Teale Simmons is the creator of Agriculture Explained, where we explain all things Agriculture. We aim to grow students, hobbyists, and farmers for a more sustainable future in agriculture. From animal production to soil management, Agriculture Explained aims to provide quality educational resources to further develop your understanding of Agriculture.
How Young Farmers Are Changing the Way to Farm and Taking a New Approach to Regenerative Farming
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Regen Ray: Hello, soil lovers, and welcome to another episode of Secrets of the Soil. I’m your host region, right? And I’m really excited to dig deeper with our guest today because he’s our youngest guest that we’ve had on the show. And when I met our guest from today, I just had to invite him because I get really excited when we see some of the young youth embracing the soil and regenerative. So let’s welcome Teal Simmons. Welcome to the show.
Teale: Thanks very much for having me. Yeah, thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk and podcast today .
Regen Ray: Excellent. Well, you got your own YouTube channel and you’re creating content in the paddock, and that got me very excited to invite you to talk to our soil lovers today. So tell us a little bit about yourself, and I believe you’re a fifth-generation farmer. So, yeah, share with our community who you are.
Teale: Yes, that’s exactly right. So I’m a fifth-generation farmer out of the Hawkesbury, so that is about an hour and a half-hour from now west of Sydney. So originally my family used to run, I guess, have citrus orchards on the Hawkesbury. So run the Hawkesbury It’s a lovely spot. And then my dad took over the farm and started doing organic vegetables, so that was all good. The changing, I guess, farming practices were about 15 years ago. We started doing free-range pigs. Now the free-range pigs, I guess we started implementing that because we needed a way to get rid of our organic potatoes. So we had a lot of organic potatoes. Almost our signature vegetable bone is a really good way of getting rid of these potatoes organically. So we put some pigs in and we found that they would turn the soil over quite well and ate the potatoes and then that also manure. And so you get this really nice integrated system between the potatoes and the pigs. Anyway, we are we try and take a really good relationship with our restaurants and butchers that was supplied to. So we had we had them out, I guess, a couple of times to have a look at the potatoes. And I and I saw that we were using pigs and I got pretty excited about that. So they they asked my dad, Oh, when my when you have some piglets spar, can we have some? And so that’s pretty much how he said. Free-Range pigs and found pretty much better farming economics, doing pigs, the profit margins, I guess. So yeah, it’s so I’m doing that. So I love
Regen Ray: the fact that, you know, that whole model was a bit organic in itself. You know, it’s just like one problem solving another created another outcome. And yeah, that’s I think that’s how farming should be not really over thought. And so, yeah, and so and then what happened next and how did you get so interested in the farming system and led you on to creating content?
Teale: Yeah. So I always grew up on a farm. We got pictures of me sitting on my watermelons when I was younger on the tractor. It was a great childhood, growing up on a farm. And so I was always involved in farming practices and just doing things on farms. Most of the selling. So I remember we used to sell at farmer’s markets and we used to go around to each store and ask if they’re about to trade. So I’d go up to them so I can I can I get like a bagel or something and try and try them like chilled potatoes? And looking back on it now, I never knew really if they wanted that trade, but I was quite really wanting to make that trade silence. This might happen other than that my other times, I was helping out on the farm, trying different things, tried growing pumpkins, but failed quite badly because I wasn’t. I knew how to grow them, but I didn’t know how to sell them. So looking back on it now is a great opportunity to learn a bit more about business and more of that business side of agriculture, which we don’t really talk too much about it. But it’s it’s it’s just as important. It’s growing. I guess the the produce is what I learnt was you can grow as much produce and the best produce, but you can’t sell it, then you’re not going to make anything. So the great lesson I learnt. So from there, I guess high school. So I finished high school last year. So yes, quite young. Now I’m studying agricultural science at the University of Sydney, so I’m taking a major in plant production and a second major in source for science and hydrology. So everything from the ground up, really. And then I’ll take a couple of units in animal production. So we’re really wanting to learn about that holistic everything, I guess integrative systems with with agriculture. But so I started agriculture explained as a way to solve like a problem I saw during the HSC. So my high school is and one of my subjects was agriculture and also had some other science subjects too. But I found. There wasn’t many resources online, but gave out good resources for agriculture, so as of chemistry, math and physics, and there’s quite a lot of people doing that in the resources quite well. I have quite good, but there wasn’t many in agriculture, so I thought, well, I might as well be the person to start it and just producing just free content for students and farmers. So my my goal is to supply just high school level to university level resources, educational resources for everyone to get a good foundational knowledge on agriculture. That’s yeah, it’s about main agriculture explained.
