Southern Cross University has officially launched the world’s first degree in regenerative agriculture, aimed to equip land managers in tackling the impacts of climate change.
The new degree is a Bachelor of Science with a major in regenerative agriculture. It will develop specialist knowledge in a whole-of-system approach to farming, food distribution and production, examining human ecology, agro-ecology, regenerative agronomy, soil management and planning rural landscapes.
The degree was championed by the Regenerative Agricultural Alliance (RAA) with consultation from Kerry Cochrane and the Institute of Ecological Agriculture, as well as the RAA Industry Advisory Group which includes agricultural revolutionaries like Charles Massy, Bruce Pascoe and Terry McCosker.
RAA founder and Southern Cross University Director of Strategic Projects, Lorraine Gordon, said she was “ecstatic” to see the degree get through the various levels of academic rigor required to offer a world-leading course that met the needs of today’s agricultural students.
“This degree is the first of its kind in the world. The way we teach agriculture hasn’t changed in 30 years so it’s about time we taught students to think in a holistic manner and use all the tools in the box to solve the very complex problems we face in managing our landscapes,” Ms Gordon said.
“Agriculture is an incredibly rewarding field of study and practice and is the absolute melting pot of all the sciences. We need to assist students solve the issues on a catchment by catchment basis.”
Dr Hanabeth Luke, lecturer and course coordinator, said Australia was in urgent need of generational change for land managers who knew how to repair the soil and farm resiliently.
“By enhancing the living matter in our soil, regenerative agricultural practice draws down carbon from the atmosphere and into the soil, and will play a critical part in mitigating climate change.”
The degree will start in February 2020. Study is delivered online. Students can apply directly at scu.edu.au
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