Successful launch of the Soils for Life Report
"Innovations for Regenerative Landscape Management"
Yesterday's launch of the Soils for Life report of techniques and practices that can help reverse landscape degradation and enable productive, profitable and sustainable farming was very well received by all in attendance. A wide cross-sector of the community was represented, including from business, science, government, the finance sector and the farming community.
Michael Jeffery introduced the report - highlighting the need to change landscape management practices to halt degradation and contribute to addressing future challenges relating to global food security.
Soils for Life Program Coordinator, Simon Gould, presented a summary of the report findings, including the inspirational and compelling stories of the innovative farmers in the report case studies who have already made a change for the better in landscape management.
Simon was followed by Soils for Life Board member, Chris Knoblanche, who spoke of the importance of understanding farm economics - especially by the financial sector - to ensure the provision of appropriate financial support to those adopting regenerative practices.
Clearly the highlight of the day was the presentation by Anne Maslin of 'Gunningrah', NSW. She and her husband Charlie were participants in the Soils for Life case studies and Anne spoke of their experiences in identifying the need for change - inconsistent rainfall and corresponding widely variable costs of production - and some of the practices they have put into place to manage this. These included installation of leaky weirs to slow the flow of water, increasing their ground cover by resting pastures through time-controlled planned grazing, and the introduction of goats as environmentally friendly weed control. Anne concluded with some of the outcomes obtained as a result of their practice changes, including reduced input and production costs and more consistent profits.
The speakers then received questions as a panel, with Anne continuing her popularity, as more details were sought regarding her experiences in changing to regenerative practices and how others can best be encouraged to follow a similar path.
The case study participants who were able to attend the launch were joined by attending Soils for Life Board members for a very enjoyable lunch following the launch. There is clearly great camaraderie amongst the group, with a real determination to take the Soils for Life program forward.
See images from the launch on the Soils for Life Facebook page.