Soil science at Robert Stein

TESTING: Landmark agronomist Renae Hill (Mudgee); HM Educator John King (NZ); Graz1er Scott Alison (Barraba). Photo: Simone Kurtz
TESTING: Landmark agronomist Renae Hill (Mudgee); HM Educator John King (NZ); Graz1er Scott Alison (Barraba). Photo: Simone Kurtz

Nine students of Holistic Management (from as far abroad as Barraba, Willow Tree and Oberon) have spent two days setting up and learning to monitor the data the region’s first Environmental Outcomes Verification (EOV) monitoring site at Mudgee’s Robert Stein Winery.

This is not only certification or accreditation, it’s verification - understanding the truth - scientifically.

Paul Griffiths

Data from the site, measured annually over the long term, will be scientifically tabulated along with independently derived increases in soil health. These improvements, measured across three transects, will be verified by soil scientists at the University of Michigan in the United States.

This is a major forward move by the Savory Institute, of Boulder Colorado, to provide scientific understanding and acceptance of the role animals can play in regenerating depleted soils. The Environmental Outcomes Verification can, in future, be used as a visible brand on the land manager’s products - scientific proof that the land from which these products came - is regenerating.

Paul Griffiths, who teaches Allan Savory’s Holistic Management at Saint Fillans, has brought together fellow professional educators Brian Marshall OAM of Guyra NSW and John King from Christchurch, New Zealand for the testing.

"It’s exciting times,” Mr Griffiths said, “This is not only certification or accreditation, it’s verification - understanding the truth - scientifically.”

“Through EOV farmers and graziers will have independent, long-term, scientifically verified evidence that they are ‘doing the right thing’. 

“Those who have embraced Allan Savory’s concepts (Holistic Planned Grazing) have known it’s been right for many years. Now, however, there’ll be ‘proof in the pudding’.”

Mr Griffiths explained Holistic Managers are a group of Australian farmers who believe that innovative approaches to farming – known as ‘regenerative agriculture’ - offer viable solutions to the intersection of crises such as food security, land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss.

"We congratulate the Stein family for their forward thinking. They’re paving the way for other wine-makers,” he said.