On The Land

8 December, 2023

Local farmer has say on sustainable future

THE juggle between meeting climate targets and running a farm has been realised in Canberra, with local barramundi farmer Rodney Ingersoll advocating for the Far North farmers at a national conference.

By Ellie Fink

Biboohra barra farmer Rodney Ingersoll OBE (holding a sooty grunter) travelled to Canberra recently, to share his views on how farmers could help Australia reach its 2050 Net Zero targets.
Biboohra barra farmer Rodney Ingersoll OBE (holding a sooty grunter) travelled to Canberra recently, to share his views on how farmers could help Australia reach its 2050 Net Zero targets.

In collaboration with AgriFutures Australia, Mr Ingersoll joined 60 participants in Canberra with a goal to determine AgriFutures Australia's role in aligning with the Government's Net Zero 2050 targets.

Hundreds of farmers, environmentalists and politicians came together to review and deliver feedback on the targets, to ensure enterprises can continue to operate well while being mindful of the environment. 

All participant views fed into a comprehensive strategy outlining how Australia can achieve its 2050 Net Zero targets.

With a passion for sustainability and conservation, Mr Ingersoll wanted to be a part of a movement that would help create a climate policy that wouldn’t burden farmers. 

On his barramundi farm in Biboohra, he has already taken steps to become more sustainable, creating a circular ecosystem that feeds and nurtures his fish, his red claw and his plants.

When an invitation to the event came across his desk, he knew this was his opportunity to be a “change-maker”. 

“I thought it was awesome that the government had gone to individual farmers and asked for their contribution because normally they don’t ask you anything and just tell you,” he said. 

“So instead of being one of those farmers that just talk and whinge about it, I went down.

“I like to influence and lead and have my whole life, so I decided to throw my hat in the ring and talk to the government and tell them my point of view and the point of view of all farmers up here.

“Hopefully, I was able to reflect how everyone feels.”

During the event, Mr Ingersoll highlighted the situation farmers faced amid changing weather patterns, maintaining agricultural productivity, reducing emissions and running a business at the same time. 

Mr Ingersoll stressed the need for consistent data capture, analysis, and reporting systems to establish a clear benchmark.

“I wanted to see how we can make the system fair to all farmers, whether that be barra or beef or a composter,” he said.

“How can we efficiently measure emissions fairly? There is currently no way to calculate emissions fairly to make the best judgements from.”

In addressing the complex challenge of carbon neutrality, Mr Ingersoll proposed building partnerships between farmers, research institutions, government agencies, and industry players. 

He advocated for sharing best practices, research findings, and resources to accelerate progress toward the common goal.

Representatives from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Federal Government said they were working towards releasing technology to help track carbon emissions, saying it would be released early next year. 

Feeling optimistic, Mr Ingersoll said it felt great to have his voice heard and to see the ministers and representatives taking notes of the entire meeting. He said while everyone had different opinions and approaches, they were all there to tackle one issue and knew the solution was near. 

“It wasn’t just a talkfest. Everyone was there taking notes. I know they heard us,” he said. 


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