Carbon Farming at Ventnor by Catherine Watson

Bob Davie, left, with fellow researchers Roy and Mark Roberts at Bimbadeen

Excerpts from an article in the Bass Coast Post

Twenty years ago when Bob Davie talked about carbon farming he was regarded as a bit of a nutter.  For the past decade he’s been preaching to the converted, people like him who understand the difference between carbon and carbon dioxide, and offsets and insets. But with a recent double-page spread in the Herald Sun, the Phillip Island farmer has now entered the mainstream. As a pioneer of carbon farming, Bob couldn’t be happier. He thinks people – including many people in power – have suddenly “got it”. “It’s going to happen… I didn’t think I’d live to see the day.”

Now into his 80s, Bob is helping to lead a revolution in farming. In August he’ll address 250 farmers at a beef farmers conference in Bairnsdale. Where once the farmers might have listened reluctantly – or even skipped a session related to climate change – this time he can expect a captive audience. Bob’s message will be that farmers have nothing to fear from zero emissions targets. In fact they have everything to gain. He echoes climate academic Ross Garnaut, who believes carbon credits could be as valuable a commodity on the world market as wool.

They are a counter to the National Party, which argues that farmers should be exempt from meeting emissions targets. The tide has turned, says Bob. Meat and Livestock Australia is already committed to being carbon neutral by 2030. Farmers want to know how to transition and how to make it work. “I believe most farmers can become carbon neutral fairly easily. I believe a lot of farmers are already carbon neutral and don’t know it.”

“I’m really pleased it’s finally taking off. There are more and more inquiries and articles in the papers. It feels good. I’ve always felt I’ve been on the right track.   Bob says he’s been carbon farming for 65 years – “45 years without knowing I was doing it.” Bob’s carbon farming experiments have been carried out at Bimbadeen, the Davie family’s 140-hectare beef property at Ventnor…

For the full article go here