Boorowa farmer David Marsh has won the Australian Government’s Landcarer of the Year award for 2018/19.
He qualified for the award after winning the Australian Government’s Individual Landcarer award for NSW in 2017.
The award was in recognition of the Landcare works he has done on his property over the last 36 years. Examples include increasing the tree cover from 3% in 1966 to nearly 20% now, increased bird numbers with total species standing at 128. Native grass species are establishing and the Marshes have not used herbicides or fertilisers since 1999. Soil Organic Carbon levels are increasing, leading to higher water holding capacity of soils. Planned holistic grazing is practiced and full soil cover is maintained in all circumstances.
David describes why landcare is important, “The importance of Landcare is bound up in the notion of ethical and sympathetic management of the living community of which humans are a part, not the directors. Farmers have the privilege of being stewards of the resources that will make future generations of humans and all life, possible. It is thus an ethical question that the privilege of farming brings with it an obligation to care, this is Landcare.”
All the work David has done over the years is now showing benefits, “In the current drought we have not fed stock because we review how much grass we have when it turns dry and reduce our stocking rate rather than embarking on expensive open-ended feeding programs. Currently Allendale has many days of grazing ahead. It is calming on the human psyche to feel more in control during these dry years, and to know that even in dry times the diversity of species on Allendale is increasing. This aspect could be the least spoken about, but possibly the most important aspect of regenerative farming.”
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