STEVE AND KELLY FORD
Steve and Kelly Ford are passionate regenerative farmers, based near Williams, in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia.
Farming with Steve’s parents, they are proud suppliers of oats for OatUP.
Steve and Kelly began their journey towards regenerative farming around when they started their family. Kelly is passionate about providing the best upbringing for her children, and her reading and research into health and well-being lead them both to question the difference between how they were eating and living their lives in the house compared to on the farm. Why were they using chemicals on the farm when they were trying to reduce chemicals used in the house? How nutrient-dense is the food that they grow? How can they ensure that their farming system is thriving so their boys can inherit a healthy farm and farming lifestyle? Regenerative agriculture became the pathway that provided answers to those questions.
To address these issues, Steve began looking closer into his soil health and accessed a network of like-minded farmers including Col Bowey, the RSC team and Vic No-till Association.
Some of their changes in farming practises are reducing synthetic chemical use, reducing synthetic fertiliser inputs in favour of biological inputs, and eliminating fungicides. This is resulting in healthier soil that is alive with beneficial microbes and fungi. Diverse multi-species cropping, cover cropping and pasture mixes are also providing more cover on the ground.
Steve and Kelly are constantly reading and researching different ways to regenerate their farming system, and we look forward to learning more and watching their farm evolve over the years to come!
OatUP delivers bucket-loads of goodness for both you and the planet!
Jamie Anderson farms with his parents at Williams in the south western wheatbelt. The Anderson family bought the property as Jamie finished high school, where they leased it out before running their own flock of merino sheep and cropping. Jamie is now a proud supplier of oats for Oatup.
Jamie first came across regenerative agriculture through his friend from the local football team, Steve Ford. Steve, also an oat supplier for Dirty Clean Food, had been leasing part of Jamie’s farm and using a disc seeder and biological inputs in their cropping program. Jamie liked how this approach was working on his farm, and has since been working with Col Bowey, a regenerative agronomist, to improve his soil health and focus on transitioning over to a regenerative system.
When Jamie and his family first moved onto the farm, they planted over 40,000 trees along the riparian zones of the farm/riverbanks, to stabilise them and create habitat for local wildlife. 19 years later these trees are now fully established and provide important ecological services for the farm ecosystem.
Jamie has also recently been experimenting with multi species cover crops, putting in over 220 hectares of various multi species cover crops!
He is trialling 40ha of buckwheat and brasil canola as a cover crop, but also as a punt for summer crop to harvest if it finds enough moisture. Buckwheat suppresses weeds and attracts beneficial insects and pollinators with its abundant blossoms. It also reportedly extracts soil phosphorus from soil better than most grain cover crops.
These multi species cover crops will create a healthy soil full of microbes to support next seasons oat crop.
We look forward to seeing how long Jamie can keep their roots growing in the soil and providing food for his soil microbes, and watching his farming system evolve!