sprout producer news

Sprout Producer Program 2019 Application Round is open!

The round for applicants into the Sprout Producer Program for 2019 is now open.  All applicants received by the due date are reviewed by a selection of Sprout board member volunteers, to ensure selection criteria has been address.  This review panel then arrange to shortlist a selection of applicants who will progress to round two for interviews.

Find out more about the program from our website and Facebook pages, or follow the hashtag #sproutproducerprogram

This year, there are 8 scholarships available, and recipients gain access to mentoring, networking, education and support with a value of over $4,000.  

There is a co-contribution portion for all successful applicants of $285, which assists Sprout to fund the costs of each individual participant's farm field day.  

Apply Now - download the application form here, complete it and return via email to [email protected] Applications close Sunday 2nd September at 11.59pm AEST.


Applicants close Sunday 2nd September at 11.59pm AEST.

If you are keen to chat with us about the Program, as well as questions about the application process, contact Jennifer Robinson on 0497 347 792 or [email protected] 

Current Sprout Producer cohort

Our Sprout Producer participants are now over half way through their year in the program, and we wanted to share this update with you.

Summerlea Farm - Liz and Rick Mahnken, Lilydale

Liz and Rick are doing great things on their farm, with their Angus Beef.  They have launched their Beef Box sales direct to consumers, and now have a group of very happy and connected customers who love their produce, their customer service and the ethics in environmental and local community care that is an obvious priority to the Summerlea Farm team.


Freshfield Grove - Fiona Makowski, Campania

Farmer Fi has had a full seven months so far this year, started selling her produce direct to restaurants around Hobart, and direct to consumers at the local Hobart Farmgate market, and only a few weeks ago received Reserve Champion award at the 2018 Royal Fine Food awards for their Manzanillo variety! So, now you can get your hands on local, award winning, extra virgin olive oil!


ForestFungi - William Borowski, Woodbridge

Will has been very focussed on setting up some new facilities on his Woodbridge farm to ensure he can continue to grow his incredible fungi in a more controlled environment.  Will's produce is loved by many around Hobart, as is his expert education sessions where people learn to grow their own mushrooms.  


Photo: Courtesy of Analiese Gregory, Chef at Franklin

Felds Farm - Michael & Lauren Layfield, Bagdad

Michael and Lauren have had an awesome season of vegetable growing and bread making, selling direct to restaurants, but mostly LOVING the connections with fellow producers and customers at the Bream Creek Farmers Market every month.  Their bread is so popular that they bought a new bread oven from overseas!! It is SO good!  We love they are passionate about sharing their knowledge for food, as they are chefs as well as vegetable growers, which brings with it some fantastic opportunities to help people realise how to use fresh, seasonal produce in interesting ways.


Arundel - Fiona Hume, Macquarie Plains

Fiona's year so far has been full of awesome achievements.  Fiona now shares her farm life online via Instagram, and has seen great connections from this presence, especially for interest in the sheepskins (yes, those incredible curls are from the English Leicester breed of sheep) which she now has a waiting list for as the year progresses.  Arundel sheep meat was also cooked by MONA Source chef Vince Trim for a second year in a row at the Dark MOFO Winter Feast!  Keep it up Fi and we can't wait to see what you achieve in the last part of this year and beyond.

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What is the Sprout Producer Program?

Each year, through the generosity of Tasmanian businesses and members of the public who donate funds, Sprout offers scholarships to local producers in a year long education program, called the Sprout Producer Program.

This year, we are pleased to announce that the Tasmanian State Government has acknowledged the important role that small producers play in not only our local food security, but in our economy and ever growing food-agriculture tourism industry, and have pledged to provide cash support to Sprout Tasmania for the next three years to ensure we can continue this support program into the future!  

Click here for a video from our previous Sprout Chair, Hannah Martin, about the benefits of the SPP.

We wanted to share with you some of the things that graduates have said about their time in the program...


Sprout Producer Field Days

Throughout the year of the scholarship we visit each Sprout Producer's property, and spend the day there, seeing first hand what is unique about their farm, what they have got in or on the ground so far and what their plans are for the future. We also go through in in-depth group discussion to draw out any issues they might be facing, and sometimes these are not just issues about soil health or business branding, it can be about the individuals themselves, the relationships around them and the challenge of finding what works for them. 

There is something special about having a group of people take the time to listen to you, your challenges, your successes, your dreams and roadblocks, and then collectively work out a plan to build on any successes and manage those challenges!  The whole Sprout team is always humbled by this process and feel so privileged to be a part of it.

Here are some photos from our SPP field days so far this year:

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