Today, on Ground Cover, Kerry Cochrane speaks to renown author and regenerative farming revolutionary, Dr Charles Massy; a well known grazier from Cooma in the southern Snowies of NSW. A man, who through a paradigm shift in a very tough drought, realised his ignorance as a conventional and industrial farmer, to go on and become a famous author and academic.
In this episode Charlie talks about:
- the time for change being ripe and farmers being intimate with their own landscape and environment
- challenging powerful paradigms and how we have de-stabilised the planet, due to: capitalism, economic rationalism, endless growth and, of course, industrialisation
- the anthropocene: the greatest challenge our species has ever confronted and regenerative practices as the solution
- the importance of regenerative agriculture in capturing carbon
- the five basic functions of healthy landscapes: solar energy, water, soil, mineral cycles and biodiversity, and humans
- the importance of ecological literacy within the education system
Charlie goes on to refer to regenerative agriculture as a revolution. One that can only happen from the bottom up.
A little more about Dr Charles Massy:
Dr Massy gained a Bachelor of Science (Zoology, Human Ecology) at ANU (1976), before going farming for 35 years, developing the prominent Merino sheep stud ‘Severn Park’. Concern at ongoing land degradation and humanity’s sustainability challenge led him to return to ANU in 2009 to undertake a PhD in Human Ecology. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his service as Chair and Director of a number of research organisations and statutory wool boards. He has also served on national and international review panels in sheep and wool research and development and genomics.
Charles has authored serval books, including Breaking the Sheeps Back and the best selling Call of the Reed Warbler.
Charles has managed an almost 2000ha sheep and cattle property; running an average of 8000 – 10000 stock units, for over 40 years. In addition he has managed other properties totally 7000ha for city business interests. In the course of this he has led various local rural organisations plus was a regional bushfire captain.
Charles has conducted public speaking, lecturing and education over many years, initially in the fields of transformation and innovation in the Merino sheep and wool industries, and more recently in regenerative landscape management, grazing systems for healthy landscape function and addressing climate change and the current global ecological challenges for our species – including for such organisations as Greening Australia, Regional Landcare groups, and the Federal Governments Carbon Farming Initiative; plus lecture to Human Ecology students at ANU.