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Program area:
Biodiversity Conservation




Improving Farms for the Future

19 May 2022

The Ross Trust is pleased to be supporting Sustainable Farms, an initiative that has been conducting wildlife surveys on farms for more than 20 years to determine how plants and animals respond to the restoration efforts of farmers. 

The work helps farmers work out the best ways to revegetate and rehabilitate their land, and shows them the benefits of natural asset enhancement, such as for stock health and productivity, water quality and erosion control.

The Ross Trust is supporting the unique project, an initiative of The Australian National University, by providing $300,000 that will be used to support the salaries of a field ecologist and an engagement officer from July 2022 to June 2025. 

The project team work closely with farmers and natural resource management professionals, particularly through on-farm field days. The staff who will be supported by The Ross Trust have a focus on the Victorian temperate woodlands, which are some of the most highly modified environments in Australia. 

Professor David Lindenmayer, Sustainable Farms Lead Scientist, said that natural asset enhancement practices did not have to be onerous or expensive for farmers. 

“Examples can include improving farm dams, protecting paddock trees, establishing native plants along streams, and fencing around patches of native bushes,” he said. 

“Farmers who act tell us that, with time, they make gains in profitability, livestock weight and health, crop productivity, and job satisfaction. We really are supporting farmers with science.”

The Ross Trust CEO Sarah Hardy said the project would bring together farmers, ecologists, researchers, and partner organisations to share knowledge, learn from each other and support practice change. 

“We believe this is a worthwhile project that is uniquely positioned to provide and translate world-leading research with practical advice from ecologists and economists,” she said.

Find out more about the project.