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Farming Into The Future - October 11

Farming Into The Future - October 11

Presented by Brunswick Valley Landcare, in collaboration with The Farm Byron Bay.


Farming Into The Future, an interactive seminar featuring Charlie Massy and six producers on regenerative agriculture, soil health, drought resilience and social and market trends for producers.

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Featuring; Charlie Massy, Rob Pekin (Food Connect Foundation), Glenn Morris (Figtrees Organic Beef and Pork), Martin and Pam Brook (Brookfarm Macadamias and Produce), David Trevor-Jones (Hayters Hill Beef and Pork), Rob Randall (Norco), Joel Orchard (Future Feeders),  MC'd by Charlie Arnott (Biodynamic Beef and Lamb)

Globally, there is a growing trend towards healthy, local food, healthy soils, and building resilience to climate change. This interactive seminar features leading thinkers and producers together and is an opportunity to hear of their journeys towards regenerative agricultural practices and where social and market influences are trending.

9.30am - 4.00pm

The seminar will take place in The Barn at The Farm, 11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale NSW 2481.

Lunch, morning and afternoon tea provided.


Charlie Massy - Author and Radical Farmer

With his new book, Call of the Reed Warbler, Massy gives us a new way to think about how we farm and grow food. Charles Massy explores transformative and regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health. It is a story of how a grassroots revolution – a true underground insurgency – can save the planet, help turn climate change around, and build healthy people and healthy communities, pivoting significantly on our relationship with growing and consuming food.

Charlie shares his own personal journey, and explores the experience of many others. He brings together a story of a quiet revolution. One driven by a renewed perspective that is regenerating our landscapes, producing quality food and fibre, and helping to build healthier people and communities.  In the words of one farmer “My role is to get out of the way of nature and let nature get on with it”. Charlie reflects on the changes on his farm from this approach “Nature has this ability to self-organise. You’ll see potential solutions pop up that nature seems to select. That’s called emergent properties.”

Robert Pekin, Director and Chair

Robert is a former 4th generation organic dairy farmer and over the last 17 years has been innovating the concept of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Australia.

In 2004 he founded Food Connect, a dynamic multi-farmer food distribution enterprise with an innovative community-based distribution system. In 2009, the Food Connect Foundation was launched to increase the scope of the fair food movement internationally and across Australia.  Under the Food Connect Foundation, Think Food was initiated, a consultancy specialising in food systems research. Think Food assists clients to design visionary solutions for food and agriculture that can be implemented at any scale.

Robert is a member of the national board of Australian Social Enterprise Advisory Group, co-founder of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, and a member on the Boards of The Open Food Network and the Australian Food Hubs Network.  He is a contributing author to Fair Food, published by University of Queensland Press.

Glenn Morris

FigTrees Organic Farms runs two properties, Wilton Park at Grafton in the Northern Rivers; and Billabong, near Inverell in the Northern Tablelands.

By placing a far greater emphasis on working with natural processes the team at FigTrees Organic Farms has been able to regenerate the properties from tired conventionally run farms to thriving healthy landscapes bursting with abundance, the abundance that comes from caring for healthy soils.

Now FigTrees Organic Farms is proudly able to supply discerning consumers the healthiest and best tasting nutritious beef that comes from healthy well cared for cattle who have lived a happy life on healthy pastures. We are pleased that by choosing to buy Figtrees Organic Farms beef, consumers can contribute to ensuring the continued care of the land.

Martin and Pam Brook, Brookfarm

Our farm lies on the crest of a ridge in the Byron hinterland overlooking the sea. We have planted over 4000 macadamia trees and at the heart of our farm we have planted over 30 acres of what is now lush subtropical rainforest and wildlife rich eucalypt forests. We are passionate about farming in environmentally sustainable ways.

These forests are home to native insects, native bees and wildlife like platypus, owls, koala, turtles, water dragons, snakes and birds that help maintain the natural balance of our farm as a fully integrated farm system.

A breeding pair of owls can consume up to 1,200 rats and mice a year and Brookfarm has several pairs of these owls. We use the tiny trichogramma wasp to keep the macadamia destroying Nut Borer Beetle at bay.

Our hives of Australian bees – called Carbonaria bees – do a magnificant job of pollinating the trees, both macadamia and rainforest and eucalypts on our farm.

The rainforest is the original home of the macadamia, a native Australian rainforest tree. The rich red fertile volcanic soils, high rainfall and the warm sub-tropical climate of the Byron hinterland are the ideal conditions for growing macadamias.

Rob Randall, Norco

Rob Randall joined the Co-operative in November 2000 and worked in a number of Finance and Commercial roles up to July 2013 when he was appointed General Manager of Milk Supply.

Rob oversees the daily interaction between the Co-operative and it’s Supplier Shareholders, the commercial sale and purchase of milk and milk commodities for all business units and the overall balancing and management of milk from an overall perspective and at individual factory level. This is all to achieve the maximum benefit to the Co-operative for every litre of milk supplied by our Member / Shareholders.

Joel Orchard

Food systems activist, passionate advocate for young farmers and local food and an activated agricultural industry networker.

His interests are in exploring the social sustainability of local food production and tackling the issue of an ageing farmer population.

Joel has been instrumental in establishing Future Feeders, a young farmers hub, peer support and community farming program and the capacity building organisation - the Northern Rivers Young Farmers Alliance

David Trevor-Jones

The Hayter family and their descendants have been farming on the hill overlooking Byron Bay since 1881. David Trevor-Jones, a great grandson of the original settlers, runs the beef operation on this 140 hectare mixed farm. With brother, Hugh and family members, the family produces beef, pork, f-r eggs and fresh produce for local markets. Regenerative, sustainable farming methods including rapid grazing rotations and composting are practiced.

Charlie Arnott

The Arnott family have bred and grown Shorthorn cattle, and Merino and Dorset sheep at ‘Hanaminno’, Boorowa for nearly 50 years.  Charlie Arnott, took over the reins in 1997, and has continued the proud Arnott tradition of producing high quality Australian products.
Shorthorn cattle are ‘The Breed that Built Australia’, and our family have operated a core breeding mob since 1958. Shorthorns are the most versatile and reliable breed in the country. This makes them the perfect animal to produce consistently high quality beef.
Lamb is produced using Merino ewes and Dorset rams, a well known ‘fat lamb’ cross breed, and one that we have been using for 40+ years, whilst proudly utilizing local Gooramma Stud Dorset rams. Our Wessex Saddleback pigs are pasture raised and fattened, and we supply our Biodynamic meat to a number of Sydney based butchers.
Our cattle, sheep and pigs spend all their lives on our property, without the use of chemicals, vaccinations or hormones. We use organic and Biodynamic principles to manage our soils, grasses, trees and animals, ensuring that all aspects of our environment are considered in a holistic fashion, giving due consideration to the intricate relationships and balance that exists between all living things within the boundaries of our property.
We have been practising the philosophies and principles of Biodynamic and organic production many years. Landscape biodiversity is enhanced through our award winning Generative management practises, and the principles of Holistic Management that we apply.

We don’t feed any grain to our cattle or sheep, so our beef and lamb is 100% grass fed, as nature intended, rich in Omega 3’s.

We believe in the importance of customers knowing where their food is created, that it is healthy and safe, and connects them to the producers and environment in which it was produced. Food should not be a commodity; it’s an experience and an education.