MESSAGE FROM THE INCOMING CHAIR – ALASDAIR MCLEOD

Soils for Life founder Major General Michael Jeffery has stepped aside from his role as Chairman of the Board to focus on his role as National Soils Advocate. As Interim Chairman I will continue the vision for Soils for Life and bring renewed vigour to the commitment to regenerating the Australian landscape which has been ably demonstrated by Michael for more than a decade.

Interest in regenerative agriculture is growing as farmers across Australia manage the challenge of the current devastating drought. Farmers and graziers are adopting regenerative principles and practices that will improve and maintain their lands and waterways. I am determined to ensure that there is renewed effort behind the promotion of integrated management of soil, water, plants and animals to ensure a sustainable agricultural industry providing healthy food and fibre. Management principles and practices underlying the success stories shared by Soils for Life.

Earlier this year Prime Minister Morrison addressed the Daily Telegraph’s Bush Summit held in Dubbo. The Prime Minister acknowledged Soils for Life as a national leader in promoting regenerative agriculture and endorsed the critical need to have a national objective to restore and maintain the health of the Australian agricultural landscape to guarantee a food secure nation and sustainable farming communities. The Prime Minister acknowledged that, “Healthy soils with high carbon content are essential for any serious water resource management policy.”

The Coalition government recognizes that any serious water resource management policy must include action to promote healthy soils with high carbon content. The Prime Minister observed that, “Land is becoming increasingly marginal therefore we have to do more with less.”

A soil that is well-managed and has built high levels of fertility, organic matter and structure is more resilient in dry times and responds more rapidly when it does rain.

The ability of soils to sequester carbon as soil organic matter can help to mitigate emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere from other sectors and improves soil health. Paying farmers to sequester carbon could benefit agricultural landscapes, and the benefits will flow to the broader community in Australian regions and internationally.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, the Soils for Life team has implemented plans to use the funding provided by the Department of Agriculture to complete a further 30 case studies. Two million dollars distributed over four years enables Soils for Life to continue to publish, promote and advocate diverse examples of regenerative agricultural practices.

Michael Jeffery continues to support our team as the Patron of Soils for Life. We wish him well in his role as National Soils Advocate and thank him for his vision in establishing Soils for Life and his commitment to rehabilitating the Australian landscape.

Alasdair MacLeod, Chairman MICHAEL JEFFERY (CHAIRMAN, SOILS FOR LIFE),

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