Connecting Tree Changers To Farmers Takes Out Gong

20 March 2018

‘This farm needs a farmer’ founder and Kyneton local Melissa Connors has taken out the prestigious 2018 Victorian AgriFuturesTM Rural Women’s Award.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford today announced Melissa Connors as the Victorian winner at a ceremony held at the Melbourne Museum.

Former Melbourne resident, Mrs Connors and her family embraced a tree-change to Kyneton almost six years ago today.

The move proved challenging but also highlighted to the Connor family that there was a wealth of knowledge among established and retired farmers that was not being passed on to new and less established agricultural professionals.

‘This farm needs a farmer’ aims to create stronger and more engaged farming communities by connecting tree-changers with established and retired farmers who can pass on their invaluable local knowledge to motivated newcomers.

Mrs Connors and two other finalists, Jade Miles and Cara Hadzig were selected by an independent panel. Mrs Connors will receive a $10,000 bursary to help implement her project.

She will also attend the Australian Institute of Directors’ Course in Canberra and have an opportunity to become the national award winner, who will be announced in September.

The AgriFuturesTM Rural Women’s Award acknowledges the leadership role women play in agriculture and rural communities. The award is supported in Victoria by Agriculture Victoria and is sponsored nationally by AgriFutures, Westpac and ABC Rural.

More information about the AgriFuturesTM Rural Women’s Award is available at

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

“I want to congratulate Melissa Connors and all the finalists, and I thank you for your dedication to supporting and developing Victoria’s rural and regional economies.”

“Melissa’s project is a timely reminder of the importance of promoting and capturing hand-me-down knowledge within the farming community – and it’s even better to have a woman spearheading it.”

Quote attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

“What a remarkable achievement and recognition for Melissa and her ‘This farm needs a farmer’ project. You have done the people of Kyneton proud and we look forward to watching you battle for the national title.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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