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Our show sponsor this week…
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And onto this week’s show!
This week my show guest is farmer, Charlie Arnott who took his family farm reigns in 1997 in Boorowa, where they’d been farming for 50 years. After a series of epiphanies through education, steered them towards regenerative agriculture using biodynamic principles. In today’s show we talk about Charlie’s farming journey, his decision to move away from trying to get nature to do what HE wanted, and instead working to learn how best to collaborate with nature – something he believes is key to not only a prosperous farming business but also to a farmer’s mental health and the land’s health. It’s an inspiring deep dive into biodynamics and regenerative agriculture, as well as looking at some of the biggest challenges of our time ethically with factory farming and live export, as well as climate change and drought. Enjoy the show!
The questions I asked Charlie:
- Arnott’s Bikkies – bet you had a few of the tins at home growing up?
- What made your Dad leave the family bikkie business?
- What did you see in farming at the time that made you want to stay in it and take the reigns?
- Was it a big ‘aha’ one day about conventional farming that you had or did cracks start to show in the system that caused you to question things? (basically want to talk about the mental/educational journey you went on, to the point where you decided to start trying to put it into practice)
- When you hold workshops and speak – how do you help conventional farmers see why regenerative agriculture is worth pursuing?
- Can we have a basic lesson in biodynamic farming? (some key steps / the why / the how it’s different to organic)
- A lot of large scale farmers often think “fine for a small farm to do that kind of thing… I run a ‘serious large scale operation here’ – Is it possible on a grand scale? Profitable?
- What were some of the key things you noticed as you moved towards this way of farming?
- Most of our country is desert land – many farmers have experienced horrendous effects of drought either now or in the past – how can regenerative farmer sequester moisture / use rain more efficiently when it does our farms in the adverse weather / global warming?
- And let’s talk carbon emissions: The thinking is that we all need to go vegan to save the planet. And while of course, we all need to eat less meat to make way for more plant variety and NONE from factory farmed sources and sources whose feed is creating field clearances for soy fields in the amazon… there’s a place for meat from a health perspective for many people, but also from an environmental BENEFIT stance. Given that seems so foreign a concept to most people – can you walk us through how?
- How do we as consumers – or as you put it co-producers of the RIGHT way – continue to put pressure on govt to end things like live export / intensive farming / GMO grain feeding? Seems like such a big issue to tackle?
- Education: You’ve moved into a real focus on getting farmers together to talk, to learn from each other, to explore biodynamic/regenerative farming: Can you share any exciting success stories that have filtered through from your students/attendees?
- What are you most excited about moving into the future of farming?
Other helpful links:
To find out more about Charlie Arnott and his work check out: www.charliearnott.com.au
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Low Tox. Happy us. Happy planet