In the absence of President Cliff, PP Glen introduced the guest speaker, Bob McCluggage.
Bob spoke about the actual location of the Allansford Community Farm,  the impetus for its establishment and what had been achieved so far.
Bob explained that the talk he was about to give had been prepared over two-years. Having first been asked to speak in 2019, but then COVID and other matters meant he had been unable to attend a Club meeting. He did add that, like many things his speakers fee had gone up. I do believe $500 was mentioned! As well as noting that even with two years notice Cliff was still not present.

Bob commenced by providing background. Firstly, about the actual location of the Allansford Community Farm and secondly the impetus for its establishment.

The Community farm is 180 acres (78 hectares), stretching from the cheese and butter factory to edge of the Allansford township. Warrnambool Cheese and Butter had purchased the land to act a buffer between the factory and the town.

In 2009 the Warrnambool Recreation Reserve Committee of Management (ARRCOM) developed a 10-year master plan, estimated to cost $2 million. Given the limited income of the ARRCOM, which consisted of $12 000 from the Warrnambool City Council for maintenance of the Reserve and rental from the football and cricket clubs, alternative sources of funding would be required to complete the proposed master plan. This need led to the idea of developing a community farm that would generate income by fattening cattle. Bob emphasised that the Community Farm had to be seen as a valid project, not ‘mickey mouse,’ it needed to project an image of a responsible citizen, having good fences, no weeds in the paddocks and good stock.
A lease was arranged with Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, followed by many years of working bees, to replace fences, clean-up the paddocks and consolidate two cattle yards into one. This would not have been possible without a vibrant committee of management and strong community support through the provision of voluntary labour.

Having made the original lease arrangement with Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, Supato Inc took over the company and it was not known whether the new owner would support the project. Information was sent to Supato promoting and explaining the project. The reply was a five-year lease with a requirement of a public liability policy, which has been extended by a further five years.

Farmers were asked to donate calves. The farmer was paid $140 per calf to rear it for 4 months and then it could be moved to the community farm. In the first year there were thirty-seven calves donated. Currently the farm has 115 cattle consisting of calves and steers.
The community has not only donated calves and time to develop and maintain the community farm, but others have assisted with the transporting and selling of the cattle.

Over the last 10 years, close to a million dollars has been raised and spent on infrastructure at Allansford Community Reserve, with the community farm generating $305 000 of funds.
Bob answered a number of questions from Rotarians, emphasising the importance of a vibrant committee and the amount of voluntary labour.

Bob nominated Hospice as his donation.