Regen Ray: I love it. Just it’s such a great story in regards, you know, the fact that you’re solving a problem and I’ve watched your videos and that’s kind of what we met in one of these Zoom meetings that is happening all around the world now thanks to COVID. And we’re in all these virtual spaces and I saw your background. And if you’re on the social learning center and you’re watching the video version of this Teale does a great way of just showing up with these brand. You know, he’s got his YouTube channel background picture in the background with all the links and so forth. And I went, Wow, this someone who’s like gets marketing and gets branding and your story about the pumpkins is interesting because a lot of farmers are selling a secret. They’ve got really good produce. They got really good ethics and values, but no one knows about it. And in marketing, one on one, it’s like you can’t sell a secret and then you fall into the commodities market where you go and outsource the selling to someone else and it gets mixed with all the rest, you know? And that’s not a true testament to the story and the effort that you’ve put into your farm and you’re growing. So I love that story of, you know what? Some might see failure, but a massive learning experience for you that has led you to start this YouTube channel and and you’ve alluded that you just finished a high school and you might not want to exclose your age, but for such a young mindset to have this, I think it’s really, really exciting about that. And I just want to share with the listeners. They’re really entertaining videos because you bring out the whiteboard or it’s like a chalkboard and you’ve got diagrams and arrows. And you know, where did you get that idea? Is it just something you thought of because of the resources you had? Or is that the way that you learned through visual?
Teale: Yeah. Funny story. Well, I guess we had a big board of just playing board, I guess, and I didn’t really want to spend too much money outside of this. I didn’t want to spend too much money because I didn’t know much. And so I some chalk paint in the shed. You know, I had this board or I might as well just paint the board with that Topanga. And so I didn’t have to go buy a chalkboard, so I did not intend to turned it alright or probably fix it up, to be honest.
Regen Ray: No, I like it.
Teale: So, yeah, I guess that works well for me. And I guess it also gives that kind of learning feel to a maybe back in the day or no need to. So primary school, my teacher used to use it chalkboard. So it’s not too old, but I think it goes back to really putting that like class setting by really getting everyone ready to learn
Regen Ray: a bit nostalgic. I like that and and, you know, true, you know, pharma innovation. It’s like, Look around the shed. What have I got that all, do you know you just, you know, sticky tape it together and moving forward is more important than waiting to order the whiteboard and, you know, chalkboard and waiting for it to be perfect. And I think that that authenticity comes through in your videos, which is the feeling I got and that’s why I got excited. When I watched your stuff, I was like, Oh, this is someone I need to get on the podcast and really exciting because it’s a young voice, you know? And I think if we want to start talking to the new generation of farmers who are learning through YouTube and Zoom calls, you know, people like yourself and myself who were embracing the technology, it’s game changing for a lot of people, a bit of a breath of fresh air to go. Oh, finally, someone who’s giving me YouTube videos that are entertaining and educational. I want to change gears a little bit. So what with your YouTube channel and the content that you’re learning, you mentioned that you’re also studying. Are you using this as a way of documenting and learning out loud what you’re currently learning? Or have you already learned this stuff and you’re going to university to solidify a piece of paper to prove that you’ve got the education? And what does education mean for you?
