'We've got work to do': Farmers share climate action stories

'We've got work to do': Farmers share climate action stories to build trust | Video

West Gippsland dairy farmer and veterinarian Tess Butler.

West Gippsland dairy farmer and veterinarian Tess Butler.


A new social media and metropolitan billboard campaign aims to share the action farmers are already taking on climate change.


A new initiative is sharing stories of the climate action Aussie farmers are already taking in an effort to educate the wider public about the sectors' environmental efforts.

Research commissioned by the National Farmers' Federation measured community sentiment towards agriculture, climate change and sustainability.

Of those surveyed, 21 per cent strongly believed farmers were committed to improving their environmental performance and adapting to a warmer, drier climate; while 44pc somewhat agreed and 17pc were neutral.

NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar said the survey results indicated the community recognised farmers were on the frontline of the climate solution and wanted to learn more about what action they were taking.

"Through the Australian Farms - Where real climate action happens we're telling the stories of farmers, who take seriously their responsibility as environmental stewards of 51pc of the Australian landscape," he said.

"The good news is through research, innovation and on-farm management, our farmers are world leaders in carbon abatement.

"In fact, agriculture is one large carbon cycle: generating emissions but also taking a significant amount of carbon from the atmosphere."

Hear from Jake Hamilton. Video: National Farmers' Federation.

Mr Mahar said the campaign, which will include billboards in metropolitan areas and social media advertising, aimed to educate the public about mainstream agricultural practices such as rotational grazing and zero till farming.

Mr Mahar said the conversion of livestock effluent to renewable energy had also seen Australian agriculture reduce its direct greenhouse gas emissions by 65pc between 2004-05 and 2016-17.

"Farmers are on a journey and there is more work to do. Through new science and technologies, like feed additives that drastically reduce livestock emissions, agriculture is poised to continue being part of the climate solution," he said.

As part of the campaign everyday farmers are asked to share what they are doing on their property and in their own business to respond to climate change, by posting a short video on social media and using the hashtag #RealClimateAction

Hear from Tess Butler. Video: National Farmers' Federation.

West Gippsland dairy farmer and veterinarian Tess Butler is one of the featured farmers in the campaign.

She runs 900 jersey cows with her partner Ben and three-year old son, Will.

The family suffered catastrophic losses in the 2009 Victorian bushfires. In the build-back they transformed the farm so the family could, in their own way, respond to climate challenges.

With changes to soil and pasture management, the Butlers' cows now produce more milk with less methane emissions.

Ms Butler said producing milk that meets the expectations and values of Australians is what gets her out of bed every day.

"Sustainability is extremely important to me. The way we run this farm is about getting what we need without compromising the land for future," she said.

Dan Fox

Dan Fox

Dan Fox and his family from Marrar, in southern New South Wales are committed to continuous improvement.

Mr Fox grows cereal crops like wheat, sorghum and barley; pulses such as chickpeas and faba beans; and oilseeds including canola and sunflowers.

Through reduced soil disruption and more fuel-efficient machinery, he is improving the sustainability of the farm for future generations.

"The legacy I'd like to leave for my children is a farm on which the soils are functioning better than when we started," he said.

"We're custodians of the land, we should leave the land better than when we received it."

Hear from Dan Fox. Video: National Farmers' Federation.

The Wilmot Cattle Company in northern NSW, managed by Stuart Austin is in 2021, is 'massively climate positive'.

"Through soil carbon sequestration, we're taking more carbon out of the atmosphere than we are emitting each year, all the while producing nutrient dense beef," Mr Austin said.

"I can put my hand on my heart and backed by an enormous amount of data to say that we are improving the ecological health of this farm."

In the past three years, the Wilmot Teamhas planted 25,000 trees across their Ebor property.

Related reading:Microsoft buys carbon credits from NSW cattle operation

Mr Mahar said the actions of Tess, Dan and Stuart were repeated on farms across Australia every day.

"Australian farmers not only produce the world's highest quality meat, wool, cotton, grain, dairy and more, but they are also a vital part of the climate change solution.

"By hearing the overwhelmingly positive stories of our farmers, we want Aussies to continue to enjoy their Australian-grown food and fibres they love with peace of mind and the confidence that farmers are being proactive and taking real action on climate change."

Led by NFF, the campaign is supported b Meat and Livestock Australia, Nutrien Ag Solutions and Woolworths.

Click here to find out more about the real climate action happening on Australians farms everyday day.

The story 'We've got work to do': Farmers share climate action stories first appeared on Farm Online.


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