Date: September 11, 2019
Venue: Optus Stadium, Burswood, WA
Tickets: From $195
The inaugural Regenerative Agriculture Conference will bring together a cross section of our food industry stakeholders, including regenerative agriculture practitioners, researchers, government agencies and the investment sector with the specific goal of progressing a food secure future for all West Australians.
Presented by RegenWA and Perth NRM, the conference will examine and further the business case for investment in regenerative agricultural practices as a strategic means of meeting the demand for safe, healthy, locally produced food as the State’s population doubles by 2050.
The RegenWA Steering Committee is co-chaired by Dianne Haggerty, who with her husband Ian manages approximately 18,000 hectares of mixed farming operations using regenerative farming principles, which they share with other food producers globally.
“Farmers around the world are sharing their successes with regenerative agriculture, and the benefits to the land, in terms of increased carbon sequestration and a reduced need for artificial inputs, are compelling arguments in their own right,” says Haggerty.
“This conference is not so much about promoting regenerative farming as it is building a business case to support everyone throughout the food supply chain to transition to resilient food systems and ensuring healthy food outcomes for the people of Western Australia and the globe.”
Perth NRM has received Federal funding through the Regional Landcare Program (RLP) to develop a food security plan for Western Australia. Perth NRM’s work in sustainable agriculture helped identify leading West Australian regenerative farmers who drive the direction of RegenWA, which is made possible through funding from the Government of Western Australia’s State NRM office.
Perth NRM CEO Paul Bodlovich says that the conference, and initiatives like it, will be essential in meeting the many future challenges faced by the West Australians by finite, and sometimes degraded, landscapes and the increased population growth anticipated by all levels of Government.
“Farmers rarely get the credit they deserve as land managers, which is odd given that their entire livelihood depends on how successfully they manage those resources,” Bodlovich says.
“Farmers generally operate on very tight margins in a challenging environment, which can make them change-averse, especially when the market is so heavily skewed toward yield rather than sustainable practices that will allow future generations to enjoy a food supply system that benefits all West Australians.
“We have a very committed group of farmers across the agricultural sector telling us they need support to make a lasting change, so we take that very seriously. It’s like being asked to invest in a start-up to help it scale up, except that we need this start-up in order to maintain our access to safe, healthy, fresh food production into the future.”
The conference will be opened by the Honourable Alannah MacTiernan MLC and include esteemed speakers such as Dr Charles Massy BSc PhD OAM (farmer, author), Terry McCosker (Resource Consulting Services), Dr Richard George (DPIRD, Principal Research Scientist Land and Water), Natarsha Woods (CEO, Wheatbelt NRM) and Oral McGuire (a Whadjuk/Ballardong landholder and community leader). For a full list of speakers, please visit the website.
Importantly, the conference will include a workshopping session that will allow the assembly to share their ideas for the future of our food system, the role of regenerative agriculture and strategic investment toward meeting our State’s future challenges.