Teale: Yes, I am a little bit of both, I guess so. I believe teaching is the best way to cement that knowledge. So you learn it, but you can’t really, truly say, you know something until you can really implement it. So for me, I found that teaching it, that teaching, I guess these agricultural lessons really helped me to consolidate. But also I also want to give back and help students. So that’s. A massive, I guess, thing to me so loud. Helping myself alone, but also teaching others so all that, I guess what I’m teaching now through agriculture explained, is based off the HSC agriculture syllabus. So I’m going to reach that point. It’s really tailored for students, but it’s a fundamental knowledge that all farmers or hobbyists and gardeners really should know. So it’s like the what’s the difference in a modern gastric animal to ruminant for? What’s the characteristic to soil? It’s that really basic, not basic, but the fundamental building blocks that we have to learn upon. So that’s I guess what I’ve been up to now in uni. I’m learning a whole lot more, a lot more advanced stuff, but eventually I will make videos about a lot more of that high level, a bit more advanced content, then also making content on, I guess, what I’ve been up to on on the farm as well.
Regen Ray: Yeah, documenting what you’re doing. I like the fact that your videos are somewhat in the classroom, so to speak on the blackboard. But then you also go out into the paddock and you’re showing the soil and you’re going through the elements and so forth. So I think that is a nice balance of learning and also feeling like you kind of trans, you know, transported into the paddock with you. And for someone who lives in the city and stuck in an apartment, that’s really refreshing to be taken out into the paddock and to see that and having the ability to have the technology to capture all that, which I know is a bit of a challenge for a lot of people who are doing some really amazing works. I love the fact that you’re shedding some light on that. Your channel focus is a lot on. So health and the word regenerative. What does that word mean to you?
Teale: Yes, I’ve I’ve had a quite a while to think about this, and in one of my early videos I came up with, I guess, the definition of it, and it was something along the lines of managing natural processes to improve natural systems within a farming enterprise. So that’s more looking at at it within a farm. And so I really believed in, I guess, the stewardship role of farmers. So we’re not forcing farms to do anything in particular, but we’re just working alongside our farms to make them the best they can and then pretty much take off any excess that the farm doesn’t need itself. And that’s pretty much what I believe where we’re going to get out yield and profit from. But I also been thinking about it recently and the importance of regeneration regeneration in the farming business as well. I think that farmers, we fundamentally where businesses. And so we need to make sure that we have a really high financial literacy. So I believe regeneration regenerative farming is much more than just building up soil fertility and making sure that we have really healthy plants and animals, but also moves into our economic and social, our social impacts in our community and where a farm, I guess, impacts. So I think it’s a much more holistic way of thinking about the farm.
Regen Ray: Couldn’t agree more. And you know, the fact that your mind focus of functions like this for ages is super impressive because when I came into this space from the marketing and business and startup world, that was one of the things that I realized is a lot of farmers were just focusing on the farming aspect, and they weren’t looking at all the business side of it and what you said, they, you know, they might have land literacy and knowing how to read the landscape. But what about the financial literacy, you know, and not outsourcing that to the bank manager and going, Are we all good? Is this season okay? You know, what do I need to make this year? But, you know, really bringing that in and treating the farm enterprise as a business and seeing where there are areas and I love your, you know, your regeneration definition in regards to the surplus and putting that back into the farming system. And I think, you know, it was evident, even like the pig situation where, you know, you used that to fix the potato problem and that then led to having pigs and then you sold them. And it is all kind of natural. And I think when we zoom out and you used also the word holistic scene, all the many parts that create the whole is where the opportunity lies, you know, seen one enterprise output as the input for the next enterprise or bringing another talent into the farm and starting a new venture from that. So in your what’s your roadmap for the farm and for others? How do they how do they stop thinking about financial literacy? Is it self-education? Is it mentoring? What’s like a key that helps? That is a mindset?
