The AIEA is a Cooperative of professionals formed in November 2009 at Orange, NSW, Australia. Our primary mission is to promote ecological and regenerative based farming and food systems in Australia that lead to healthy landscapes, productive agriculture and thriving communities. We represent professionals in regenerative, holistic and ecological agriculture and land management.

A key focus of the AIEA is the role of both the hard and soft dimensions of ecology and agriculture. The hard dimensions include agroecology, agriculture and landscape science. The soft dimensions include social ecology, ethics, change management, extension and psychology.

Vision

Healthy Australian landscapes containing vibrant human communities practising ecologically based agriculture and land management.

Mission

Promoting ecological and regenerative based farming, forestry and food systems through advocacy, policy and education.

Objectives

1. To foster ways of ecological thinking that enhance an understanding of landscapes and their biodiversity and their value, as they relate to agriculture, food systems and human communities.

2. To raise the profile of ecological and regenerative farming/horticulture/forestry and its relevance to the needs of an Australian society facing diminishing oil reserves, earth change and climate change.

3. To appreciate that humans are one thread amongst many threads in the web of life. To recognize and respect all forms of life.

4. To promote an ecological approach to sustainability in the interest of generations to follow.

5. To support policies and actions that encourage the growth of communities.

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Board

Kerry Cochrane

President
Kerry was born into farming at Candelo on the far south coast of NSW where his family were dairy farmers. Study took him to the University of Sydney and an Agricultural Science degree, and then to the University of Western Sydney for a Graduate Diploma in Social Ecology. Some years later he sought to deepen his knowledge of the human element in management and studied for a Masters in Management Learning at Lancaster University in the UK. The combination of science and humanities led him to appreciate the value of holism and its place in agriculture.

In 2001 Kerry became the course coordinator of Australia’s first undergraduate course in ecological agriculture at Charles Sturt University, Orange campus, and taught Human Ecology and Managing Change in that course, until 2015. During that period he formed the Ecological Agriculture Australia Association which later morphed into the Australian Institute of Ecological Agriculture Cooperative Ltd. Kerry firmly believes in the need for a different approach to agricultural education, and farming, and sees holistic thinking as the missing ingredient.

The past 20 years of engagement with ecological thinking and the emergence of regenerative agriculture is a neat coincidence that he believes represents the beginning of a new approach to food and fibre production. Central to this approach is a greater understanding of the importance of ecology, and the need to give it pride of place in all decision-making.
Kerry Cochrane sitting down against tree photo

Danny Hunter

Danny is Senior Scientist in the Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems initiative at Bioversity International. He is also Team Leader of the organization’s global Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition (BFN) Project. He is a researcher, teacher and leader specializing in the links between agroecology, biodiversity, food, nutrition and health. He has 25 years’ experience working with partners and family farmers in over 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, South and South East Asia, Central Asia and the Pacific. Before joining Bioversity International, Danny was Team Leader of two international projects both in the Pacific region: the European Union-funded Development of Sustainable Agriculture in the Pacific (DSAP) Project covering 16 countries of the Pacific, and the Australian Government-funded Taro Genetic Resources: Conservation and Utilisation (TaroGen) Project covering 9 countries of the region. He has spent 12 years working closely with national governments, NGOs, universities and colleges, farmer and women’s groups throughout the Pacific Islands, promoting agroecology and regenerative agriculture. He is currently Adjunct Associate Professor at Charles Sturt University and National University of Ireland-Galway (NUIG). He is also an adviser to the Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research (PAR) - an international NGO that brings together national and international research and development organizations with civil society and indigenous peoples groups to share knowledge and experiences that can improve agrobiodiversity maintenance and use within agroecological systems – and a Senior Technical Adviser to Seeds for All, an organization that seeks to support and expand agroecolgy and regenerative agriculture by amplifying the voices and participation of small-scale farmers worldwide.
Danny standing photo

Bruce Maynard

Bruce Maynard is a fourth generation farmer from Narromine, NSW. With his wife Roz and children Liam, Ella and Hannah they operate a business that has operations in agriculture, training and accommodation.

Bruce was involved in the family businesses including Stud Berkshire and Large White Pig enterprises, irrigated and dryland cropping, wool and meat sheep, cattle and hay production.

Following the implementation of one of the first whole farm plans formulated in the Central West in 1990 Bruce shifted the business operations toward a sustainability and diversity focused farming system.

