Meet Our Mentors: Regen farmer and Nuffield scholar Simon Mattsson

Man in a high-vis shirt standing beside a tall sunflower.

“Farming is tough … concentrate on what you can control and let the rest take care of itself.”

We are proud to introduce you to some of the amazing mentors working with farmers through the Regenerative Agriculture Mentoring Program. They are helping to increase awareness of regenerative agriculture and the principles and practices that are available to better manage landscapes.

Meet Simon Mattsson…

1. Tell us a bit about your background.

My passion is soil health and all that it takes to create this in an agricultural setting.

I only discovered my passion about 15 years ago and I have been on a learning journey ever since.

Prior to discovering my passion, I was a very conventional sugar cane farmer with some prior experience in beef cattle production.

I was awarded a Nuffield scholarship in 2014 to study biological function.

I travelled to 12 countries and discovered this system called Regenerative Agriculture, which certainly inspired me to try and implement the principles in my cane farming system.

For the next six years I worked hard trying new practises to make my cane farm fully regenerative.

In 2020 we sold the cane farm and bought a much smaller farm and set about establishing a small native fruit orchard.

At the same time, I joined David Hardwick in his Soil Land Food business, and for the last two years I have been enjoying sharing my experience as a regenerative farmer.

2. Why did you become a RAMP mentor?

David Hardwick suggested to me that I could do this, and then when Simone Blom (RAMP manager) rang, I was ready to jump on board.

For me, it’s the perfect opportunity to share my knowledge and hopefully help someone on their journey to better farming practices.

3. What support do you think farmers need into the future?

Much more of programs such as this one. Whenever anyone is making substantial changes to the way they do things, there is the need for practical encouragement and knowledge transfer.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

A good idea somewhere is a good idea anywhere, but it is up to the individual regenerative farmer as to how they apply the principles and practices to make that good idea work in their environment and enterprise.

5. What are your top three tips for regenerative farmers?

  • Plant diversity enables biological diversity, which is what creates a healthy soil.
  • The principles are few, the practices can be in the thousands. Find the practices that suit your environment and enterprise, always keeping the principles front of mind.
  • Farming is tough, mainly because there is much that you can’t control, such as the weather. Concentrate on what you can control and let the rest take care of itself.

The subsidised delivery of RAMP has been possible through the Australian Government’s Agricultural Innovation Hubs Program. The SQNNSW Innovation Hub receives funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

Read our RAMP case studies to see the real changes being implemented on-farm:

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