HOW agriculture can adapt to climate change is among the topics up for discussion during two free webinars this month aimed at young farmers.
The webinars will feature four of Australia’s leading experts in climate change, climate variability and how agriculture can adapt, as part of a national project focusing on the benefits of reducing on-farm greenhouse gas emissions.
The ‘Future farmers and the carbon farming futures’ project is working with the next generation of Australian farmers (aged 21-35) to showcase cutting edge research and demonstrate the effect that land management practices can have on reducing emissions, improving on-farm sustainability and reducing risks associated with climate change and variability.
The webinars are open to all and participants can register for the webinar by going to www.futurefarmers.com.au and filling in the form before the webinar date.
The first webinar will be held online this Friday, March 7, from 12 noon to 1pm.
It features a presentation on ‘Climate change science: where are we now and where are we heading?’ by Professor David Karoly from the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, and a presentation on ‘Carbon Farming in Australia’ by Associate Professor Richard Eckard, director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre: University of Melbourne and Department of Environment and Primary Industries Victoria.
The second webinar on carbon farming will follow online on Friday, March 14, from 1pm to 2pm, featuring a presentation on ‘Basic climate science, the risk for Australian farmers and the carbon equation’ from Will Steffen, Climate Councillor (with the independent, publicly funded Climate Council) and an adjunct professor at the Australian National University; and ‘The Carbon Farming Initiative – involvement and practice’ by Mick Keogh, executive director of the Australian Farm Institute.
Professor Snow Barlow from the University of Melbourne, who is chairing the webinars, said that they present a unique opportunity for young farmers to hear from leading industry experts.
“Running these events as online seminars – webinars – means that young farmers from all over Australia can easily join in, hear the presentations live, and ask questions,” he said.
“It’s a unique opportunity for our best and brightest young farmers to learn from leaders in climate science and carbon farming, who are informing and guiding the future directions for the industry.
“This information is absolutely vital for young farmers who will be making major decisions in the future that must take into account the impacts of climate change and variability, and how farmers – individually and as an industry – are going to respond.”
Associate Professor Richard Eckard said talking to young farmers about climate change is vital.
“Not only are young farmers usually more open to new ideas and technologies, but they are the ones who’ll need to work out how to sustain their farming business in a climate and carbon constrained future,” he said.
“Most young farmers are already aware that carbon farming is something that they need to be factoring into their future farming systems.
“This webinar series brings together some of the best minds in the country to talk to future farmers about how they can lower their carbon footprint, and the potential to get some return on that through the Carbon Farming Initiative.”
‘Future farmers and the carbon farming futures’ is a national project devised by Sefton & Associates, in partnership with the Future Farmers Network, supported by funding from the Australian Government.