Carlie Barry and her husband operate a dairy farm in Camperdown and she shares her journey from conventional farming to organic regenerative farming.
“When I got pregnant with my eldest daughter, who is now 16, I started on this journey of finding out where your food comes from. Working on farms at the time, I saw a lot of antibiotic use and synthetic fertilizers and I started to realise that these eventually end up in the food chain”
Carlie describes organic regenerative farming as “starting from the ground up; a healthy ground, equals healthy plants, equals healthy cows, equals healthy us.”
“When you convert to organic, it only really takes 12 months and you start seeing such a massive difference in your ground and in your animals, it’s pretty amazing actually.”
She du-bunks some common misconceptions about organic farming for us saying “they think it’s just you don’t put any fertilizer out. We still put out a lot of fertilizer, we just use compost, not synthetic.” She adds that regenerative farming is “so much more than fertilizer”.
Carlie has five girls, and being a mother has really shifted her perspective on “the responsibility we have for future generations.”
“We’re just in the ideal position to turn things around for the sake of the planet.” She says this as she considers starting with building healthier and more sustainable communities.
“It’s so important to have a strong and vibrant rural community and something that I’ve only really resonated with in recent times was about working with other farmers and not seeing them as competition but all working together for a stronger community for everyone.”
She proudly reflects on a recent conversation she had with her four-year old daughter and the importance of understanding the cycles of life “I must have said it was raining again and she goes ‘no Mum rainy days are good days because that means like the plants are going to grow and we’re going to get some grass for the cows”
Carlie ends by sharing on her journey into agriculture saying “agriculture has given me so many different opportunities in life. Probably more than any other career could offer you.”
“It just really gives you a life of purpose and is something to get up for every day.”