Massy tour re-energises regenerative conversation
Esteemed author, farmer and scientist Dr Charles Massy returned to Western Australia in August to spark conversations about regenerative agriculture, biodiversity, and building farm, community and personal resilience in the face of future challenges.
RegenWA hosted three events in the Southwest, kicking off with a ‘Biological Farming Systems Field Day’ at Richard Davy’s Windi Windi Pastoral property in Mettler on Saturday 20th August.
The day brought 67 people together for a day of presentations from respected speakers, including Charles Massy, and a farm tour to see how Richard has integrated regenerative and organic principles into his mixed cropping and grazing property.
The farm has been organically certified since 2003 and has recently had old blue gum plantations regenerated into farmland using native flora.
Participants also heard from Ken Bailey (agronomist) and Justin Jonson (restoration ecologist).
The ‘Regenerative Agriculture Evening Forum’ at the Museum of the Great Southern gathered 70 people to see Charles Massy’s presentation highlighting the urgent need to heal Earth’s systems, and how practices and principles of regenerative agriculture aim to address this while maintaining productivity.
The Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC gave an opening address, later joining Charles, Murray Gomm (Oranje Tractor Farm), Richard Davy (Windi Windi Pastoral) and Wendy Bradshaw (farmer and environmentalist) for a rich question and answer session.
The Kojonup networking lunch on the Sunday saw more than 30 local farmers and interested stakeholders come together to hear from Charles about what he has observed and the various principles that have helped build resilience on his own farm, sparking a good group discussion.
One farmer asked “how do I start”, which encouraged local grower groups and farmers to highlight their research and regenerative practices, which prompted people to reach out or go and have a look at these farms or trials. This was a great example of the peer-to-peer learning that RegenWA has always promoted.
The tour also saw Charles visit Geraldton on Monday 22nd August for a mapping workshop and a public evening forum organised by Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC), then return to Perth on Tuesday 23rd August for a meeting with Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) staff, and a Q&A evening forum at the WA Museum Boola Bardip.
Charles finished off the RegenWA leg of his tour by attending Dowerin Field Days on Wednesday 24th August where he presented in front of the Perth NRM/RegenWA booth. As always, it provided a great opportunity to talk to farmers about what RegenWA does, but also to listen and gain different perspectives. The Dowerin Field Days were full of engaging conversations and people signing up to the network.
These events were part of Dr Massy’s WA tour organised by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) in partnership with the WA Museum, Perth NRM|RegenWA, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Soil Wise project, Northern Agricultural Catchments Council and Wide Open Agriculture.
Soil Wise is funded by the National Landcare Program’s Smart Farms Small Grants – an Australian Government initiative, and supported by the State Government’s Healthy Estuaries WA program.