Grace Hosking is BCG’s Project Manager for the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, North West Broadacre Node.
Grace, what drew you to working with the Vic Hub? Why are you in the role?
Having grown up on a family farm myself, I can empathise with the huge social, financial, physical and most significantly, emotional toll drought can have on farming families, businesses and our small rural communities. As such, I feel motivated to help our farming community be better informed, better prepared and more profitable in the face of future droughts and variable climatic conditions. I feel that the Drought Hub provides a valuable opportunity to build upon the skills and capabilities that currently exist within our community whilst also bringing innovation to the region, to ultimately enhance our resilience to future droughts.
What do you hope to achieve in the role?
Through engagement with industry and other stakeholders, I hope to identify gaps in our preparedness for future drought in the region and drive practical, on-the-ground strategies for our farmers and community. My goal is for farmers to be best prepared for when we do encounter another dry period so that we don’t see the repercussions that we have seen in previous droughts.
I am always keen to hear from anyone who might have ideas or thoughts on how as a region we can achieve drought resilience.
When did you start and where are you based?
I started this role in February 2023. I am based in Birchip as part of the BCG team.
What projects are you involved in? How are these having an impact?
BCG has been able to undertake many meaningful projects as a result of our involvement in the Vic Hub. One of the projects we are currently working on is Over the Fence, a publication showcasing farming families within the region through a drought resilience lens, enhanced through positive imagery captured by local photographers.
Through consultations we identified social connectedness as an important tool in promoting drought resilience. As such, events such as Igniting Resilience, Farm Expansion Day and George the Farmer, in addition to ongoing Young Farmer Network events, have been held to foster connections and generate capability to build farm business and community strength.
Supporting topic specific events such as the Female Farmer of the Future workshops and containment days we are also delivering the tools needed to help prepare for and manage the effects of drought.
MEY Check (Maximising Economic Yield) is another project we are developing. The app will put agronomic checks and reminders at farmers’ fingertips to support timely decision-making.
What is your background
I am the sixth generation on our broadacre cropping and livestock farm just south of Quambatook in Victoria’s Mallee. Together with my parents, grandparents and three sisters, we grow wheat, barley, oats, canola and a number of legumes for hay and grain production. We also breed merino ewes and run a small herd of cattle. I attended school locally at Boort District P-12 School before moving to Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Agriculture, majoring in Economics at The University of Melbourne.