The Mulloon Institute  -  Enews - June 2018

From the Chairman, The Mulloon Institute

Apologies for the late update this month but as the title indicates I have been "journeying" and so now catching up. Others have "journeyed" as well. More on those shortly.

First up a big thank you to all that answered my call to assist us with an end of financial year donation. Every dollar helps us not only spread the word but importantly take extra steps in getting our signature project, Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project (MCLRP), further advanced. 

Another way you can help contribute to our work is by purchasing organic, pasture-raised eggs from   Mulloon Creek Natural Farms. Profits earned from egg sales at MCNF are reinvested to assist us with funding ongoing research into our landscape restoration work. 

Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project

Pete Hazell has been following up the applications he lodged the previous month with NSW DPI's Office of Water. The NSW Government has had a restructure in that area of the bureaucracy so there is some "retraining" required however our key connection in the government continues to process our applications positively.

Pete and Cam Wilson continue to work on the remaining applications and a very positive development has been the assistance from Chris Dickson of AVMap providing excellent  Lidar data (image right). This provides topographical information at an accuracy that allows significantly more design to be done without needing substantial field surveys. Using Lidar data in this way is part of our "mainstreaming" applications along the lines I reported last month.

Mulloon Consulting, Contracting & Certifying

I mentioned in my May update that Cam Wilson was up in North Queensland running a workshop with farmers. It was a great success and was the subject of very positive stories in local newspapers which you can read here. As a result, fifteen people from that region plan on a visit to Mulloon in October. Cam's "journey" north is substantially adding to a broader understanding of the work of The Mulloon Institute (TMI) and how we can assist through our Mulloon Consulting Contracting & Certifying (MCCC). He will "journey" north again in August for another workshop.

While on the subject of MCCC, General Manager, Carolyn Hall, reports good progress with enquiries from a wide range of landholders and a number of projects underway including whole-of-farm plans. It is so pleasing to see the philosophy of regenerative agriculture espoused by TMI being adopted by more and more landholders with MCCC assisting in how to make it happen on their landscapes.

[IMAGE: used courtesy of North Queensland Register]

International Research Connections

My personal "journey" took me slightly further afield, in fact to the UK. While I was initially there wearing a different hat, Chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Australia, I took the opportunity to spend time with John Crawford at Rothamsted Research. John is a member of our Science Advisory Council and has been the link between TMI and Rothamsted. 

The timing was very good as the UK Government had recently announced significant funds to assist international collaborative research in agriculture. With Brexit happening I suspect they have realized that re-establishing old partnerships is going to be necessary. We understand they have signed an MOU along those lines with Canada so believe something similar should occur with Australia.

So given the established relationship between TMI and Rothamsted, John, Rose and I formulated a concept to create a joint UK-Australia Alliance to promote business-led technology and data-driven innovation in agriculture. The Australian end would be based on our MCLRP.

Rothamsted has established a partnership with University College London (UCL) to collaborate on research and innovation in technology and data science for agriculture. This is being implemented in partnership with a network of farmers and on its Farm Platform National Capability in North Wyke.

TMI has a long-established partnership with the Australian National University (ANU) so it is a natural fit given our established relationship with Rothamsted. We are already incorporating innovative technology in both our design work but also with respect to sensing technologies by Revolution Ag so building on that work in collaboration with Rothamsted and UCL is a very exciting prospect.

So we took this proposal to Australia's newly appointed  High Commissioner to the UK, George Brandis QC, and had a very productive meeting with him that included one of his senior advisers as well as Australia's Counsellor (Agriculture), Tom Parnell, based in Brussels.

George undertook to lobby on our behalf within the UK Government and I'll be briefing our Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister on this innovative proposal. The UK was certainly an informative and progressive "journey".
Analysing catchment soils 

Research Coordinator Luke Peel has been working closely with French intern student, François Villain, who is undertaking an 8 week internship with us during June and July. The placement has been organised as part of his studies by the Institut supérieur d'agriculture de Lille where he is a student of Agricultural Engineering. READ MORE
Saving our species

Luke has also been finalising our application for funding with the  NSW Office of Environment & Heritage's  Save Our Species program, which if successful will allow us to monitor: how the MCLRP impacts aquatic and riparian biodiversity; whether catchment-scale projects increase awareness of the importance of biodiversity; and, if the project can re-establish links between major habitat reserves in the region.
Farming Together forum

Luke Peel and Scott Middlebrook attended the Farming Together forum at ANU in June for a number of great presentations and case studies looking at the power and effectiveness of farm/business cooperatives and collaborations. It was an  insightful day with quality networking and possibilities for further discussions about potential synergies, highlighting how the MCLRP fits with the farming together co-op style and building of community.

[IMAGE: courtesy of Farming Together]

Natural Sequence Farming training dates

We're pleased to announce that we'll be running another Natural Sequence Farming course with Tarwyn Park Training from 12-15 November 2018. If you haven't made it along yet but are keen to learn please consider joining us!

CLICK HERE for more information and bookings. Download the full FLYER.
National Landcare Conference & Awards

The Mulloon Institute was proud to be recognised as a  NSW State Landcare Champion in 2017 , for Sustainable Farming Practices. While we didn't make this year's finals, we urge you to check out the  amazing and inspiring groups and individuals taking part in the  2018  National Landcare Awards  and make your vote count.

The 2018 National Landcare Conference itself will be held in Brisbane this October for three days of sharing knowledge, insightful discussions and informative presentations from pioneers, natural resource management professionals, scientists, academics, government, and environmental, climate and biodiversity experts. Hopefully we'll be seeing you there! 
In the media

Harris Farm Markets  recently removed all caged chicken eggs from their stores to promote better animal welfare. They produced a  neat little video  to let everyone know, featuring  Mulloon Creek Natural Farms  and  Farm Manager Michael Fitzgerald .

[Note: the $2.99 eggs they are referring to are their own generic brand of eggs, not MCNF's.]
All the very best and many thanks for your great support.


Gary Nairn AO
The Mulloon Institute, Chairman


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