9 July 2020

Inspiring new direction of farmer's regenerative journey

| Edwina Mason
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Boorowa regenerative farmer Charlie Arnott on farm.

Boorowa regenerative farmer and 2018 Bob Hawke Landcare Award winner Charlie Arnott has launched a fascinating podcast series. Photo: Supplied.

Award-winning Boorowa grazier Charlie Arnott is not only shaping a regenerative farming future in Australia but he’s digging a bit deeper and using technology to spread his message through the launch of a podcast series, The Regenerative Journey with Charlie Arnott.

In the nine-episode series, which launched in May, Charlie’s guests include filmmaker Damon Gameau, Regenerative Agriculture Alliance founder Lorraine Gordon, and US holistic farmer Joel Salatin. The series opened with Charlie’s own regenerative journey.

Charlie is renowned as an educator and passionate advocate for regenerative farming practices after he transformed his 5000-acre family property, Hanaminno, from a conventional, industrial high-input mixed enterprise farm that was “working against nature” to a biodynamically principled, holistically managed farm “partnering with nature”.

It was 15 years ago when Charlie started this journey.

After a series of epiphanies, and through education, he discovered the regenerative agriculture movement, which he felt reflected his instinctive connection to the land and his ethos of producing quality food for his family and the world.

Today, Hanaminno is managed using organic, biodynamic and holistic grazing principles. It produces beef, lamb and pigs; pasture raised on 100 per cent native and exotic species, raised sympathetically within the landscape and the resources it provides; proactively markets products direct to clients, focusing on providing clean, healthy, nutritiously dense food direct to butchers and families.

Charlie has received several agricultural industry awards for leadership, resource management and conservation.

The most recent was the 2018 Bob Hawke Landcare Award, a prestigious biennial accolade which acknowledges a person who has demonstrated remarkable commitment to caring for the land, who champions better practices, and gives their time to share knowledge with others.

After being interviewed many times for other podcast shows, Charlie says it was only a matter of time before he picked up the mic himself.

In each episode of The Regenerative Journey with Charlie Arnott podcast series, Charlie takes listeners on his guest’s regenerative journey and uncovers their inspirational stories, touching on topics including the regenerative agriculture definition, natural capital, the psychology of transitioning to regenerative farming practices and principles, and partnering with nature.

“As the current Bob Hawke Landcare Award winner, I wanted to use this opportunity to illustrate to the Australian Landcare community and beyond what the growing interest in regenerative agriculture really looks like, and the role it can play in shaping a more sustainable future,” says Charlie.

“There is a very evident movement growing and interest in regenerative agriculture across the world that I feel is hungry for stories, experiences and evidence of the benefits of using regenerative practices within businesses and across landscapes.

“This movement is on a global scale and there is a wonderful opportunity to produce a world-class podcast series to satisfy this hunger for information.”

Charlie says he has been humbled and inspired by the people he has interviewed for the first series.

However, it is Landcare for which he reserves his greatest gratitude for giving him the scope to widen his horizons.

He has been an active landcarer since the inception of the Landcare movement in 1989, with previous roles in all levels of Landcare, from district groups to the sustainable farming ambassador for Landcare Australia.

Charlie is urging anyone with an interest in regenerative agriculture to nominate for the 2020 Bob Hawke Landcare Award, which opened this week.

The award acknowledges the role former Prime Minister Bob Hawke played in elevating Landcare from a grassroots community initiative to a national movement with bipartisan government support that endures today.

The winner of the award receives a prize package of $50,000 for further development of their knowledge and skills in sustainable land management to enable a stronger contribution to Landcare.

Landcare Australia CEO Dr Shane Norrish says the award recipient will be an individual who actively pursues, introduces and shapes innovative farming systems to improve productivity, profitability, sustainability and the quality of our natural resources.

“The award nomination is open to an individual who champions the uptake of sustainable agricultural practices and can demonstrate the adoption of improved practices among landholders as a consequence of this action,” says Dr Norrish.

“They will be closely involved in Landcare, can demonstrate an outstanding commitment to local communities, and drive community activity.”

For more information about the 2020 Bob Hawke Landcare Award, visit the official website.

You can listen to The Regenerative Journey with Charlie Arnott podcast series here.

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