The Marshall Liberal Government will fund the innovative ‘Accidental Counsellor Program’ which is being rolled out by South Australia’s pork industry.
A $12,750 funding grant will help Pork SA train agribusiness service providers with basic counselling skills. These people are often one of the first ports of call for pig farmers.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the price of feed and low returns were having a significant impact on the pig industry.
“The pig industry has been dealt a double whammy with the drought and interstate transport subsidies inflating feed prices following a sustained period of oversupply putting downward pressure on prices,” said Minister Whetstone.
“Experiencing higher input prices when receiving less for your produce has a real impact on profitability and I commend Pork SA for initiating the Accidental Counsellor Program to help pig farmers plan and manage through this period.
“This grant is a very small amount of funding in the context of the State Budget but by investing in this program it can have a big beneficial impact.”
Minister Whetstone said the funding is one way the State Government can team up with Pork SA to support the industry during these challenging times.
“People in the agribusiness industry talk to farmers every day and often struggling farmers may confide in them for advice as a trusted source,” said Minister Whetstone.
“The ‘Accidental Counsellor’ Program gives these people training and basic skills to have confidence in asking the difficult questions and providing advice.”
Pork SA Chair Mark McLean said the State Government’s $12,750 funding would allow a continuation and expansion of the existing program.
“Pork SA recognises that while there are many services provided by the health system, for farmers that are exposed to hardship, there is no easy pathway into these services,” said Mr McLean.
“The Accidental Counsellors can provide frontline assistance to identify those in need.
“This training program will give agribusiness service providers skills and support to check on the wellbeing of clients and start those difficult but important wellbeing conversations that producers may otherwise not have.
“Counsellors will be backed up by a specialist experienced Clinical Counsellor, who provided these services to the dairy industry in 2016."