It all starts with the soil with Derek Smith
Today, Kerry chats with Derek Smith, a mixed farmer from Guyra who has come along the journey from conventional to regenerative farmer.Derek started his days at the Orange Ag college and over the years experienced a number of problems on his property from crop health issues, animal health issues, weeds, fungal diseases, and insects and pests. Derek was always on the look out for a silver bullet that just wasn't there. So, Derek found himself asking some pretty critical questions of himself and his practices. He found he was quickly questioning and challenging the status quo.In this episode we explore:the importance of soil health... everything starts with the soilthe William Albrecht methodologysoil microbiologylinks between soil health, plant health and human healththe cation exchange capacityMore on Derek Smith:A lifelong farmer, Derek has embraced natural farming as a way to protect biodiversity, store carbon and maintain consistent food production. He is currently running beef cattle, free range layer hens plus prime lambs on his property Kenilworth.For 20 years Derek shared his experience as an instructor at TAFE Armidale. As the teacher of a year long course in organic farming and in the past, horticulture, he helps students apply organic or biologically enhancing principles to their own farms. Over the years Derek has built on his Associate Diploma in Farm Management at the Orange Ag College with courses in Holistic Management and Grazing for Profit. He earned his Bachelor of Farm Management at the University of Sydney (Orange) in 2004.Derek has completed three stages of Neal Kinsey's Advanced Soil Management course and is now accredited as one of only four Kinsey/Albrecht practitioners in Australia.