The Western Australian wheatbelt has been depleted of farmers. In 2000 there were about 10,000 grain growers. Now there are about 4,000. The catch cry has been “get big or get out”. Many farmers have lost their farms seeking to do just that, when poor seasons, low prices, high cost of inputs or high interest rates (or all of these) have followed their expansion and the bank has insisted they sell up or be sold out.
The Wheatbelt Integrity Group is a group of farmers, financial advisors, businessmen and politicians who are looking to develop alternative farming finance avenues. They met at Parliament House on July 14th 2014 to discuss the way forward, hosted by Eyre MLA, Dr Graham Jacobs.
As they have continued meeting, the committee has continued to champion farming through the propagation of knowledge and support for regenerative agriculture, believing that its principles will promote soil health, human health and environmental health.
WIG’s committee are active in research, experimentation, education and consultation. Each year, a field day at Hollands Track Farm, Newdegate promulgates information and demonstration of the practice of regenerative farming in the wheatbelt and beyond. Collaboration with Regen WA, NRM and other bodies of similar ilk have led to the recognition of WIG’s contribution to holistic farming and the health and prosperity of farmers and their environment, including the restoration and growth of the rural population.
Membership is free and open to all. The website offers educative material, collected from leading articles worldwide, to those wishing to pursue regenerative agriculture.