Something for everyone may be a bold statement, but having witnessed first-hand the relaunch of the new look #clubhectare yesterday, we couldn’t agree more.
Over the past 5 years, #clubhectare has provided a lifeline to many in the farming community and beyond by allowing individuals to come together and connect regardless of their location, background or interests.
Speaking to Jono Dixon, #clubhectares lifetime president, he explains that he has spoken with members who say the club has been a lifesaver, especially for those in remote areas. One member had a bad accident and sought solace in the online community, and another suffering from depression told Jono that #clubhectare stopped him from going insane!
During his presentation yesterday, Jono explained that #clubhectare “has been his life and passion for the last few years, but like all good things, its ideas needed a kick up the jacksy! It’s got to stay current but also exciting for all our members.’
With his aim “to bring agriculture and country living together,” the committee decided to launch a website with forums to enhance their already popular online community.
The word community was used by many of the speakers at the relaunch, and it is also referred to in their club’s new tagline, as a ‘members organisation dedicated to promoting agriculture and food production, and forging business and so
Chris Hewis, the clubs Chairman says “It’s providing something that has been missing from our industry for a number of years – community and knowledge transfer”. Gordon Cummings, Vice Chairman added “we wanted to carry this club on but interact by way of a forum.” He admits that this is nothing new, but the team wanted to ensure a forum with a difference.
The forums will evolve, says Edwina Mullins who is responsible for the clubs marketing, and current forums include topics such as arable, livestock, machinery, and rather curiously, there is an under 30’s specific forum.
So, this is where the real community comes into play. No member will be allowed to sign up unless they identify themselves using their real name. No aliases, no pseudonyms, just genuine honest people wanting one central place to come together, have some banter and share come valuable conversation.
The focus is on exclusive, as you must be a member to participate, but inclusive, because anyone can join.
This was another focus at the launch. Almost every speaker touched on the importance of young people in farming and the future of agriculture. Jono sees it as “combining the old with the young to take this great club forwards.” They have further addressed this by introducing 2 committee members who will support and represent the under 30’s both online and at events.
CropTec 2017 will be the first club event after the relaunch. Edwina mentioned “we want to continue connecting the community after the launch and keep the momentum going.” They will also have a stand so people can come along and join up, purchase some merchandise or just have a chat.
They plan to arrange more meets at shows and dinners across the country, and now have a small number of regional organisers, but are looking for more.
If you want to “promote the good in agriculture and be a voice to push it forward,” I urge you to visit the new website at www.clubhectare.com and sign up to become a member for free, or meet the dedicated and passionate team on Stand 3.25 at this year’s CropTec event.