Episode 24: Doug Avery - Being a Resilient Farmer

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20 years ago, Doug embarked on a journey of change. Driven by the need to survive drought, it's been the most rewarding journey of his life. Writing the Resilient Farmer was Doug’s way of saying thank you to the people and processes that drove his change.

Doug, his wife Wendy and their family, live in Eastern Marlborough, New Zealand. Bonavaree is a 2343 ha owned and 420 ha leased dry land farm. Over the last two decades, huge changes to pasture type and use, stock type and farming systems have seen a dramatic change in the fortunes of that farm and the Avery family.

The changes achieved at Bonavaree are now being applied on many other properties across the country.

A large part of the change was driven by Dr Derrick Moot of Lincoln University and his Lucerne (alfalfa) based pasture system. It was taken to its ultimate development by a New Zealand Land Care Trust facilitated project, the Starborough Soil Conservation Project which was funded by the Sustainable Farming Fund. This was a six pronged science effort which systemised a package of activities to make Bonavaree the amazing property it is today.

Doug wrote The Resilient Farmer in 2017. He writes with great insight, romance for the land and people he loves, and is a genuine and skilled storyteller. He is working on his next book, which we eagerly await.

To find out more about Doug or to order The Resilient Farmer, click here https://www.resilientfarmer.co.nz/ Should this episode cause distress, please contact your local crisis centre or in Aust. call lifeline on 13 11 14.

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