What Martin Royds and ‘Tombarra’ Means For The Farmer from Michael Jeffery, Soils For Life

Michael Jeffery: I know all of you here will have heard me hundreds of times saying that if we don’t get to the business of really looking after that top 30 cm and in particular the microbial, fungal and nutrient function, if we don’t understand the movement of water and the hydrology, if we don’t understand the biodiversity, the plants they need to grow. If we don’t link those three things together, which is the art and the science that’s required, then we’re going to have a hard road to hoe.

What is going to be taught I’m sure will encompass a lot of Martin’s experiences as a wonderfully innovative agriculturalist, if I can put it that way, running, shall I call it a mixed family farm but where he has taken a landscape and really rejuvenated it using a whole lot of principles including Peter Andrews very fine work in stream regeneration and landscape regeneration. He’s done how to produce a farm, does all sorts of things. Wonderful cattle, grass fattened, pasture cropping, grazing, the repair of riparian zones, and re-connection of flood plains, re-hydration of wetlands, the restoration of streams and swaling (?) of water, a multitude of different grasses and so on. That seems to be the key to success for grazing, an intensive cell or controlled cell grazing for his cattle.

Add all of these things plus many more things have led to him and his family establishing what is a renowned property, not just throughout this area of the state but indeed through the country. He and his family have been recognized through that for numerous awards for what they’ve done. All those things will be part, I’m sure, of the teaching program. This facility I’m sure is going to attract a wide custom and you’ll certainly get it from Soils for Life once we get cracking again. We’ll be delighted to participate with you in supporting this facility to the maximum its strength.

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