FEATURED: Jigsaw Farms ahead of the pack on carbon

By: Anna Game-Lopata

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Jigsaw Farms Manager Mark Wootton will host ten innovative young farmers touring Victoria on the ‘Carbon Bus’ a national agriculture initiative aimed at addressing climate change.

FEATURED: Jigsaw Farms ahead of the pack on carbon
Principal and Manager of Jigsaw Farms Mark Wootton

Carbon sense makes economic sense. That’s the mantra of sheep and cattle farmer Mark Wootton, who is Principal and Manager of Jigsaw Farms near Hamilton in Victoria.

"I get frustrated people see carbon management and financial viability as opposites to each other when I don’t think they are," he says of the issue he has carefully made his life’s work. 

Made up of 13 farms across 16,500 acres (6,677 hectares), Jigsaw Farms is a reflection of the efforts of Mark and his wife, Eve, to build a flexible, highly economic enterprise integrating a variety of approaches to the reduction of carbon emissions, in particular methane, which the Woottons have calculated comprises the bulk of their carbon footprint.

Originally a geography teacher, Mark Wootton started working on farms when he was 18.

He and Eve, who he met at school, tried their hands at teaching in Africa and sustainable building back in Melbourne, but always nurtured a passion for the agriculture and production lifestyle.

While still teaching in Gippsland, their farming experience began with a 6ha vealer operation.

Together they now preside over a little more than 90,000 dry sheep equivalents (DSE), which equates to nearly 60,000 sheep and lambs, as well as close to 1,000 head of calving cows, breeding cattle and calves.

Wootton believes the measures he has taken to combine high input, modern production methods with a calculated plan for emissions reduction has been the key to the strong output of Jigsaw Farms.

Instrumental in the creation of Australia’s Climate Institute and currently its Chair, Wootton is practicing what he preaches

Read all about Mark Wootton’s fascinating strategy at Jigsaw Farms in the May issue of NewFarmMachinery on sale May 19. Subscribe to the magazine to never miss an issue.

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