Farmers were nominated by regional third-parties including grower groups, nonprofit organizations, universities or other technology assistance partners, and were judged by a panel of agriculture industry leaders based on program criteria. The nine winners will receive lifetime membership, training and other benefits from Global Farmer Network; soil sampling, carbon sequestration measurement, and guidance from the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center (CMASC) at the Ohio State University; and opportunities to share their proven successes with other farmers. The seven runners-up will also work with the team at CMASC and receive soil sampling and soil health guidance.
“Even before Corteva Agriscience introduced the concept of climate positive agriculture at the World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue in 2018, we have worked diligently to provide the innovative seed, crop protection, digital technology and agronomic expertise our farmers need to successfully adopt sustainable on-farm practices,” said James C. Collins, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Corteva Agriscience. “I am pleased to recognize and honour these farmers who have clearly demonstrated that sustainability does not come at the expense of profit or productivity. They have made a measurable impact in advancing climate positive agriculture and I welcome the opportunity to share their stories for the benefit of farmers and all food system stakeholders around the world.”
For detailed information about the leaders porgram, visit https://www.corteva.com/sustainability/climatepositive/leaders-program.html
To read about the Australian winners see below.
Nominated by Danielle Park - AUSVEG
Jake Ryan is a mixed cropping/livestock producer in Manjimup, Western Australia, using holistic grazing, minimal tillage, cover cropping, and mineral nutrition to produce a wide variety of winter vegetables, cereal and oilseed commodity crops, ewes for wool and lamb production, first cross Angus Friesian heifers, and pasture-raised laying hens. He has implemented a strip-tilling and cover crop process for his vegetable crops, ensuring there is a living root feeding carbon into the soil and stimulating soil microbes for healthy. Acres are rotated with one year of vegetable production, followed by four years of pasture production for livestock and soil regeneration. Cover crops are planted on the entire operation to improve soil, then are grazed or cut for silage.
In addition to traditional cover crops, Jake has recently begun intercropping with flowering cover crops to increase the population of beneficial insects and reduce the amount of predatory insects which are damaging to crops and livestock. With the adoption of holistic grazing and a focus on mineral nutrition, and trace minerals proportions, he has been able to dramatically reduce the need for nitrogen base fertilizers from the pasture/cover/vegetable crops as well as reducing the phosphorous requirements. Profits have increased consistently five to 10 percent annually.
“The Climate Positive Leaders Program will help me to communicate to other farmers that climate positive practices is for the betterment of agriculture and the environment. Farmers learn best from other farmers, especially when they can see the results in person. Through this program, I will help demonstrate to other farmers that regenerative practices not only will improve their land but increase productivity and lead to potential financial gains.”
Nominated by Bill Pardy - Nutrien Ag Solutions
Michael Gooden is a grass farmer in Wagga Wagga, Riverina, New South Wales, Australia, utilizing a rotational grazing and stocking system along with manure application to profitably raise cattle and sheep. He has implemented a grazing management plan designed to manage and monitor grass production through rotation and stocking rate to carry calculations. Planting multispecies cover crops over existing grasses has improved grass production, water retention, grass Brix levels, as well as overall soil health.
In response to the millennium drought years of 2002 – 2009, Michael implemented numerous changes in his operation, transitioning from 60-70 percent crop land to 90 percent grazing land and 10 percent crop land, with livestock consuming the bulk of the multi-species crops. Through annual monitoring, soil organic matter has increased and the overall business profitability has improved dramatically.
“We have focused on becoming climate positive through a holistic approach of animal production, personal development, and business. Through our grazing management practices, we have improved the health of our land which then improves the resilience of our business.”
Nominated by Danielle Park - AUSVEG
Sharni and Shane Radford are a husband and wife team in Moriarty, Northwest Tasmania who, along with their daughter Caitlin, produce potatoes, onions, carrots, green beans, broccoli, wheat, grass seed, hay, prime lambs, and beef cattle, and applying numerous practices to retain water and prevent run-off on hilly terrain. As soon as crops are harvested, natural grasses and other cover crops are planted for the 90-day period between cropping to improve soil structure, build organic matter, improve microbial activity, and reduce compaction. Wheat straw is also used in run-off vulnerable locations to reduce soil erosion.
These practices have increased crop yield as well as improved on-farm biodiversity and support for coastal water quality preservation. The Radfords have made a long-term commitment to the conservation of area birds, specifically the ground nesting Swamp Harriers which offer natural pest management. Water quality is monitored to protect the frog and eel populations. Leveraging livestock manure to increase dung beetle populations has also increased soil fertility and moisture retention.
"Climate positive is about thinking differently, focusing on managing the farm so that it can be productive for future generations. The Climate Positive Leaders Program will help us to continue improving the health of our soils with new methods and technologies as they emerge.”
To read of all the winners, runners-ups, nominators and judges visit https://www.corteva.com/sustainability/climatepositive/leaders-program.html