Teale: Yeah. Well, I guess I’m a bit biased because I guess I’m a YouTuber now, but YouTube university is one of the best place to go, learn things. I love that . It’s pretty much all of my not all, but a lot of my business literacy skills, I’ve learned pretty much on YouTube. So if you just type in or search business skills, there’s a thousand one different channels that will teach you this. So it is. Education and education is really important if we want to change practices. So it doesn’t just have to be filing practices, but any practice that you want to change. You have to make sure you know that you can change pretty much in what the change is. So you need that education. They also need that mindset, too. So it’s that you need both really to make change, but also to keep that change and not continuously be changing. Yup. And I guess we can relate. I guess that evolution in economics in a way in which is that the most fit survive pretty much. And so in a business situation, you most competitive and honest, best businesses survive. So you have to make sure you understand that, I guess, business and in how it connects to other of the greate macroeconomics, I guess. Mm-Hmm. Because if we if we don’t understand business, we can’t really survive in a. In the greater economics. Yeah.
Regen Ray: Yeah, I think from the nature, well, like a natural selection type of things, you know, like the fit of the fittest and you know, there is a bit of an ecosystem where they all work together. Yeah, I like that. And I think, you know that whole point of. Because I’m very guilty. I see YouTube as a university as well. There’s a lot of trash videos on there, but there’s also a lot of educational and it’s a balance, you know, educate and then relax and then educate and then relax. And I’ve learned a lot from what I call University of Life. And just from experience. Starting your own business is by far much better, in my opinion, than doing an MBA, you know, because you’re going to go, Yes, definitely learn it through experience and that fail. You know, I think we’re both big fans of Gary Vee, but like, you know that like hustling but being focused, but also learning through experience and go and make the mistakes and get back up and keep moving forward. And I think a farming enterprise is very much like that where you can innovate, you can make mistakes, you can network with your neighbors. And now your neighbors aren’t physical neighbors by the fence line. Your neighbors are global. You know, you can sit in a virtual zoom and have a yarn about, you know, your challenges on the farm and realize that people on the other side of the world are having exactly the same thoughts as you. You know, this is quite magical. This online learning platform. Have you always been someone who’s very keen to learn and self educate?
Teale: I think so. I guess my my learning journey, I guess I was quite slow to pick up my language, so I was a very changed speaker when I was quite young. I wasn’t speaking until five, six years of age, but I was really good at math. So I’m very math-minded , quite scientifically minded. So like primary school, I was not very good at that English kind of side, but math was really good at coming to high school. I if we could pick more of our units or subjects, and I went very much heavily on science, math, agriculture. So I don’t know, and I really, I guess, excelled in that because I found what I was like good at and interested in. So, yeah, so really playing to your strengths, I guess, and learning, but also having just a passion to learn it. Learning, I think, is so fundamental to improving yourself. And if you’re not learning every day or what are you doing, you have to like, learn every day, self improve and that will get you better and better each day. So that big mindset, I guess, about learning and being a kind of fail like failure, it sucks. But if you if you think about it and I guess in the long term, it’s better to fail now and learn from it now and improve than to fail later when I guess you might not have as much time to recover.
Regen Ray: Yeah, yeah. 100 percent. And reframing failure is like a lesson learned and using that to compound. You know, there are a lot of entrepreneurs out there that will fail for fail alot and every time they fail, they just know they’re compounding. You know, they’re not going out there purposely to fail, but it’s OK to learn from that. I guess, like, you’ve got this really unique position where you can learn and then go out into the paddock and you’re in an ecosystem that’s quite supportive of of that. I know that from my experience with some farmers, there is a little bit of resistance when it comes to talking about soil health and, you know, nurturing the soil and and that biology under the ground and so much easier just to get an input and throw it on the property. Want some advice that you can have to someone who maybe doesn’t have that open mindness ecosystem around them? Or maybe they don’t even have access to land, so they’re they’re learning. Any advice to those who don’t have that in class and out of classroom experience?
