WA Regenerative Farming Network

In one of the most exciting developments to date in the sustainable food systems field in Australia, Perth Natural Resource Management is leading the establishment of state-wide regenerative farming network in Western Australia.

Here are extracts from its first e-newsletter from December 2017. To subscribe for further updates click here.

 

Regenerative Farming Network

Welcome to the first official newsletter for the Regenerative Farmers Network (RFN).

Perth NRM are working with RFN strategic partners to establish the scope of works for grant funding applications. In order to deliver the project’s proposed outcomes with the participating NRMs, we will be partnering with universities (UWA, ECU, & Curtin), Commonland and Wide Open Agriculture, WA Farmers Federation, and SUSTAIN: The Australian Food Network. These organisations will be contributing in-kind support to the RFN to provide the necessary groundwork to collect, analyse and deliver information for farmers and consumers alike to assist with building resilient farming systems and networks producing nutritious and healthy foods.

Closing rounds for the Smart Farming Partnership Grants will be the 21st December 2017, followed by the Australian governments Regional Land Partnerships (RLP) funding rounds in early 2018. The Smart Farming Grants will establish the RFN working group, with the RLP funding providing for the longer term (initially 4 years) scope of work for the project. Conditional to the outcomes of the funding applications, we plan to fund the RFN cross-regional collaboration through the RLP program, in partnership with other WA Natural Resource Management (NRM) organisations.

WA RFN News

Early in November, Perth NRM attend an industry workshop with the Hon. Alannah MacTiernan MLC to discuss the current status of soil health, soil research and policy gaps, and the need for a Soil and Land Conservation Council under the Soil and Land Conservation Act 1945. We encouraged the future direction of the Minister’s choice to consider including grower representation as part of the discussions and appointed council/substitutes. On World Soil Day, December 5th, the Minister released the following media statement: Revitalised soil council to drive regenerative farming

In light of further discussions with Nick Rose from SUSTAIN, the Minister is considering showcasing a Regenerative Agriculture event in early 2018, which will coincide with other events that complement the principles of regenerative agriculture. So watch this space for updates to add to your calendar.

Victorian No-Till Farmers Association (VNTFA) joined the RFN with executive officer Kerry Grigg and president Grant Sims recognizing the symbiosis between our groups. They have offered to participate by sharing knowledge from experience with our group. Thank you VNTFA and Nick Rose for making the connection.

Our panel of incredible speakers at the recent Planning Our Food Future Forum

Planning Our Food Future Forum

The Perth NRM Planning our Food Future Forum was held at the Parmelia Hilton in Perth on November 14th 2017 and was patronised by a cross-section of our industry and well represented by the entire supply chain. After experiencing a fantastic Welcome to Country by Simon Forrest, and opening by the Hon. Alannah MacTiernan MLC, attendees interests were captivated by guest presenters such as:

  • Dr Rachel Carey from the University of Melbourne who discussed the Food Bowl project planning and stakeholder engagement processes,
  • Julian Cribb who presented some realistically alarming and encouraging statistics on the current and future food production needs and limitations,
  • Peter Batt from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) described the global social and environmental impact assessments and the need to address the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),
  • Jeff Champtaloup from Braincells marketing agency talked branding, Andrew Weinert discussed the impact of interstate and overseas imports to WA, and Neil Lantzke presented results of horticulture benchmarking activities 2015-17 on water and nutrient data use efficiency and opportunities for improvement.
  • Special guest Costa Georgiadis from ABC’s Gardening Australia was on hand to provide us with some very entertaining and light-hearted anecdotes from his experience in relation to our mission for a sustainable Food Future.

With this time of the year being very busy for farmers, it was good to see a few growers made it to the event. Special thanks to the Mitchell’s (Cowalla) and Kelly’s (Newdegate) for making themselves available considering the cost in both time and production for them. The forum has generated follow-up events to assist in developing pathways to engage growers and consumers with the objective of delivering a sustainable Food Future. Click here to read more about the forum.

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