Planets aligning:

Factors that prompt the switch to regenerative practices

Planets aligning:

Factors that prompt the switch to regenerative practices

Capacity to Deliver -


The issue

The Landcare community needs a better understanding of the factors that may potentially stimulate, encourage and support agricultural land managers to move from conventional to regenerative practices on their land.  A better appreciation of these factors will help with the design of Landcare programs and initiatives, so that they will more likely result in landholder behaviour change and ultimately produce better outcomes for our landscapes. 

The solution

A two-hour informal interview was conducted ‘in the paddock’ with a beef cattle breeder/grazier called Mike who had made the decision (six-months prior) to switch permanently to regenerative practices on his two properties near Werris Creek in northern NSW.  The landholder described the commencement of a multi-pronged strategy that included a holistic rotational grazing management program, dramatic reduction in chemical use, planting of multi-species pastures, native tree revegetation and excluding livestock from creeks.

The impact

Mike’s decision to adopt a regenerative approach arose further to several discussions and realisations over more than 12 months. He was fortunate in knowing a local champion; a fellow cattle grazier with about 20 years of experience in holistic management. Gabe Brown’s book ‘Dirt to Soil’ was pivotal in shifting his thinking towards soil health as the foundation of a successful enterprise. Mike received encouragement and input from his daughter (who had also embarked on a learning journey in regenerative agriculture). Hearing presentations from like-minded landholders at locally convened Landcare events such as the RALF-led ‘Farming for Change’ soils and pastures workshop and Upper Mooki’s “Creating Resilient Landscapes to Secure our Farming Future” further informed his decision making and provided inspiration.  Mike’s appreciation of the ingredients for land regeneration grew, that being; managing for soil health, aiming for 100% ground cover, 100% of the time, and establishing a clear vision and values from which decisions should be made.  Mike conceded that the severe 2018/19 drought also contributed, highlighting a need to change thinking and practice to improve resilience, increase profit and preserve natural resources for future generations.

Key facts

  • Access to a learned peer/mentor;
  • Family support;
  • Personal reading / learning about soil health
  • Participation at Landcare events; inspiration from peers
  • Severe drought; desire to increase resilience/sustainability

Project Partners