Bruce has implemented many changes including the planting of over 200,000 trees and 300,000 shrubs on the property. He was an early adopter of Cell Grazing and Holistic Management approaches.

Subsequently Bruce invented the No Kill Cropping concept which is now being implemented on properties across Australia and internationally. He has taught courses that he developed on both No Kill Cropping and Pasture Cropping across Australia and lectured on both internationally.

His successful experience with intensive grazing management lead to him being appointed as the Conservation Grazing Officer for the Central West and Lachlan areas of NSW. Bruce advised landholders, agency staff and researchers on the relative merits of the competing grazing strategies available in an independent fashion.

When the Catchment Management Authorities took over the Landcare roles Bruce was appointed as the Farming Systems Officer for Central West NSW where he conceived and managed the Farming Systems Program for the Central West Catchment Management Authority which was acclaimed as the best program operated by that organisation.

In conjunction with his interest in all grazing management issues he developed Stress Free Stockmanship methods that lead to innovations in the animal behavioural such as active de-stressing of livestock and initiating weed eating behaviours.

Bruce co-invented the new field of Self Herding with Dr Dean Revell that is changing livestock behaviours over 20 million acres of Rangelands in Western Australia.

He has developed and helped develop Future Farm projects for Greening Australia, a Sustainability Dashboard for Land and Water Australia, developed the Grassland Grain concept from the Agricultural Futures project in 2016 as well as being an active supporter and participant in the Future Farms CRC’s Enrich program in forage shrub development.

Bruce has become known as the Lazy Farmer and continues his practical work on systems of agricultural innovation on his property and enjoys spreading the message by on farm field days and presentations across Australia.
Danny standing photo

Peter Ampt

PhD (UNSW), MScAgr&BScAgr (USYD), DipEd (UNE)

Peter is an interdisciplinary researcher, teacher and consultant who strongly believes in integrating agricultural production with environmental conservation. He applies participatory, mixed method approaches to better understand the complex adaptive social-ecological systems in which agriculture and conservation are embedded. He has applied this approach to environmental policy and management for production landscapes, agricultural and environmental extension, conservation through sustainable use and investigating the eco-innovators at the forefront of the transition to agro-ecology. He has also worked with Indigenous communities to develop working knowledge that integrates traditional knowledge of land and food with other approaches. His career has included high school teaching, Australian Museum education, research management at UNSW and academic teaching and research in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Sydney Institute of Agriculture at The University of Sydney.
Peter Ampt Photo

Johannes Bauer

PhD Zoology (Univ. Freiburg, Germany), MSc Forestry (Univ Freiburg, Germany), DipSc (Otago, NZ)

Degrees in forestry, biology and wildlife management have enabled Johannes to work in a wide range of institutions in both the European and Asia Pacific regions. Convening Australia’s first National Rural Conference on the potential role of natural forests in Climate Change Mitigation in 1999, he has become a champion for climate change action, with subsequent roles such as Chief Technical Advisor for UN-REDD in PNG, FAO advisor for climate change adaptation in Bhutan’s community forestry sector and advisor for the development of new visions for community and climate forestry for the Melanesian Spearhead Group in the Pacific island region.

In 2013 he formed the world’s first cooperative on farmer- owned and controlled sequestration of forest carbon (The Australian Carbon Cooperative (ACC Ltd.), now deregistered due to a lack of Federal climate policy. He lives with his family on the NSW Tablelands where, over the past 30 years they have, through the application of enhanced and controlled ecological regeneration processes, restored 300 hectares of highly degraded/destroyed natural forest; sequestering some 60- 80,000 tons of carbon and restored wildlife habitat for ~170 species of thriving vertebrates. The creation of high value farm timber products (slow timber) has been enabled, thus developing a feasible model for high value farm forest; combining farm economy with farm regeneration and climate action.
Johannes photo

David Hardwick

David is a partner at Soil Land Food. As an experienced agroecologist, agribusiness and natural resource professional he has broad experience in rural extension, regenerative agriculture, food systems, soils, composting & biofertilisers, organic farming systems, land management, agricultural QA, R & D, rural business, and community & social enterprises. He has worked across Australia and internationally and currently consults on regenerative agriculture projects including in sugarcane, dairying, horticulture and cropping. He specializes in creative extension approaches to building capacity in farmers and rural communities around soils and regenerative agriculture. David has a Bachelor in Ecological Agriculture from the University of Sydney and a Diploma in Agribusiness.
David Hardwick photo