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  • Emerita Professor Lynette Abbott
    Emerita Professor Lynette Abbott
    Soil Microbiologist

    Lyn Abbott commenced her research career in soil biology at UWA in 1974. Her research has focused on the role of soil biological processes linked to nutrient acquisition by plants and includes bio-chemical and bio-physical interactions with soil amendments and plant-microbe interactions, especially arbuscular mycorrhizas. Her teaching focused on soil and land management with an emphasis on soil biological fertility, and she has a long history of presentation of workshops and seminars on soil health within the agricultural community. Lyn ‘retired’ in 2013 and as an Emerita Professor continues her research collaborations and extension in soil biology. She was awarded the inaugural General Jeffery Soil Health Award in 2021 and is a Fellow of Soil Science Australia and AgInstitute Australia.

  • Grant Sims
    Grant Sims
    Farmer & Seed Producer

    Grant Sims is a sixth generation farmer running the family farm in North central Victoria Australia. The farm is 8500 acres of dryland and some irrigation.

    The Sims farm has been utilizing no-till since the early 80’s thanks to Grant’s father and uncle. When Grant came back full time on the farm he started looking at ways to improve the life and function of the soil through biology. In 2008 he stopped using granular synthetic fertilizers and started using a biologically made liquid fertilizer. Also at that time stop using seed dressing, insecticides and fungicides, unless absolutely necessary.

    The Sims have a strong focus on diversity and grow many different crops. They use companion crops, cover crops and have expanded their cow calf numbers to integrate through the system. They have seen many positive changes in the health or their soils and plants. They perform on-farm trials to learn and share methods about how solve problems, be more profitable and improve the soil for the next generation.

    Grant and Ken recently started up a multi-species seed business Down Under Covers where they use their own experience and consult with world leading experts to design and put together multi species blends to help improve the soils and provide live weight gains to livestock to help farmers become more profitable.

    In 2015 Grant was awarded the Coles Weekly Times Farmer of the Year. Grant is the former president of the Victorian No Till Famers Association.


Blackwood River Farm
210 Campbell Road, Warner Glen WA 6288
QR Code


24 Jul 2023


8:45 am - 3:30 pm

Multispecies Pastures & Cropping

Presented by farmer, multispecies seeding specialist & seed producer Grant Sims from Down Under Covers, and award winning soil microbiologist, Emerita Professor Lynette Abbott, this one-day workshop and fieldwalk  will explore why & how multispecies work to build farm resilience, productivity & profitability.

You’ll also learn about:

  • The Soil-Plant Relationship
  • Carbon based soil amendments
  • Seeding & establishing multispecies pastures & crops to improve soil resilience & productivity
  • A practical demonstration using tools to monitor plant / soil health

Event Logistics:

When?  Monday July 24th, 8.45am to 3.30pm

Where? Blackwood River Farm, 210 Campbell Road, Warner Glen, 6288 Warner Glen

Cost? This is a free event

What else? Morning Tea & Lunch will be provided. BYO refill water bottle, wear appropriate farm footwear and dress for the weather.

How? Register your details along with any special dietary needs via this event page.

Places are limited for this topical and informative workshop so don’t wait to register or risk disappointment!

Download Poster – Multispecies Pastures & Cropping


This event forms part of an event roadshow coordinated by the Lower Blackwood LCDC in collaboration with six other catchment groups across the southwest, and is funded through Soil Wise. Soil Wise is funded by the National Landcare Program Smart Farms Small Grants – an Australian Government initiative. It is supported by Healthy Estuaries WA – a State Government program.

The event is finished.