Sue Gilroy

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Parallel Economics – The Paddock

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Imagine a field of dreams, or in the case of this parallel
economic possibility, a place where there is a field for
every farming dream. A place for our kids where a future
in agriculture is fostered, encouraged and taught.
As a kind of future farmers institute high school, ‘The Paddock’ would create
an agricultural centre of excellence and a working agricultural learning
enterprise in conjunction with the education system for secondary students.
Australia’s biggest farming classroom if you like, ‘The Paddock’ would be a
single or perhaps collection of farms and agricultural enterprises on Hunter
mining land.
On site could be everything from grazing to cropping, dairy, viticulture
orchards, timber, aquaculture, equine, food production, sustainability,
rehabilitation and flora and fauna management. The idea would drive future
focused thinking that allows the next generation of primary production
knowledge to significantly leapfrog the present.
A mining led agricultural revival. Residential farming education in a real-
world environment.
A potential centralised campus could be kick started on a foundation within
existing, underutilised mining and farming infrastructure that accelerates
development. Dormant mine located farming infrastructure could be revamped
to industry leading standards.
On the upside we could see a lot of mine land returned to productive
agricultural production. On the down side…well there isn’t any.

Sue Gilroy
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