In the paddock – an earthy welcome to Anne Coote
Climate Friendly is happy to welcome Anne to our team as Section Head – Agroecology. Based in the North West Local Land Services region, Anne brings her expertise and energy to her role leading Climate Friendly’s soil based and regenerative carbon farming project development.
Name: Anne Coote
What people call me:
Where were you brought up as a child?
I was raised on the land, on my parent’s mixed farming property between Warialda and North Star east of Moree.
Who has been the most influential person in your life?
My father. He taught me a love of the land and in particular a love of the soil. As a child, I recall he was forever grabbing a handful of soil, playing with worms, dung beetles and identifying plants, the soil was full of life and had this distinctive, wonderful smell. So strong was this influence that it ignited a passion, motivating me to build a wonderful career in agriculture and natural resources. He gave me an early start on my path to the knowledge that healthy soil is critical to creating productive landscapes.
Where do you live now and why?
My home and heart are at ‘Neringla’ (means ‘place of water’) on our property on Kamilaroi country west of Moree. I am grateful to have travelled and had amazing experiences but here at home I can practice regenerative farming and have every excuse to get active with my horses.
What is your passion and how did you get started on it?
It is all about healthy soils and holistic people and land management. I am a member of an active, growing, and inspirational community of people exploring how we can create healthy soil again, making our land more productive and more resilient at the same time. You know, I am most comfortable when my feet are on the land, and I am talking with fellow farmers, discussing shared experiences, challenges, and practices to choose from. It is a lifelong learning experience and you feel the full range of emotions, trying things out, seeing them fail, celebrating when they succeed. It is why I am excited to join Climate Friendly leading the push into a more integrated approach to carbon farming combining both agriculture and ecology of our landscapes. I get to preach what I practice, and earn a living from it, too. How good is that?
I have worked in a vast range of agribusiness, from providing agronomic advice, supporting the development of new practices like conservational tillage & biotechnology, extension, environmental auditing & risk management in agricultural insurance. After a change in thinking several years ago, I have done a 180 and am following my core beliefs and values to work with others passionate about healthy landscapes. In this process I have been working in natural resource management, extension and recently in biodiversity management with State government.
Continuing to learn and study every year has also provided me with a wonderful curiosity, to keep asking questions, to find out why things cannot be achieved. During this process and trying things out myself, I’ve confirmed my belief that healthy fertile soils lead to healthy food and healthy people. I am also active in the Regenerative Agriculture community which stimulates your thoughts and helps to build knowledge from other practitioners. We need to change what we are currently doing to build industries and communities fit for the future.
How did you get into this type of work?
The timing has been perfect. I was approached by Zoe Ryan who heads Climate Friendly’s business development team to discuss new ways for landholders to benefit from carbon farming. From there an opportunity opened up and I jumped at the chance to being part of this journey. The team at Climate Friendly are as passionate as I am about the land and the people whose livelihoods depend upon it. The opportunities to improve soil health as a part of carbon farming are growing and my day is filled doing what I love – talking with like-minded land managers about improving their properties.
If you weren’t answering these questions right now what would you rather be doing?
Playing with my horse, they are great educators. Giddyup! It’s going to be a good ride.