In this exquisite conversation with Peter Thompson, 5th generation farmer from rural Queensland in Australia (near Roma), I came to the realisation that stewardship of land with the fluency and capability that is part of Peter’s DNA is as relevant to leadership of any enterprise that holds the ongoing health and wellbeing of ALL of humanity and Earth. Indeed, the role of leader as steward in our business enterprises could well learn from farmers such as Peter.
In Peter’s words,
” I am a farmer who is passionate about agriculture and its valuable contribution to modern society. I believe we must operate as a team in conjunction with our urban counterparts for the long term financial and environmental sustainability of Australia. I believe by encouraging ways for people to connect to the land they will be able to keep their lives in a healthy perspective in this fast paced and rapidly changing world.”
To contact Peter, [email protected]
The typical male thing is to jump in and try to fix things.
The challenges in farming include financial, water, environment, soil, plus not mentioned, legacy and experience. (As young people do not want to learn farming as it is a very hard way to make ends meet/or not make ends meet.)
One of the biggest issues is that so much of the global population are removed from farming. Several generations ago you would find cousins or family members who were farmers, but this is becoming less and less.
Farmers are the front line of stewarding the land
Farmers are being pressured by the financial system to produce more and more for less and less and less. We have an oversupply of food in the world.
Peter tried to work on optimising self, land, relationships. If we continue to maximise something will break.
Listening to and understanding the capability of your land.
“If you look after nature nature will look after you.”
Peter’s life in agriculture were his first memories.
Dust storms are critical for nutrition to be dropped in the ocean for sea life.
Regenerative agriculture has the ability to draw out of the atmosphere all of the CO2 in as short a time frame as four to five years, but to do this all of agriculture needs to change its practises dramatically.
What do we really value?
The huge value in true reflection. Stopping and pondering deeply.
Peter talks about his experience of how the climate is changing on the land he has lived on all of his life.
The thinking that says milk comes from a shelf in the grocery store.
Half the world is starving and half the world is obese and there is just a handful in the middle.
An outright failure of collective human will.
Life force energy – if we break the connection to this we might as well be robots
What is the carrying capacity of the land?
Bucky Fuller’s work on the correlation between poverty and birth rates
Changing the world overnight – its a bloody long night
A mixture of persistence and patience, with a dose of trust
To partner with and be a forever student of the land.
The leader as Steward.
Letting go as a leader.
If you cannot listen to yourself you cannot listen to anyone else.