Regenerative agriculture is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach to farming or land management. There’s also no strict rule book, but the holistic principles behind the dynamic system of regenerative agriculture are meant to restore soil and ecosystem health, address inequity, and leave our land, waters, and climate in better shape for future generations. It’s important to appreciate that this is not a new idea and not all who practice these principles use the label. Practitioners take a broader view of their role in the world, especially in terms of soil and nutrient cycles and realize that working landscapes provide not just products but also ecosystem services like carbon sinks, water recharge, and pest & disease prevention.
To achieve our goal of fostering knowledge, and building communities of practice to enable effective & long lasting practice change, we understand the importance of providing continuity. With this in mind RAPP 2023 has been designed to build on learnings from our current & previous projects, providing returning participants & alumni the opportunity to continue to grow and develop their skills further, whilst also providing opportunity for new landholders interested in learning and adopting regenerative farming techniques.
Another key difference with RAPP 2023 is that we have opened the project up to the wider Augusta Margaret River Community – through our partnership with the Lower South West Growers Group ,with 50% of the project places going to LSWGG members who live within the Augusta Margaret River Shire but reside outside of the Lower Blackwood catchment.
THE PROJECT IN SUMMARY
The Project in Detail
The project is made up of a range of activities to give participants a wide variety of opportunity to learn & share knowledge, skills and experience, and to develop the confidence to try new practices. These activities include:
- Workshops, Field Walks & Webinars – these events will also be open to non project participants as ticketed events.
- Peer Group Coaching Sessions: These sessions are only available to project participants and previous project alumni.
- One on One Consultations: Project participants will each receive an individual farm consultation to develop a tailored regenerative grazing management plan for their farm.
Understanding Soil Health
Workshops, Field Walks & Webinars:
- Soil Secrets – The Fundamentals for Building Profit, Productivity & Natural Capital. A 1 day workshop presented by Dr Christine Jones from Amazing Carbon.
- Practical Steps to a Biodiverse Pasture. A 1 day Talkin’ After Hours On Farm workshop presented by Mark Tupman from Productive Ecology
- Establishing Multispecies & Perennial Pastures. A Talkin’ After Hours Webinar presenter to be confirmed
- On Farm Composting. A 1 day Talkin’ After Hours On Farm workshop & demonstration presented by David Hardwick from Soil Land Food
- Making & Applying Biostimulants. A 1 day Talkin’ After Hours On Farm workshop & demonstration presented by Mark Tupman from Productive Ecology
Peer Group Coaching Sessions:
- Introduction to Soil Minerals & DIY Soil Testing. A 2 hour practical session facilitated by Anthony Quinlan from Soil Dynamics to demonstrate how to take paddock soil samples for soil mineral testing and other DIY soil assessments. Following the session participants will be expected to undertake soil sampling from their selected demonstration/trial site* and return the bagged samples to the LCDC for sending to the lab for analysis.
- Designing your Soil Regeneration Plan. A 2 hour session facilitated by Anthony Quinlan from Soil Dynamics reviewing results from soil samples taken from landholder demonstration sites and discussing possible amelioration requirements & actions.
- Soil Health & Biodiversity Masterclass. A 1 day tour of the 3 LBLCDC Pasture Biodiversity Demonstration Sites with Dr Christine Jones for a Q & A and a review of the impact of multispecies seeding that has been undertaken on the sites.
- Seed Preparation for Multispecies Seeding. A half day on farm practical session facilitated by Mark Tupman from Productive Ecology on making up a biological seed coating and coating the seed in preparation for seeding.
Workshop & One on One Consultations:
- Regenerating Land Through Grazing Livestock. A 1 day workshop presented by pasture ecologist and holistic grazing expert Dr Judy Earl.
- Dr Judi Earl will visit all participant’s properties for an individual farm consultation to develop a tailored regenerative grazing management plan for their farm
Peer Group Coaching Sessions:
- Review Your Growing Season Grazing Plan. A 2 hour zoom session facilitated by Dr Judi Earl, to revisit the development of grazing plans from the consultation visits and a Q & A to address uncertainties that have arisen.
