Raised in the mid-north of South Australia, my early working life was on farms, shearing sheds, and vineyards.
Then policing in regional and country communities in South Australia and Queensland. Serving on numerous Boards, Management and Advisory Committees looking at diversity, inclusion, ‘at risk’ and community issues.
These experiences have given me a greater understanding of the pressures and demands faced by farmers and the agriculture industry.
Exploring how we farm into the future is the most significant challenge we face. Taking a landscaped approach to a circular environmental ecosystem gives us the best opportunity to empower the agriculture industry to sustain their future and the important role they play in society.
The Agricultural Abundance Program is an exciting opportunity for farmers to work together, share their knowledge, and use leading technology to restore their soil. Their actions today will ensure a legacy for future generations.
Healthy soils are the foundation for healthy crop and pasture production. Healthy soils also sequester more carbon and therefore contribute to climate change mitigation.
I graduated from China Agricultural University with a Bachelor's degree and Master's degree in Hydraulic Engineering in 2010 and 2012, and from the University of Sydney with a PhD degree in Soil Science in 2016.
Then, I went to work as an environmental researcher at Shandong Academy of Sciences. In 2018, I began to work as an environmental postdoc at Peking University.
In 2020, I joined Beijing Normal University as a lecturer in Ecological Watershed Science and Engineering.
My research is focused on (1) soil and groundwater contamination assessment and remediation, and (2) soil and water conservation.
Efficient healthy food production can only occur when we respect the relationship between inert soil components and the biological elements which depend upon it, and focus our efforts on supporting and enhancing this relationship.
Dr Les Sandles is a 3rd generation dairy farmer who now operates his own dairy in northern Victoria. From an early age, Les was curious about the role of food in health. As a child, he saw apparently healthy cows quickly deteriorate and die from any number of diseases. At University, this curiosity culminated in a PhD in Nutritional Physiology and post-doctoral fellowships in both animal and human nutrition, exploring the relationships between diet, disease and physiology.
After leaving academia, and sighting a need for leadership that would bring together the nutritional management of production animals with contemporary scientific research, Les established BEST-fed Nutrition, an international consultancy, employing almost 30 consultants in 4 countries with over 1,000 dairy clients. Dr Sandles is credited with almost single-handedly transforming the dairy nutrition industry in Australia, replicating this success throughout South America and New Zealand.
Ultimately, Dr Sandles turned his attention to how our food and animal feed is produced, and soon saw a common unhealthy pattern in soil nutrient profiles due to long term use of chemical fertilizers. Les has now focused his consultancy and research on restoring soil health, having identified this as the critical factor underlying health and productivity outcomes across all his interests - pasture, humans, production animals, ecology and the environment.