Secrets of the Soil Podcast with Regen RaySecrets of the Soil Podcast with Regen Ray

68: Living Labs and the Empowerment of Farmers: Research, Experimentation, and Community Engagement with Jono Forrest - Mulloon Consulting

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On this episode of Secrets of the Soil, our guest Jono Forrest shares his insights on regenerative agriculture and working with landholders to understand their values and goals. He discusses the various motivations behind landscape rehydration, such as erosion or waterlogging, and how some landholders are looking to improve their farms and build natural capital.

Jono highlights how visual aspects of waterways often overshadow other factors like grazing management that impact landscape function. Unlike prescriptive industrial farming, the approach discussed in this episode considers the unique aspects of each place. The conversation also delves into the historical perspective and mindset of farmers who prioritize clearing land and draining water for farming purposes, acknowledging the criticism while recognizing the need for feeding the world and utilizing land.

The younger mindset and innovative approaches of individuals, including children showcasing business ideas on platforms like TikTok and YouTube, are shaping problem-solving in agriculture. The episode addresses misconceptions about farmers and emphasizes that they are doing their best with the knowledge they had, evolving and learning about soil health and innovation.

The use of farm automation, such as drones, is explored as a way to save time and redirect efforts into marketing and business growth. 

Jono discusses the concept of "living labs" where research is derived from farms, bridging the gap between theory and practice. The empowerment of farmers to treat their farms as research labs and experiment with different methods is highlighted, along with the sense of community and shared values that come with engaging in this process.

The episode also stresses the importance of considering the broader community when making changes or taking actions, using the example of a farmer's impact on others in terms of water usage and environmental factors within a catchment. Involving the community is seen as challenging but necessary for achieving the best outcomes. 


Who is Jono Forrest

General Manager of Mulloon Consulting, working with a team of Landscape Planners to restore landscape function, with a particular focus on landscape rehydration. I have a long-held interest in more holistic and ecological approaches to agriculture, ... and that lead me to my current position with Mulloon. I'm also studying Grad Diploma in Regen Ag through SCU.


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As the host of the Secrets of the Soil podcast, I’ve had the privilege of speaking with some of the most innovative and inspiring experts in regenerative agriculture. Through these conversations, I’ve learned so much about the power of nurturing soil and promoting regeneration.

Now, after many podcast recordings and countless hours of research and reflection, I’m thrilled to share this kick-ass guide with you.

“Regen Rays 7 Ways to Supercharge Your Soil & Save the Planet” is a distillation of the most important and actionable insights from my podcast guests, along with some fun and empowering tips to help you take your soil to the next level.

So whether you’re an experienced farmer, a gardening enthusiast, or simply someone who cares about the planet, I hope this guide inspires you to take action and make a positive impact on the world around you!
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Secrets of the Soil Podcast with Regen Ray

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