Teale: Yeah, I guess it’s a hard definitely with it’s a lot of farmers now not wanting things or anything, but I think a lot of farmers do, I guess, take up practices that they’ve always used in their grandfathers used and the fathers before that used. So it is, I guess, it’s a hard way to get out of a fixed mindset. But I guess changing your mindset is so fundamental fundamental to learning and being open to learning. So for I guess every farmer out there, I encourage you to just go in and learn something new, something that you haven’t learned before. Go listen to some other podcasts and really get into this learning. So I guess people that may not have that farm, but they can go do stuff on even, even in apartments, you can still set up a little micro gardens and learning, I guess, about your soil and how it interacts with your plants, but also for people that I guess a bit more the consumer. It’s a massive role for the consumer to support farms that they believe are taking up the right practices. So supporting your local farm, learning about where their produce actually comes from, that’s I think that’s a massive thing that the consumer and people that aren’t on farms can can take up.
Regen Ray: Yeah. I would second that 100 percent that voting with your dollars. I’ve often said that we’re focused so much about certifying the farmers that we sometimes maybe now need to certify the consumers. Are you a conscious buyer? Are you certified to buy food consciously that is supporting the right systems? And I I love that you’ve taken that to that point because I think most people who are listening to this content, like even in our communities, people who come into our Facebook group, they’re not on the land, they’re not they don’t have access to it. I’m the same. I live in an apartment, but it hasn’t stopped me from being super curious. Buying a microscope. Buying soil test kits. Playing around with worm farms. Doing, you know, a lot of other courses to say, What can I do with the resources that I’ve currently got here? And I get to live through a lot of our members who hang out in the school learning center about, you know, seeing what they’re doing on their land, and I get that kind of fix through through others. But of course, I love to be on the landers as well. But being a consumer and being a conscious shopper, I think that is such a great thing that all the soil lovers is listening to. This podcast is really just take that moment to sit with that and think about like, what can you do today or tomorrow or this week or this month that can change your openness to support a farmer or to buy something more organic or Regeneratively grown and even understand what that is and then teach it to someone else? You know, because I think what you said before until about learning something is one thing, but if you can then teach it to someone else, it solidifies it for you, but then starts that chain reaction to someone else doing the same. So have you seen the consumer trends change over the last, say, 12 to 24 months, especially with COVID or people more curious about where it goes?
Teale: Yeah, I think so. So we also some family farm. We also do a farmer’s market to Evily. So that’s in Sydney. And so I work there for during high school, just selling, I guess our pork and a lot of people come up in it and they’re just really interested in, I guess, understanding the processes of how to produce really good pork. And, you know, better practices, I believe, lead to better quality of produce. In terms of, I guess, last 12 months, I think people have put more time into understand more about what the eating. So have a bit more of a conscious mind to our health. And I believe health comes from, I guess, foods. So a lot of your health comes from food and the quality of the food they eat. So yeah, I think that. The consumer generally has to pay more, pay more attention to where that food is coming from, supporting local or Australian. And yeah,
Regen Ray: I think it’s been a little bit hard. I’m talking from Melbourne and maybe even Sydney. A lot of the farmers markets were affected by the lockdowns and closures and social distancing capacity numbers and so forth. But I think it’s definitely people have gone well. If I can’t go to a farmers market, how do I order directly and then farmers have gone, OK, well, I don’t know how to sell unless I go to a farmer’s market. So how do I set up a mini web shop? Or how do I go into a co-op and be able to move all my produce into a centralized place that people can come and buy their food from? So I think we all innovate in the Open Food Network is an example of that, where they’re empowering farmers to be able to set up an online presence and have a bit of an umbrella company around that. So I think there are a lot of innovation has happened over the last 24 months. And I think, you know, I walk down the aisles in the supermarkets and I see that there’s less of everything you know, and I don’t know what that means long term, but people are really wanting to know, how can I bring food power back into my domain? How can I make more, you know, better conscious decisions and the embracement of subscription models and selling directly, I think, is a much more powerful. Is that something that your farm system is looking at, like meat boxes and, you know, CSA models and things like that is that talk of the town?
