FAREWELL FROM THE OUTGOING CHAIR – MAJOR GENERAL MICHAEL JEFFERY

It is time for me to step aside from the role as Chairman of the Board of Soils For Life after seven years to be able to focus on my Prime Ministerial appointment as National Soils Advocate.

I leave the Chairmanship of Soils For Life in very good hands. Alasdair MacLeod and I started out together as members of the original Soils For Life Board in 2012. We have worked hard to share regenerative principles and practices and supported changed farming practices to include carbon in our precious national asset, the soil. Soil carbon benefits include resilience and food security, plant nutritional quality, improved water filtration, and reduced erosion and nutrient runoff.

Alasdair is an excellent fit for the role of Chair and will bring renewed vigour to the organisation. Following a 20-year career with News Corporation, Alasdair has interests in diverse agricultural enterprises, including the Wilmot Cattle Company, a grazing operation based in Northern NSW and Cavan Station, a wool growing and Merino stud on the NSW Southern Tablelands. Alasdair is Chairman of Maia Technology, which develops management software for graziers who are focussed on more efficient use of pastures. His agricultural operations are aligned with the Soils for Life understanding of regenerative agriculture.

Recent Soils For Life case studies are highlighted in the documentary, which was launched on World Soil Day Thursday, 5 December. You can view the fresh look at farming on the home page of the Soils For Life website.

As National Soils Advocate, I will increase awareness of the importance of conserving agricultural soil and landscape conditions to benefit the environment, enhance agricultural productivity, realise economic benefits, and secure sustainable food production systems. I will be highlighting the importance of the integrated management of soil, water, plants and animals to ensure the sustainability of our agricultural lands. A strong team in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet supports my Advocate role.

As I say farewell to all the Soils For Life stakeholders as Chairman, I express my sincere thanks for all the friends, associates, benefactors, farmers, scientists and policy makers who I have met along the way. Thank you all for your contribution to building the Soils For Life organisation into the effective ‘change-agent’ it is now. I wish Soils For Life all the very best in supporting farmers to rehabilitate the agricultural landscape to benefit all Australians over future decades and generations.

I remain involved as Patron of Soils For Life and continue to support the rehabilitation of soils, for life.

MICHAEL JEFFERY (CHAIRMAN, SOILS FOR LIFE),

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