A new initiative towards carbon-positive livestock management

BY PETER RICHARDSON, CEO @ MaiaGrazing

In a world where the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, I often see the finger pointed at livestock producers for the methane emissions of their grazing animals. Yet we now know that far from being the root cause of the problem, livestock producers can in fact be an important part of the solution.  

With good grazing management, and a corresponding improvement in pasture yield, livestock producers have the potential to draw carbon out of the atmosphere and into their soils.

What makes this all the more tantalising is that carbon markets offer the potential for graziers to get paid to do this.  

Take for instance long-term MaiaGrazing producer Wilmot Cattle Company. They secured a landmark carbon credit deal with Microsoft in early 2021 for storing more carbon than they emitted. Without a planned grazing approach, supported by timely, evidence-based decisions, Wilmot would not have been able to achieve these gains in such a short period of time, or have them independently verified. 

Following news of the Wilmot deal, we have been inundated by requests for more information on the topic. Much of the spotlight has focussed on the “who, what, and when”. However, the “how” is really what is going to drive success for these long-term carbon projects, and that is where we come in.  

We have come to realise that our company is at a crucial intersection of interests.

By underpinning the adoption of better grazing management, we are not only able to contribute positively to production outcomes, but also provide tangible value to graziers who are hoping to embark on their carbon journey. 

Therefore, after careful planning, we recently decided to put together a new initiative called Banksia, in collaboration with Wilmot Cattle Company and Macdoch Ag Group, to address this intersection of interests. The objective of this initiative is to make it easier for graziers to participate in carbon projects. 

Whilst we are still in the early stages of development with this initiative, some key ways in which Banksia may be able to support graziers interested in participating in a carbon project include: 

  • Metrics and data to help a grazier evaluate how a carbon project can fit into their broader grazing enterprise 
  • Natural capital development plans specific to a grazier’s property and enterprise needs 
  • Providing the tools that simplify the journey towards the desired carbon outcomes 
  • Using grazing and practice adoption data to unlock new financing and milestone payment options 

Most importantly, I’d like to reiterate that at MaiaGrazing our key mission is to improve the lives of graziers. We are on your side. 

We believe that demand for carbon projects will be a catalyst for increased adoption of good grazing management, and we want to help make it as easy as possible for everyone to participate.

The true benefit in all this is the possibility of more resilient landscapes, more profitable grazing businesses, and a legacy of enhanced natural capital to be passed on to the next generation and beyond. 

Below is an FAQ on Banksia that covers common questions: 

Q: “Do I need to be a MaiaGrazing customer before being considered for the Banksia initiative?” 

A: No, you don’t need to be an existing MaiaGrazing customer to be considered for the Banksia initiative. You don’t even have to be an expert at planned grazing to qualify. The key considerations are that you run or own a grazing operation in Australia and have a healthy curiosity on how you can leverage carbon projects to grow your business. 

Q: “I’ve been using MaiaGrazing for the last few years, will anything change?” 

A: We remain absolutely committed to helping you achieve Grazing Success with MaiaGrazing. We will not be interrupting the current MaiaGrazing user experience while the Banksia initiative takes place. We are always looking to enhance and improve MaiaGrazing, and are constantly refining our product based on valuable insights from our customers, so MaiaGrazing product feature releases will continue in the background. 

Q: “I’m keen to learn more about Banksia, who should I get in touch with?” 

A: Great – we’re excited to hear that. Please send an email to banksia@maiagrazing.com and a team member from the Banksia initiative will respond to you directly.  

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