Sustainable Farming for Futures: Elena Duggan & Dr Anika Molesworth
Aussie cook Elena Duggan catches up with Farmers for Climate Action founder, Dr Anika Molesworth to discuss her work in sustainable farming.
Growing up on a sheep farm, Dr Anika Molesworth has always been inspired by her natural environment. A scientist and farmer, the wildlife and biodiversity of her family’s Broken Hill farm helped her develop an understanding of the importance of sustainability and becoming a custodian of the land. In 2015, Anika helped form Farmers for Climate Action, an activist group with over 5000 farming members and a common goal to tackle climate change in the agricultural industry.
Anika’s passion for championing sustainable farming is supported by a PhD centred in Southeast Asia, where she developed a knowledge of traditional methods such as recycling and making the most of precious resources; “I feel so privileged to be able to work alongside Australian farmers as well as agricultural researchers because every day on the farm there is a new challenge… the Aussie farmer is working out how to overcome that challenge and how to do something better tomorrow.”
In recent years the agricultural industry has received an influx of negative media coverage regarding its impact on the environment. Anika aims to challenge this perception; “I think it's really important to bridge that disconnect between urban consumers and the people who are growing their food… [so they can] trust the farmers are doing the very best that they can.”
To celebrate Anika’s work, we invited cook and 2016 Winner of MasterChef Australia, Elena Duggan to make her a delicious Moroccan Spiced Leg of Lamb. According to Elena, a legend is “someone who's making a positive change, having an incredible impact on not only their life and the lives of others but… the earth.”
With a passion for food and a strong interest in causes like sustainability, Elena sees the immense value of Anika’s work; “She could have run and hidden… but instead she's trying to figure out how to make this industry [and] this country richer for it [by] trying to educate others,… innovate [and] make sure that [farming] is sustainable, [so] that we can all enjoy it.” With farmers making up 1% of the Australian population, yet responsible for producing 93% of the food we consume; Elena believes it is time to give back to our agricultural sector.
For Elena, lamb has always been a dish for celebrating with loved ones, her nan’s roast lamb a centrepiece each Christmas; “I love that it's generous and that you can share it and always with sharing comes storytelling and togetherness.” Anika shares a similar sentiment; “I think we should celebrate food… it brings family and friends together [around the table], it is these beautiful flavours that also nourish your body and that food is produced in the best way possible by Australian farmers… so that's something I'm super proud of.”
To learn more about Farmers for Climate Action, visit https://farmersforclimateaction.org.au/
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