Farming for Sustainable Soils
The soils of north central Victoria, together with the region's water and vegetation resources, form the essential base that both natural ecosystems and agriculture depend upon. The health of the land is intimately linked to the health of the soil.
This project recognises soil as an important asset that should be protected and managed for future generations. Achieving this goal means working collaboratively with regional farming communities in the quest for greater soil integrity pursued through an adaptive, community-based learning approach.
The focus of the work is on providing the carbon needed to build the structural integrity required to mitigate wind erosion in times of reduced rainfall and much greater seasonal climatic variability.
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Over the past three years FSS has seen refined a community-based delivery model that is best-described as 'demand-driven' as opposed to the traditional sales driven approaches.
The FSS program builds on the skills, knowledge and experiences of farming communities in priority areas throughout the region. It brings people together and motivates them to work as a community.
It affords them the knowledge, wisdom, experience and resources that farming communities need to make informed decisions that support them in caring for the health of their soils and their lands.
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More than 100 people attended the fourth Farming for Sustainable Soils (FSS) conference in March, 2018, showcasing the work of regional farming communities intent on improving the health and productivity of their soils.
Almost 80 farmers also visited the Timor West FSS group and inspected the Wiseman property at Dunluce, where the FSS group continues to do great work in regenerating the difficult granite soils of the area.
Speakers included our very own Phil Dyson, National Soils Advocate Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery, Dianne Mullins of the Timor West FSS group, and group facilitator Merron Ipsen.
Western District farmer Suzanne Lewis was also a welcome guest, as she spoke about her sheep farm and how it is an endorsement of the need for regenerative agriculture.
Weekly Times 2015 farmer of the year Grant Sims also spoke, outlining the practical measures of improving soil health, a speech that left conference participants wanting much more.
Local FSS groups also spoke about their work and how it is making a difference across the region.
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Below are the videoed presentations from the 2018 Farming For Sustianable Soils Conference.
Brad Drust opens the conference
Conference organiser Phil Dyson
Major General Michael Jeffery onsite at Dunluce Part 1
Major General Michael Jeffery onsite at Dunluce Part 2
Major General Michael Jeffery conference presentation