Sustainable Farms

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The world’s greatest challenge is to feed its growing population using farming practices that help to restore a rapidly degrading environment and promote the financial viability, mental health and wellbeing of primary producers. No other country faces this challenge more than Australia.

For two decades, researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) have collected data from farms across South-Eastern Australia as part of one of the largest, long-term studies of its kind in the world.

The knowledge generated from this research can now be used by Australian farmers to improve their land management practices. Findings to-date suggest that as well as restoring land, improved environmental management precipitates increased farm productivity, farm profitability and improved farmer mental health.

Many of our farmers have credited the adoption of more sustainable farming practices to surviving the Millennium Drought. Further, testimonials from farmers and their partners demonstrate that the increased presence of vegetation, tree cover, greener pastures and bird calls, has improved their mental health, sense of wellbeing and pride in what they do.

Sustainable Farms expands ongoing ecological research at ANU and includes financial and mental health research designed to formally identify and characterise the relationship between improved environmental management of agricultural land, farm profitability and the mental health of farmers.

The project will ensure farmers are properly educated on the environmental, financial and mental health benefits of adopting sustainable farming and in doing so, promote the uptake of these practices.

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