Catching Up with Charles Massy

Last month the Sus Ag team had the privilege of hosting the renowned author and regenerative farmer Charles Massy in Geraldton for a day! 

“A pioneer of regenerative farming” is a phrase often used to describe renowned author Charles Massy. Charles Massy is a fifth-generation farmer and renowned regenerative agricultural author of books “Call of the Reed Warbler” and “Breaking the Sheep’s Back”.  

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science (Zoology, Human Ecology) in 1976, Charles headed home to his family farm to develop their Merino sheep stud ‘Severn Park’. Over this time, Charles grew concerned about the ongoing land degradation and humanity’s sustainability. This led Charles to return to university and study for a PhD in Human Ecology.  

Charles is a candid advocate for healing biological systems. His services as Chair and Director of multiple research organisations and statutory wool boards have earnt him an Order of Australian medal. 

On the 22nd August, we were joined by a group of 60 landholders and regenerative agriculture enthused community members at the Geraldton Multipurpose Centre. Charles talked about the bigger picture of how he believes regenerative agriculture can save the planet. He talked about his personal experiences on changing his agriculture practices on his farm and gave examples of how other landholders can do the same. He encourages landholders to adopt holistic practices such as reducing chemical usage, revegetation, polyculture and perennial systems. He also explored the connection between our soil and our health. The session had many engaging questions and discussions from the participants.  

We hope this visit by Charlie sparked some interesting conversations about what farmers and community members in our region can do move towards sustainable practices.  

The Western Australian Charles Massy tour also saw Charles visit farming communities in the Southwest and at Dowerin Field Day.  

Thanks to WA Museum Boola Bardip, The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), Perth NRM |RegenWA, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and Wide Open Agriculture.

This project is supported by the Australian Government’s Regional Landcare Partnerships initiative of the National Landcare Program. 

Shannah Kanny – Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator

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