Applications are now open for the Victorian Climate-Smart Agriculture Fellowship.

The Victorian Climate-Smart Agriculture Fellowship is aimed at current and emerging industry leaders who are committed to the sustainability of the agricultural sector. It is designed to build capacity to manage climate risk, while supporting business and industry resilience.

We’re looking for people with the potential to change the game, shape opinion and policy, and help agriculture and rural communities manage climate risks and prosper in a low-carbon world. Supported by the William Buckland Foundation, the fellowship is in its third year, having already trained 40 producers across Victoria.

This year the fellowship will take place via a mix of online and offline meetings between October 2020 and June 2021, including a mentoring program to support the adoption of climate smart practices and a conference in the first half of 2021.

The fellowship is a unique opportunity for you to learn from experts in climate and agriculture, as well as other Victorian farmers who are leading the way on climate resilience. You’ll join a strong and supportive network of leading farmers across Australia, receive extensive training in key skills (including media and advocacy), and develop a platform to create lasting resilience in Victorian agriculture. The fellowship is free of charge to the successful applicants.

Course Structure

Part 1:

Online learning modules are delivered via zoom catch ups and virtual presentations over the course of the month. Fellows will be required to complete 1-2 hours of pre-reading/viewing before each zoom catch up. Zoom catch ups will feature guest speakers and farm/innovation case studies, touching on local councils, community groups, energy projects, carbon sequestration projects etc. Learning resources will be available online, with conversation between fellows encouraged in established channels.


Part 2:

Fellows will be supported during the online learning program to develop a research project idea which works for them. From November onwards, each fellow will be matched with a mentor and will progress project ideas developed during the online modules.

The scope is almost limitless, providing it falls within the bounds of climate change and agriculture and that there can be an achievable outcome (or at least update) in the first half of next year. Ideas could include (but are not limited to):

  • Developing a new farm management plan tailored to your region’s changed climate
  • Forming a climate smart farmer network in your region
  • Taking part in Land to Market’s Ecological Verification process to measure the ecosystem base line of your property
  • Conducting a carbon audit on your property
  • Researching what is happening overseas regarding a climate-related risk you’ve identified
  • Trialling a new way to monitor and reduce heat stress in livestock
  • Trialling a new crop variety better suited to your region’s conditions


Part 3:

In March 2021 (COVID permitting), the fellows will come together face to face to showcase their projects. There will be further sessions on advocacy, change management and leadership strengthening.

download the application form


Applications for the 2020 Victorian Climate-Smart Agriculture Fellowship have now closed.

Online learning program

Session 1 | Friday 16 Oct.

8.30 am – 1.30 pm
Climate Change & Agriculture: Big Picture to Back Paddock

Speakers include:

  • Cam Nicholson (Nicon Rural Services)
  • Mark Howden (ANU)
  • Graeme Anderson (Agriculture Victoria)
  • Mark Wootton (Jigsaw Farms)

Session 2 | Monday 19 Oct.

9 – 11am
Gut, heart & head: how to make good decisions in a changing climate

Speakers include:

  • Cam Nicholson (Nicon Rural Services)
  • Richard Eckards (University of Melbourne)

Session 3 | Tuesday 20 Oct.

9 am – 1 pm
Carbon in the landscape

Speakers include:

  • Ben Keogh (Australian Carbon Traders)

Session 4 | Wednesday 21 Oct.

9 am – 1 pm
Regenerative agriculture: pathways & perspectives

Speakers include:

  • Rebecca Gorman (Land to Market)
  • Steven Hobbs (Kaniva farmer)

Session 5 | Thursday 22 Oct.

9 – 11.45 am
Navigating the New Energy Revolution

Speakers include:

  • Karin Stark
  • Ketan Joshi

Session 6 | Monday 26 Oct.

9 am – 1 pm
Creating hope from uncertainty

Speakers include:

  • Dr Lauren Rickards (RMIT)
  • Caroline Welsh (Birchip Cropping Group)

Session 7 | Tuesday 27 Oct.

10.30 -12 pm
You say you want a revolution? Change beyond the farm gate

Speakers include:

  • Dr Rebecca Colvin (Australian National University)
  • Lara Nicholson (Climate Media Centre)

Session 8 | Wednesday 28 Oct.

9 – 11 am
Getting your project off the ground

Speakers include:

  • Cam Nicholson (Nicon Rural Services)
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