Changing Paradigms | The Power of Regenerative Agriculture
Tom’s Outdoors is based in Tumut nestled in the Snowy Valleys, enclosed by Kosciusko National Park and rural farmland. Our home in the outdoors is our lifeblood and the lifeblood of our beloved region is agriculture. The climate crisis concerns us deeply and we are passionate about the longevity of our rural country town and its neighbours.
“Changing Paradigms” explores the power of regenerative agriculture in improving the natural environment, human health and dependable profit in merino agriculture. We, as humans, share an innate attraction with the natural world. But the way we currently interact with the environment is unsustainable and causing a disconnect with nature. We have one generation, our generation, to take action and change the paradigm.
Charles Massy is a farmer, author of the groundbreaking book “Call of the Reed Warbler” and a passionate advocate for regenerative agriculture. Growing up an only child on a rural property, Charlie was raised on the land which nurtured a strong affinity for the Australian environment.
As a young farmer with good intentions, Charlie did what the best farmers in the district were doing, using traditional farming methods such as using chemicals and fertilisers. Charlie then learnt that what he had been doing for decades was “harming the very thing that sustains agriculture which is a healthy soil and its systems.” He says, “A tension grew between my love of nature, my biophilia, and what I was doing to the landscape.”
When Norm Smith took over the family farm “Glenwood”, the farm and business was carrying a lot of debt. Turning to holistic management was not only better for their land but allowed for bigger and more sustainable profit as a result of the reduction of inputs including chemicals and fertilisers. Furthermore, Norm explains “holistic management does promote regeneration of our landscape and that’s important to us because we want our future generations to be able to come on to Glenwood and have a future, both financial and lifestyle.”
There is agreement among scientists that we have one generation to take action against climate change to avoid, as Charlie warns, “a runaway earth.” While this is alarming, there is hope. Charlie sees regenerative agriculture as “an unbelievably exciting solution to the planetary and human health crisis.” The power of regenerative agriculture goes beyond improving the profitability and resilience of family farms, the implications on our health and our environment are tremendously positive.
What role can the consumer play in regenerative agriculture? Make well researched buying decisions. Where possible, support local organic food markets and community gardens. Choose natural fibre like wool that comes from chemical-free farms. Or, it can be as simple as experimenting with growing your own fruit and vegetables.