Several Border farmers have signed-up for a new program that aims to make land regeneration an essential part of their operations.
They include Holbrook farmers Gill Sanbrook, from “Bibbaringa”, and Michael and Anna Coughlan, from Mount Narra Narra Station.
The intention of Land to Market Australia is to use a scientific basis to implement improvements to biodiversity, soil health and ecosystem function.
The program has the backing of the federal government’s Farming Together program and involves providing both farmer support and environmental monitoring.
This process will capture trends in soil health, biodiversity, and ecosystem function over time and importantly for time- pressed farmers, the approach is designed to be robust but simple, inexpensive and rapidLand to Market Australia project lead Tony Hill
Project lead Tony Hill, a beef producer at Braidwood in the Southern Tablelands, said a key part of Land to Market Australia was that it avoided prescribing a set of farm management practices.
Mr Hill said farmers who joined would be supported through scientific monitoring towards an Ecological Outcome Verified seal.
“This process will capture trends in soil health, biodiversity, and ecosystem function over time and importantly for time- pressed farmers, the approach is designed to be robust but simple, inexpensive and rapid,” he said.
“We hope that this move will be welcomed by the broader farming and scientific communities since we are all, consumers and farmers alike, seeking answers to some of the most pressing challenges of our times.”
The initiative involves the group’s management of 47,000 hectares, spread across NSW, south-east Queensland and northern Victoria.
Governing committee member Ian Chapman, a cattle and pastured pig producer from Stuart Town south of Dubbo, said it was an idea “whose time has come”.
“Consumers want to be proud of the impact of their purchases and farmers want their environments improving while they’re producing a great quality product,” Mr Chapman said.
“This verification program will help both achieve that outcome.”
Mrs Coughlan, a beef producer, is one of the heads of the program, which is being managed by a group of 31 farmers who practice holistic land management. They manage nearly 20,000 head of livestock, mainly cattle but also sheep and pigs, and each year produce 3.7 million eggs and 162 tonnes of horticultural products.