosphere Association Inc. and the Treasurer of Noosa and District Landcare. Kim and Dick are blessed with family and grandchildren in the area and are in the Noosa area for the long haul.
Dave Clark is retired and busy with a few goats, a few sheep, chooks, ducks and quail, lots of garden and fruit trees. Dave and his partner Lissa live in an off-grid straw-bale cottage built over an aquaculture pond.
Lissa is a myofascial therapist and postural self-help trainer who works tirelessly to bring in a little cash to lubricate their living system, and is responsible for keeping Dave fit and active.
He is an anarchistic doomsday prepper who wants to give himself, family and community, a fighting chance of continuing to eat well after the crunch bites.
His useful life skills include experience as a designer and teacher of Permaculture and has worked both here and abroad for many years in that capacity. He can also make a flushing worm farm toilet, milk a goat, and grow vegies.
Dave makes biochar and compost and is deeply into soil improvement – a prerequisite on his land.
Currently his burning want is for pasture instead of scrub so that he can include a couple of beeves in his little 5 acre system.
Nina and her partner Steve are farmers who live on their property, Banyan View Farm, at Pinbarren, near Pomona with a myriad of house and paddock animals. They both have medical research backgrounds but have been working more recently in plant genetics and waterway health. They have been farming at Pinbarren since 2011 and have gradually built their small scale farming enterprise over the past 6years. They raise animals with respect, grow vegetables using organic and biodynamic techniques, and sell locally. It is a mixed farm producing beautiful beef, heritage breed meat chickens, market garden vegetables, and seasonal lamb. Their vision is to build a sustainable farming enterprise. Nina has a specific interest in soil health and growing nutrient rich food along with holistic grazing management and using organic medicinal preparations for the health of the farm animals including the farmers!
Verity accepted a position as CEO for Australian Farmers for Climate Change and resigned as Secretary for Country Noosa Inc.
Originally a farm girl from the sheep and wheat country of Western Australia’s north eastern wheatbelt, Verity Morgan-Schmidt am a former Executive Officer for Western Australian Farmers Federation (WA’s leading rural lobby and advocacy organization representing over 3,500 Western Australians farmers). Verity was responsible for multiple commodities including managing budgets and fundraising; providing representation on state and national stakeholder committees, delivering advocacy services and targeted lobbying on behalf of rural industries, strategic business review and development, membership development and retention, event management, publicity, stakeholder communications and the provision of secretariat services to the Western Australian Dairy Farmers Collective Bargaining Group.
Prior to joining WAFF, Verity worked as WA Technical Coordinator & Auctioneer for Elders Ltd, including a stint at the National Wool Selling Centre in Victoria. In this role she was responsible for the management of weekly wool sales for WA’s largest wool broker, including overseeing all activity from point of arrival through to point of dumping (post sale). Sales, contract negotiation, client and stakeholder relations, technical procedures, publicity and local media relations also formed key elements of this role.
Verity holds a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Politics & Government and Global Studies (Edith Cowan University) and is currently (2016) completing her Masters in Sustainable Development through Murdoch University.
She is mother to a 3 year old and a 1 year old (both girls) and in her spare time volunteers with the Sunshine Coast division of the Australian Breastfeeding Association and the Sunshine Coast Environment Council. She has a keen interest in sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, eco-friendly parenting and gardening.