Michael, 37, and his wife Tanya have four young children and run cattle on their 16,000 hectare property south of Bourke, New South Wales, which he took over from his parents in 2012.
Michael first heard about carbon farming from his local financial counsellor but was confused at first about whether he could run livestock on land used for a carbon farming project. He was relieved to find out that he could still continue his livestock business, while taking the pressure off livestock as his sole source of income.
“Carbon farming has been a good asset,” he says. When the livestock industry’s not doing too well due to low prices or drought, we still have a regular income from carbon farming.”
“It works really well with our livestock business and makes for a really viable long-term solution”
Michael reports that his community has been supportive. “Carbon farming has brought income into our community. Even when it’s dry, the carbon farms are still ticking over and generating income for the local business owners,” he says.
Michael is re-investing the carbon farming money into other agriculture projects to help make his business more drought tolerant. He believes that carbon farming will continue to be a huge benefit for farmers and graziers in the future.
“While the livestock market can fluctuate, carbon farming helps you budget and set out plans for the future with a secure source of income,” he says.
“It means we can plan for the future compared to just trying to get through one week at a time,” he says. “It adds another tool to our kit and allows us to keep using the land.”
“I would hate to think what sort of position we’d be in if we didn’t have the regular income stream from the carbon farming.”