Teale: So mainly mainly we just supply straight to butchers and restaurants. That’s mainly our main focus as well as the farmers’ markets. The problem, I think, with most farmers, so they just don’t have time. You don’t have time to package everything into boxes and send it out and not too sure how to overcome that or if it’s just that on per farm basis. But a lot of but a lot of farmers where we’re juggling so many roles, you know, we have to make sure we’re going to produce and then we have to. So we have to take that production. So about as I was saying before, but also the business side too. So there’s a lot of things to juggle. I’m not sure how to Overcome that problem , but co-ops are definitely option or setting up similar structures.
Regen Ray: Also, the fact that the problem is there is a good thing to address because that means that there’s a demand, you know, and so people. I’ve heard a lot of stories of people going, Look, we love selling farm gate. We love selling directly, but we also need to grow and we need to get out into the paddock. And we can’t be manning a, you know, a farm gate all day, every day because it gets us off the other other tasks. So I think that’s like, OK, well, now this is another issue that we need to solve. And I think a lot of minds out there are solving this as we speak and we don’t need to to to add to that. But I think that the point I’d like to make and for everyone who’s listening, is that there is a big consumer demand to buy directly and support farms locally. And even, you know, through CSA models where people are buying shares into the farm yields and produce rather than just a subscription box. And I love that we’re starting to have more of those kind of conversations here in Australia because I’ve seen that model work really well in America, but not so much here where we kind of go in with the farmer as a business partner and a shareholder of the yields. And so I think new conversations, new problems and a good way of of it. You’ve spoken a lot about the interconnections of all the farm systems and the business mind and the growing and so forth. Like how connected is everything on a farm system and what are the kind of things that you’ve observed about the interconnection of mindset farming growing your spirit, soul and then the produce?
Teale: This I think everything is connected on the farm . So your mindset to all of the farm is pretty much connected to every, every part of your education as a farmer and how you see your farm fundamentally affects probably, well, you know, management strategies. So, you know, everything is built off of soil and water and sun. So that’s pretty much where everything on farm comes from. And so everything from there flows on. So your plants are affected by soil directly and you plant, I am sorry, animals ate the plants and then we harvest all of that, which is where we get it. I guess our business from. So the the role, I guess the farmer has is making sure that is managed correctly. So if you don’t have the right education to make sure that runs smoothly or as effectively as it can be, then that’s going to influence the whole farm. So everything in a farm is connected. And I would encourage everyone again to understand how these pieces are connected because what you do on one side, the farm will most likely affect the other side of the farm. The water the flow of water on a farm is connected to everything, to that affects your soil on you . the animals. So understanding and have a look at your farm and seeing where, well, your water flows and minerals are going to move. And if you gonna have. So not the aggregation, but erosion and where all the minerals are going to move to understanding all of that and how it affects the farm. I think just understanding every bit and how it connects is fundamental. It’s fundamental to, I guess, improving effect effectively. But yeah,
Regen Ray: I love that your wisdom on that is just so profound. Like I said, I think it takes most people pretty much their whole life to understand the connectedness of all the elements of the farm. And just hearing you explain that gives me so much hope about the future of farming. And, you know, zoomed out view and understand that what you’re doing on this side of the paddock is affecting the other side of the paddock or the other side of the farm or even, you know, downstream, you know what you’re putting into your property is going into the waterways is causing erosion, is affecting the farm down, down, down the river is affecting the wildlife is, you know, reducing the biodiversity. You know, just the soil water, Sun elements that basically key and how connected they are is super simple in a way yet so many people don’t get it, you know, and that’s that’s one of the mind blowing things that I have when I come into this space. And we watched did a documentary with our members recently, and one of the people just said, this is just common sense like this is a no brainer. You know, like, I know, you know, you take it to the converted, you know, how do we make it mainstream?