- Develop You Non Growing Season Grazing Plan. A 2 hour zoom session facilitated by Dr Judi Earl, to assist participant in the development of non growing grazing plans for their properties.
Whole Farm Planning
Course & Masterclass:
- Whole Farm Planning. Presented by David Hardwick from Soil Land Food. this innovative 4 day course (presented in 2 x 2 day parts over 2 months) will show participants how to design and plan a healthy, resilient and productive rural landscape for their farm business.
- Whole Farm Planning Masterclass. A 1 day session facilitated by David Hardwick for 2022 project alumni & paid ticket holders to revisit farm plans developed in the 2022 Whole Farm Planning Course.
Community of Practice
Talkin’ After Hours Membership: Talkin’ After Hours is the Lower Blackwood LCDC’s online community & information hub – created to give our farming community the opportunity to have conversations, and to share knowledge, skills & practices in a no stress, no judgement, easy access space – any time & anywhere. The project participants will receive a 12 month complimentary membership and within it membership of a closed RAPP discussion group.
RAPP Alumni Program: In place for the first time, the RAPP Alumni program enables project participants from RAPP 2020, 2021, 2022 the opportunity to continue to grow and develop their skills further without having to sign up to the full 2023 program. Alumni will have access to all the Peer Group Coaching Sessions, a complimentary place in the Whole Farm Planning Masterclass, complimentary membership to Talkin’ After Hours, and priority placing & discounted pricing for all ticketed events.
Podcasts: 4 new Talkin’ After Hours podcasts with our project presenters will be recorded on an area of their expertise.
Our Presenters & Facilitators
Dr. Christine Jones is an internationally renowned & highly respected ground cover & soils specialist. Armed with a PhD (Soil Biochemistry) Christine also has a wealth of experience working with innovative landholders to implement regenerative land management practices that enhance biodiversity, increase biological activity, sequester carbon, activate soil nutrient cycles, restore water balance, improve productivity and create new topsoil.
In her long career Christine has published more than 50 scientific papers on soil science, and has organised and participated in workshops, field days, seminars and conferences throughout Australia, and around world.
Dr Judi Earl gained her PhD in pasture ecology when she conducted the first studies describing the benefits to pasture composition from planned grazing. She has extensive experience in how grasslands and pastures respond to grazing and fertility management and is a widely respected speaker on these matters.
Establishing the AIMS consultancy in 1998 and a Holistic Management™ educator since 2002, Judi’s main area of interest is working with land managers to enhance the condition and productivity of their land through improved understanding of ecosystem function and more effective utilisation of available resources.
David Hardwick, is an agroecologist & partner in the rural change management company Soil Land Food. David has over 20 years experience in rural landscapes, farming and food systems. He develops and delivers many of the extension projects for Soil Land Food across Australia. He worked in community development and then horticulture before completing a dairy traineeship on an organic dairy in NSW.
David has had a wide ranging career working in both management and technical roles. These include Landcare extension, agronomy, soils, agribusiness, biofertiliser R&D and manufacturing, organics, training, and consulting positions.
Though his business, Soil Dynamics, agronomist Anthony Quinlan performs land capability assessments and consults to many organic growers from vineyards to vegetables. He has also been making compost for over 20 years and was a pioneer in the development of compost extracts.
In recent years Anthony has developed a range of bio-stimulant based fertiliser products and a custom blending facility that produces prescription mineral blends for individual client needs.
For over two decades Mark Tupman has been active in the fields of organic/biodynamic production, permaculture, sustainability, agro-ecology and holistic management and in between times managed an orchard, animals and food gardens on his own property.
In 2002 he was employed by the VET sector where he had the opportunity to set up and teach horticulture (organic production) courses at several regional campuses but with a growing calling, in 2015 he formed Productive Ecology, a consultation and education business that specialises in the establishment of integrated living production systems.
Full Project Timeline
This Lower Blackwood LCDC project is delivered in partnership with the Lower South West Growers Group and is supported through the Augusta Margaret River Shire Environmental Management Fund