The Australian Master TreeGrowers Program (MTGP) is a program offered to landholders and their supporters who can make a significant contribution to the development of farm forestry in their region.
The MTGP aims to:
• help landholders to recognise and critically evaluate commercial tree growing opportunities;
• encourage landholders to play a more active role in farm forestry development by providing knowledge that instils confidence;
• support regional farm forestry, agroforestry and landcare programs by providing a program that can be tailored to regional requirements; and
• encourage strong communication links between participants, extension officers, researchers and industry.
The MTG Program is organised and directed regionally to ensure a farm forestry program that deals with regional issues, develops and builds upon local networks and tackles issues that are important to participants.
The MTGP is run as a partnership between the University of Melbourne's School of Resource Management, local regional co-ordinating groups and agencies and landholders with the assistance of the forestry and farm forestry industries, regional extension officers, policy writers and researchers.
The Farmers Forest (2001) is the manual for the Master Tree Growers Program. The manual has an emphasis on design principles for integration of farm forestry into the farm system, consideration of markets and marketing strategies, forest mensuration and inventory, the art of silviculture, and farm-level research (see page 132 for a review of this product).
Agroforestry News is a quarterly newsletter distributed to land holders, extension officers, researchers, shires, forest industries and Landcare groups and has a distribution of approximately 2200.
Farm Forest Line is a comprehensive website resource managed by Melbourne University School of Resource Management and Australian Forest Growers and includes online forums, articles, publications and links to other sites.
The MTG program has run in all States of Australia and with over 1,200 participants having a completed a program, it is now Australia's premier farm forestry educational program.