Teale: And I’ll give you an example, I guess, of what we’ve done on our farm. So I’ve moved to a couple of cows from one paddock to another because the the passion, the first paddock was going a bit low. So in the second paddock, I divided it into smaller lots where it’s on a it’s on a slightly sloped paddock. So at the top of the slope, we have a heap of trees and as well as the water draft and at the bottom, the grass in the pasture there is a bit better. So what you find when you put the housing is that they’ll rest and drink up at the top and then they’ll spend a lot of time there just chilling out. But then they’ll move down to the bottom and eat all that grass and whatnot and then move back up to the top. But during that process, you’re moving. I got soil organic matter, not organic matter, but soil matter. No organic matter from the grass on bottom and the moving up to the top where the cars with the manure. So then you getting this cycle of nutrients across, I guess, your landscape. So just by changing your paddock design and where you’re putting your water trough in your trees, a fix? Well, the distribution of nutrients across the landscape. I mean, it’s just those little things that you can you can just tweak and make a system so much more effective.
Regen Ray: One hundred percent. And I think, oh gosh, soil lovers, I really want you to understand that what you just explained is that you can get the animals to do the heavy lifting for you. You’re getting, you know, by just looking at your landscape, deciding, making better decisions of where your water trophies can actually help you, you know, fertilize the farm and move minerals around and and watching the land and the literacy of the land. And I think that’s just a really great example. And I’m sure you’ve got hundreds of all these, and I’d really love for you to put more of these. I use this kind of content that you’re going to be putting out on your YouTube channel.
Teale: Like this? Yeah. So currently, I’m doing a lot of animal Production, plant production and regenerative agriculture practices and techniques, so if you want to check out more of that kind of things, I’ll be talking a lot about these different practices and and how we can use our land a bit more regeneratively and different practices and techniques we can implement. So all of that will be on YouTube channel, also on Facebook. So you can see what I’ve been up to on on our farm. Yeah.
Regen Ray: And for those listening and watching, the links will be around the show. I, you know, just just really want to get this information out and I want to live and learn through you and with you. You know what I mean? Like taking us out into the paddock and just giving visual representations of what you just explained there? I think so many people have that penny drop moment or that aha moment where they go, Oh, that just makes so much sense. And it’s that paradigm shift that then gives us the ability to think differently. You know, seeing is believing, and I’m so glad that you shared that story with us and our soil lovers listeners because it’s those type of paradigm shifts and examples that you just don’t see when you have the other glasses on. You know, you just so focused on yields and inputs and making ends meet. It’s really hard to be creative and and and think so with abundance and thriving. When you’re coming more from a scarcity and survival mode, you know this better yield because we’re going to lose the farm type of thing and there’s a lot of people in that situation. So I think, you know, with with with working smarter rather than harder and utilizing all the many parts to help you build a better, smarter business, I think is really, really exciting for the future of farming. Do you see a lot more young people getting excited about farming? Because I feel like we’ve gone through this little bit of drought of talent where people were like, I don’t want to have the life that my parents had, and some parents probably don’t want their kids to have the life that they had. Are you seeing that narrative change a little bit?
Teale: Sadly, no, I don’t. I don’t think so. What I’ve observed from, I guess and at my university, I am, I think one of 20 or 30 people take my course, which is very small. It’s I don’t think many people set out to go into agriculture and I don’t know what it might be money in there or the amount of working hours. I know a lot of people move away from the dairy industry because, well, the pay versus what you have to do. I think there’s better opportunities. Something else. So it’s it’s a really hard problem that we have to fix because what we need, I guess, more young talent and more young people joining agriculture. And I think one of the things we can majorly implement is new technology. So there’s there’s automated milk is like milking robots. They can now get in your dairy so that. So this is what I get really excited about, because now you can take a really data driven approach to your farming. And so with data gives you more information about your farm and the enterprise, and then you can make really good decisions for farm. So implementing, I guess, better technologies into agriculture, I think, will lead to a greater profitability which will then attract younger people. And it’s a sad thing, I guess, in the world. But money really talks so where the money is, people go. And despite what you think, if that’s good or bad, it’s a what it is and there’s not much it will change about it. So you might as well, I guess, sit back and go, right, what can I do to to, I guess, bring people in? Hmm. And so, yeah, so that’s that’s a I guess a big problem, I say, in agriculture. So getting young people and implementing better technology.
