Jen Ringbauer made a unique transition in 2020, switching from a 22-year music teaching career to commence studying in the world-first degree in regenerative agriculture at Southern Cross University. She was recently awarded the Eve Investments (now Eve Health Group) Regenerative Agriculture scholarship.
Jen had been expanding her agriculture knowledge with numerous courses for many years while teaching, before committing to the Bachelor of Science (Regenerative Agriculture). She said she felt immense gratitude on being awarded the scholarship.
“I’m incredibly grateful. I know so many people and students out there are struggling financially and, like me, haven't been able to find any meaningful work due to COVID,” she said.
“It’s a really wonderful acknowledgment of the hard work and the long years of passionate discovery and learning in this space that I've gone through, all the courses I've done, and all the time that I've given up to go to those courses. “
Eve Health Group has tea tree operations in the Northern Rivers and produces health and wellness products using regenerative farming practices.
“Jen’s passion and ambition for deeper learning in regenerative agriculture is inspiring,” said EVE Health Group Managing Director and CEO, Bill Fry.
“At EVE Health Group, we strive to give back through community-centric initiatives that deliver a positive impact. Southern Cross University is leading the way in the emerging field of regenerative agriculture. As a company whose values align in recognising the benefits that regenerative farming principles provide for sustainability, we are proud to have the opportunity to support students in achieving their study aspirations,” said Mr Fry.
You might think being a music teacher would be different work from regenerative agriculture, yet for Jen, there are many similarities.
“I used to teach and conduct choirs where you’re working harmonies, listening to each other, leaning on each other's strengths and weaknesses to build a culture around that particular piece of paper, and the notes on the page are no different to what we're doing with regenerative agriculture either,” she said.
“We're seeing a block of land on a piece of paper then trying to figure out how to enhance the farm’s strengths, working with different elements to create harmonious and regenerating relationships.”
Jen currently resides in Orange, NSW on a family farm with numerous animals and hopes to continue to grow, sustain, and be an advocate for change. “Moving to this farm was never to make money, but to reduce our own food costs and increase our family’s health,” she said.
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