Gus's Musings

June 6, 2013

There is no Future in Farming!

This is a very sad and defeatist headline at first glance, as I go on you will see the opportunity that this could present. There is in my mind, no future in the general farming practise that we currently use, which is as I see it: Using the soil simply as a medium to grow crops/grass, turning off a product that is reliant on chemicals/drugs to be healthy so that those eating it need to do likewise. This is a very general approach and I’m sure not all of the farmers fit into the box that I have outlined above.

Where we need to go to with our farming is to see it as the production as food/fibre so that in its production the land increases in health, while for the consumers of the food, they improve their health by eating it and reduce their dependence on supplements etc. While plenty out there might say that this is an idealistic win-win situation that only happens in fairyland! I would say that a relationship won’t last unless it is win-win, so we need to make sure that if we would like to exist on this planet we need to “listen to the land” more.

So if we can see “farming” as “health food production” or “land management services” then we are putting a much better emphasis on the outcome that we need from our relationship with the land. If we take this path we can produce much more food than we currently do, feeding many millions more due mainly to the quality of the produce. All of this while making the planet healthier and importantly making ourselves healthier, we need to improve together.

In order to achieve this we need many more people in agriculture, currently the norm is to live (more likely just survive!) very remote from your food. I don’t reckon this will change significantly until the economy falls over and we all just get back to the basics of food, health, education etc. While you may think that while this style of farming may be good for the environment, there is no money in it so why would you bother. Well since we changed our thinking 12 years ago we now have a return of investment of nearly 3 times the area average* (ABARES 2011-2012 figures)

I would like to think that there are enough people, aware of this issue who have already started down this pathway that the future is clear and bright, so that when the s&*t hits the fan the opportunity is there waiting.

* Our business returned 9.5% while the area average was 3.3%

Below are some resources for your reading/listening/viewing:

Happy livestock in a happy Landscape

Happy livestock in a Happy Landscape






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