Regen Ray: Well, I think you’re definitely on the journey to inspire more younger people to embrace this way of farming and learning. And I think we do need that bridge between where the technology is and go in and people getting excited about it and not feering it. You know, I think so many times we see innovation and technology being researched and a lot of farmers are spooked by that. I think, Oh, what am I going to do? I think for too long, the net worth of a farmer has been how many hours I sit on a tractor, you know, and that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re seen on the tractor doing the right thing. You know, a lot of resistance comes from no tilling because like, Well, then what am I going to do? Why am I needed on this farm if I don’t sit on a tractor for, you know, seven hundred hours a month? And so, yeah, that embracing of technology and getting excited about semi automation, data driven business decisions because it’s happening everywhere else. And I think you make a really good point that we can use this to get people excited about it and where the money flows people do go. You know, you’ve got a great point there as well. And one thing that I’ve learned recently is that if you don’t get in the middle of that money system and do something good with it, something else, someone else will get in the middle of that money. System and do whatever they want with it. So if you really want to have control of what’s happening with that money flow, you have to learn to embrace that and go, I’m going to come in and do something in this system and do something that’s ethical and right, because the money in the wrong hands can do really bad things as well. I think that’s where some people get scared about that whole capitalist movement is that it’s all doom and gloom. But if no one steps up and catches that money and does something pure with it, then it’s going to not fix itself, you know? So definitely you feel like that’s a great, great thing. Well, I think we can chat about farming and business and entrepreneurship and gadgets and gizmos all day every day because this is the stuff that gets me excited about this industry as well. But I want to ask you our signature question Are you ready to become the voice of our soils? Yes, for sure. Excellent. So if you were the voice of our soils and you could embody yourself and become the soil, what would you tell us on Earth?
Teale: So I guess this comes back to what my Year 12 teacher told me, she said. It’s not dirt, it’s soil. Don’t disrespect your soil. So that comes from, I guess, apply some understanding and really understanding how your soil is it build your farm. Ultimately, if you if you are not looking after your soil, you’re not looking after your farm. So respecting your soil and understanding its connection with everything else, I think that is what the soil, I guess would be telling us. So look at me look at me , and they think only can we soil respect and understanding
Regen Ray: love that respect and understand and stop treating me like dirt and start loving me like soil. I love that till the perfect note to end on. If people have become excited, which I know they will, how do they get to hang around with you more? What are your links and plug your your YouTube?
Teale: Yeah. So on YouTube at Agriculture explained, I go through all the fundamental things about agriculture, so not, I guess, everything basic and fundamental that you need to know for agriculture. Also on Facebook. If you want to see a bit more of that one on one, I guess having a look at our farm, what we’re doing. Also on LinkedIn as well. So yeah follow me there.
Regen Ray: got all the socials covered. I love it. All those links will be around the show notes and around the video. If you’re watching on the soil learning center deal, it has been an absolute pleasure digging deep with our souls today. True testament to what you’re doing. I can, you know, say that your videos, you know, for someone who’s been in the space for a little while, I’m I’m pretty new to it. But your videos just explaining so well and so refreshing. So I really encourage everyone to go out there and just watch a couple of the videos subscribe, hit the bell and get notified. When all the new videos land, you’re doing like one or two a week, which is just awesome to see that you’ve got the capacity to learn out loud and teach others. And you know, I really know that some of your videos will make the missing dots join for a lot of people because you just explain it in a real down to Earth Way pun intended.
Teale: Thank you. Thank you very much for having me on the podcast.
Regen Ray: No worries. It’s easy when we’ve got so much in common and the synergy just flows. I’ve really enjoyed crossing paths, and I really hope that our soul lovers enjoy this podcast. So on that note, thank you very much for hanging out with us today. I will look forward to seeing your next video landing very, very soon. And well, thank you very much, soil lovers. Really enjoyed it. Today’s conversation, so make sure that you get outside. Get your hands dirty. Go check out Teale’s YouTube channel and hit the Subscribe button, even with your dirty hands. Until next time, I’m Regen Ray.
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