2020 Bob Hawke Landcare Award Finalists
Thirty years ago, Corangamite landholder Andrew Stewart developed a whole farm plan and mission statement for Yan Yan Gurt West Farm, a 230-hectare regenerative grazing and agroforestry property. It included the establishment of 50,000 trees and shrubs which has since seen the increase of woody vegetation across the farm from 3 per cent to 18 per cent.
These plantings have been connected to form a web of trees meandering across the farming landscape providing, soil, pasture and livestock protection, nutrient cycling, waterway protection, wild life corridors, improved aesthetics and wellbeing for people who live, work and visit the farm. There is now a 23km interface of trees and shrubs to pasture and 113 bird species recorded.
Sixteen years after buying his Gravesend property on the North West Slopes, 50kms outside Moree, Justin Kirkby has revitalised hid land which once boasted rundown cropping blocks with scarce groundcover and poor nutritional grasses. Now, thanks to measures taken, the landholder has decreased farms carbon footprint with the revegetation of up to twenty per cent of the property, with native tree species specific to the region. Planting trees and fodder shrubs has added to wildlife corridors and bio-link habitats for insects and birds to work as one in the ecosystem with Justin’s innovative farming practices.
Operating Camden Park, a 20,000-acre organic, global animal partnership (GAP) accredited cattle station outside Longreach, James Walker has focused on tackling land degradation, carbon emissions and climate change through unique industry approaches. In actively researching executing ways of improving the environmental, financial and production performance of his property, James has created the Agrihive Farmecco digital platform to help other farmers understand and implement sustainable Landcare goals; developed an innovative ‘Floating Lease’ to reflect seasonal conditions that is being prototyped commercially and addressed emissions through an off-grid solution for the power supply on his property
Camden Park has also completed extensive water developments and utilised ag technologies for water monitoring to save their fuel and pumping costs whilst doing a comprehensive QFF energy audit whereby they have a trial solar / battery array fueling the farms energy requirements.