rural climate solutions

Meet Anika Molesworth, farmer, scientist and storyteller.

How I start my day …

As dawn light melts over the landscape and the air hangs in stillness, I go walking over Wilyakali land. Red sand crunches beneath my boots, and my dogs run ahead of me. I breathe in the freshness and newness of the morning, filling my lungs with the Country I care about. I start every day observing and connecting with my home, a place I spend my waking hours striving to protect.

On ambition …

I’m not driven by ambition but rather a sense of responsibility — our duty of care for our environment, for each other, and for the next generation. Responsibility to acknowledge what’s not working and to try to fix things. I do believe that it’s our responsibility — all of us — to take actions that address the climate crisis. There is an abundance of ways that we can make better choices in our homes, food, clothing, transport, energy, businesses and communities. And it’s our responsibility to evolve better ways of living so we can look after our beautiful planet.

On work-life balance …

The activities I undertake, often called “work”, can’t be separated from who I am. My hobbies, my interests, my education, my profession are all ingrained in my life and a part of me. When I take “time off” I spend it with nature and I study the natural world around me, reading books, writing and capturing the beauty of this world in photos and film. I also do all these activities when I’m not having time off. I gravitate towards things that give me energy and fill my soul, and perhaps I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to make a life where my work doesn’t need to be separated from it.

On success …

Success for me has a planet that does not need saving. To achieve that, we’re going to have to work hard, work quickly and work together.

On Climate Wise Agriculture …

Farmers live and work so closely with the natural world, so of course, they are some of the first to feel the true impacts of the climate crisis. It is not some abstract concept to them. I created Climate Wise Agriculture as a knowledge-sharing platform. I research, deliver talks, run workshops, write articles and work in a way that connects people to the climate challenges the world faces and empowers them to act.

On raising awareness around climate change and the impact, it has on the farming industry …

I spend a lot of time talking and working with subsistence agriculturalists in developing nations. These people have contributed so little to the climate crisis yet are some of the most vulnerable to its impacts. It’s criminal that the world’s farmers are, generally speaking, the hungriest, poorest and most nutritionally deprived people on the planet. Climate change is grossly unfair and farmers are hit first and worst by its devastation. Changing rainfall patterns, higher temperatures, and extreme weather events like bushfires, droughts and floods all affect what food can be grown and where.

The good news is that the food and farming sector holds an abundance of solutions to these problems, and when better practices are implemented, there is a flow of positive benefits to nutrition, health, equality and livelihoods.

What I do to blow off steam …

I go for a walk, find my horse (who roams a very large paddock and so it takes a long time to find her) and stroke her velvet muzzle. She has a calming influence on me. Alternatively, I pour myself some jasmine tea and lie in bed with a good book. And if neither of those things feels appropriate in the moment, I slip on my boxing gloves and go give my boxing bag a pounding!

What’s next for you personally …

I am always creating — writing, taking photos, making films — because I feel so inspired by the natural world around me, and I want to share its beauty and help others fall in love with it as I have.

What can we do to join your mission …

Everyone is involved in the farming system every time they put a plate of food in front of themselves. What we choose to eat, how we eat it, what we spend on it and how we waste it flow back to influence the farmer in the field and the natural world they work alongside. If people want a planet with
a healthy climate, then taking action through our food is an easy way to do that. Eat local, seasonal, nutrient-dense foods, largely plant-based, which have not come from the other side of the globe, which are not wrapped in plastic and that have not been ultra-processed. Pay a fair and proper price for good food and please, don’t waste it.

Kate Duncan

Kate Duncan

Kate Duncan is the Editor of WellBeing and WILD. She loves surfing, creating raw desserts, flowing through nourishing yoga sequences and spending time with her new pooch, Maribou.

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