Merino advocate Dr Charles Massy to talk regenerative agriculture in Melbourne

Sheep Central, December 4, 2017

Dr Charles Massy.

PROMINENT Merino advocate Dr Charles Massy will outline his approach to organic and regenerative agriculture at a Melbourne forum this week.

At the two-day Organic Investment Co-operative forum at RMIT University on December 8, Dr Massey will discuss his recently-published book Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture – A New Earth.

Dr Massy has chaired and served as a director on a number of national and international review panels and boards of business, research organisations and statutory wool bodies, involving garment manufacture, wool marketing, research and development, molecular genetics and genomics.

His first two books told the history of the Australian Merino and his third book, Breaking the Sheep’s Back (2011), recounted what he saw as the political destruction of the Australian wool industry. It was short listed in 2012 for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Australian History and for the Ashurst Business Literature Prize. His new book, published by the University of Queensland Press, discusses the emergence of a regenerative agriculture in Australia.

Dr Massy still manages the family’s grazing property in NSW while teaching at universities and consulting widely in the fields of Merino breeding, landscape design and transformative change in agriculture.

Charles gained a BSc (Zoology, Human Ecology) at ANU (1976), before going farming and developing a prominent Merino sheep stud business. His concern about land degradation and humanity’s sustainability challenge led to him completing a PhD in Human Ecology (ANU) in 2012.

The event is being organised by the Organic Investment Co-operative and supported by the Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program, or Farming Together, a two-year, $13.8m Australian Government initiative to help agricultural groups value-add, secure premium pricing, scale-up production, attract capital investment, earn new markets or secure lower input costs.

The program has launched a free online co-op builder for groups considering forming themselves into these tax-effective structures. The simple, DIY template is available at

Click here for ORIC forum details.


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  1. Kelly Newton-Wordsworth, March 7, 2018

    Dear Dr Massy, I heard that you came so close to us in Williams the other day. You came out to see the Fords’ sunflowers. The land we live on is right next door to them. I am excited to hear that someone in your position is speaking out the way that you are. We have been doing the same, but in a different way. We have been farming 2900 acres biodynamically, using no artificial chemicals or fertilisers for over thirty years. If you are interested in keeping in touch, please email me. It is so important for people who have actually been doing what you are talking about to be able to share our results. The results we have been having here are phenomenal, especially with regard to increases in rainfall. Cheers, Kelly

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