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Farming Forests

Season 2

Turning 18% of his 3500-hectare farm into forest is a move that’s landed this producer a seat at a very influential table. Mark Wootton travelled from his property just north of Hamilton in Western Victoria, all the way to Egypt for the COP27 world climate conference. There, he was part of a pitch to promote the benefits of farm-grown sustainable timber to solve current supply issues. Personally, his own farm has been increasingly productive since he made the decision to plant 600 hectares of trees 20 years ago, while still running sheep and cattle. By doing so, they’ve doubled their production, lowered their carbon footprint and improved biodiversity. To learn more about the timber industry, Mark Wootton of Jigsaw Farms joins me now. We discuss:

  • Mark’s favourite place on his property depends on the season we are in.

  • Traditionally a sheep and cattle farmer, Mark shares what prompted him to look into

  • forestry.

  • The role planting trees on farms will have in securing future wood needs while also

  • balancing climate change issues.

  • Forestry tends to have some public relations problems and Mark clears up some of the

  • misunderstood facts.

  • The benefits of being able to sequester carbon which leads to increased productivity,

  • shelter for lambs, more grass and biodiversity in the environment.

  • The reason people are turning to sustainable timber and natural fibres as alternatives to

  • synthetics which, produce very high emissions.

  • His trip to Egypt for the COP27 world climate conference and his learnings from other

  • world-wide farmers.

  • The Australian Forest Products Association has said the supply of sustainable timber is

  • growing by 1 per cent but demand is growing by 5 per cent.

  • The benefits of planting trees to Mark’s business.

  • As more than 18% of his land is now planted out with largely native milling trees, Mark has

  • also ensured the growth of permanent revegetation. What Mark loves most about life on the land.

  • The most unexpected thing to happen on his property.

  • The most common misconception about farming in Mark’s opinion.

  • His ultimate dream for the future.

We hope to see you back on the road soon, to learn more about how Australia grows on the next episode of Australian Farmers with Angie Asimus.



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