Regenerative Agriculture (RA) is an ecological model that aims to correct perceived failings in our current systems of agriculture. The RA movement acknowledges that farmers can mitigate or reverse the negative impacts of the way that animals and plants are currently raised and grown for food production but suggests that they can benefit themselves at the same time. RA is touted as a part of the solution to reverse climate change, biodiversity loss and declining water quality, whilst improving the wellbeing of rural and farming communities and the quality of the food produced.
However, there is a lack of clarity about what RA actually is, scepticism about its claimed benefits, and uncertainty whether or not it is relevant to New Zealand farmers and agricultural production.
In this lecture, Greg Hart will talk about his practical experience of applying regenerative agriculture at Mangarara, how to provide a stable financial platform for the continued restoration of the ecosystem, and innovating regenerative farming practices.
Greg Hart has made the switch from a traditional sheep station with typically 3,000 ewes to a diverse stock of approximately 1000 ewes, 500-1,500 lambs, 20-40 dairy cows, 60-100 Berkshire pigs, 150 Angus heifers and 100-200 other cattle. Meat is sold both locally and in Auckland. Over 100,000 trees have been planted and the quality of the soil is actively monitored and managed.
At the end of this lecture, you will have an idea about how a diverse and integrated farm can maintain the balance between ecosystem restoration and the production of healthy, nutritious food.