On-farm changes through regenerative agriculture mentoring program

Farmers inspecting soil.
Making the shift from conventional to regenerative agriculture is a big decision – there’s a lot to learn and understand.
But thanks to an innovative mentoring program run by the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance, Farming Together and Southern Cross University, a number of farmers have started to implement meaningful changes on their properties.
A mid-session review of the Regenerative Agriculture Mentoring Program (RAMP) found more than 80 per cent of participants are taking at least one step towards regenerative agriculture. Fifty-five per cent of participants recorded at least three changes.
The program found farmers have committed to a number of practice changes, including:
  • Biodiversity surveys
  • Monitoring soil health, including soil testing
  • Data recording
  • Planting paddock trees
  • Cover crops
  • Cattle rotation
  • Composting
  • Writing vision statements.

RAMP manager, Simone Blom, said it was exciting to see participants learning and growing.

“We are so pleased to see our mentees implementing new skills they have discovered through sessions with their expert mentors,” she said.

Mentors inspire and motivate

The mentees said they enjoyed many aspects of RAMP, such as the opportunity to network with likeminded farmers, collaborating with their mentors and other participants, and accessing professional and relevant information,

They also welcomed guest lectures, on-farm visits and field days.

“I’ve enjoyed the way being a part of RAMP has encouraged and motivated and stimulated me and the others here to systematically look at and focus on different areas of farming, such as, how we can improve our resilience and decision making,” one participant said.

“It’s a good motivator to keep moving forward.”

Another mentee said RAMP was a “valuable program for anyone who is farming and looking at regeneration or even just wondering how to do better”.

Advice for farmers

The program is designed for farmers starting out on their regenerative agriculture journey, no matter how long they have been working on the land.

As one farmer explained: “I have farmed for 30 years … this course is building on the knowledge I have, which is great. Wish I had done this 15 years ago!”

And they have some advice to others thinking about registering for future RAMP opportunities.

“Just do it! It’s inspiring, it’s motivating, it’s a safe supportive space to ask questions.”

“Make time in your busy life to make the most of this opportunity to improve your farm, your health and way of life as well as benefitting the community and planet.”

Get involved

The Regenerative Agriculture Mentoring Program receives support from the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust, and funding from the Australian Government’s Agricultural Innovation Hubs Program. The SQNNSW Innovation Hub receives funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

To register your interest in RAMP, either as a mentor or mentee, email simone.blom@scu.edu.au

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