University of QLD Gatton Field Trip

We were absolutely delighted to host a group of students and staff from the University of Queensland recently. They visited Goondicum for two days on an inaugural field trip as part of the Sustainable Agricultural and Animal Systems course at UQ —a new course that teaches agricultural students the skills to help feed and clothe the world at the minimum cost to the planet.

A field trip like this gives students a valuable opportunity to see regenerative agriculture in action, and this in-the-field education is a big part of what we’re doing here at CRATER. We spent a very full schedule showing them different aspects of the work we do on Goondicum Station, from land restoration to soil testing to growing native pastures in our open eucalypt forest. The landowners contributed with their knowledge of the property, while Henry Hinds of RCS came in to do an overview of pasture management, and the students got an opportunity to get their hands dirty and rate the soil and pasture.

We got some great feedback from the university staff who accompanied the students, as you’ll see in the video below.

For Dr Shane Campbell, Senior Lecturer in Pasture Science and Agronomy at UQ, the real take-home message of the trip was the economic imperative- how we successfully balance making profit with regenerative agricultural practices.

“Goondicum turned out to be perfect”, Dr Campbell said. It’s a really engaging place, with passionate landholders, and lots of support organisations involved….There was a lot going on, which stimulated the students…The take-home message was that if you’re not making money off the land, then you can’t really invest in all the other activities that you want to in a sustainable manner…But, if you get everything right, you can have both —you can make money, but you can also have great outcomes for your land. And I think the students walked away from Goondicum with that.”

Our visitors stayed in our ‘base camp’ at the foot of Mt Goondicum, and we all really enjoyed sitting around in the bell tent at night after a full day of activities, chatting about regenerative agriculture with these inspiring young people and their lecturers. All in all, it was a hugely successful visit and we can’t wait to see the next batch of students!

We know the future is in good hands with these agriculturalists of tomorrow, and we’d like to extend an invitation to any other university  or school science groups who would like to come and visit Goondicum Station to get real-world experience of how regenerative agriculture is helping farmers to turn a profit while making a difference to the land and its wildlife for generations to come.

Watch the video below to find out how the trip went for students and staff!