Sharon Hebbard has recently joined Hepburn Shire Council as the Artisan Agriculture Facilitation Specialist. This exciting role, supported by Agriculture Victoria, is a significant appointment for the Hepburn Shire being the only role funded within the sector. Sharon’s appointment complements Agriculture Victoria’s $2 Million Victorian Artisanal Agriculture and Premium Food Program.
Agriculture Victoria’s Roadmap for the sector released in 2018 highlighted several barriers for the artisan sector as compared to conventional large-scale production and emphasised the need to promote the sectors diversity, build greater business capabilities, increase access to government services and supported industry led development.
Sharon recently held a position as Industry Manager for the food and fibre sector at Bendigo TAFE, as well as industry roles within the wine, viticulture and agribusiness sectors, including working with many regional wineries within the Hepburn and Macedon shires.
Sharon said the artisan agriculture sector will be leaders in innovative and sustainable production methods, enabling the sector to thrive not only regionally but in national and international markets.
“I am excited to assist the artisan producers within the Hepburn Shire and greater Central Highlands to cross pollinate ideas and find solutions to grow and sustain their passions and produce for their customers” said Sharon.