South Gippsland is prime dairy farming country, as well as being home to many crops and other livestock. Farmers can be (and often are) great carers of the land and environment, and their stewardship will be vital to protecting the land on which we live and the food sources that we live from.
Farming and agriculture industries account for $610m, or 19% of South Gippsland’s GDP. The industry employs 2,308 people, or 21% of workforce. If the value of food manufacturing is included, the sector represents some $1.058B, or 35%, of the economy.
Nonetheless, farmers in the region are having to confront a changing climate, which is driving many to transition to regenerative and other sustainable farming practices. A shift to regenerative agriculture has multiple benefits, including improved production, the restoration of vegetation and biodiversity, and the sequestration of carbon in soils, with a potential value of $200m + p.a.
Some of the questions confronting farming and the environment include; will the region remain climate secure? What will be the impact of a changing climate on agricultural yields? Will there be a continuing push from big producers to gain a foothold in South Gippsland, and what will the consequences be? How can agriculture and conservation co-exist? Is there shared terrain on which farmers and environmentalist can meet and work together?
South Gippsland spans Bunurong and Gunai-Kurnai country. We acknowledge that this land is unceded and pay respects to Elders past, present and emerging. A just transition is one that allows for First Nations' sovereignty.
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