COBAR'S Peter Yench was on Tuesday night named 'Carbon Cockie of the Year' at Carbon Farmers Australia's ninth conference.
The event, at Albury's Commercial Club, came at the end of officially the second day of the conference, but the first of the educational lectures.
On Tuesday there were 20 speakers, each with a story of their own journey towards sequestering carbon in their soils.
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Some had been working at it for more than two decades, more to improve their soils from practical lessons learned rather than selling carbon credits.
In an emotional address on the opening of day two Sienna Lauber, a 13-year-old, urged the 370 registered attendees to do more for the planet, because "otherwise it will be my generation that will suffer".
She quoted acclaimed regenerative agriculture author Charles Massey and said: "the case studies are there, we just need to act on it."
While in many ways she was preaching to the converted, the room broke into spontaneous applause as she took her seat.
Presenting the award to Mr Yench was Brenton Byerlee, managing director of Soil Management Systems, based out of South Australia.
He lamented the fact that in his travels as an agronomist and carbon adviser he was coming across so many stressed farmers.
Mr Byerlee has been advising Australian farmers for 24 years about how to improve their soils.
He said soil was the foundation of every farming enterprise and must be coveted and the fact farmers he spoke to were confused about what to do was clearly the result of mixed messages.
"We must get back to basic, we must promote a great diversity of soil life, once upon a time we were told there were only 13 elements critical to a soil's performance, today we know there are many more."
Mr Byerlee said the ability of soil to be able to mineralise nutrients so they were available to plants was critical.
"We must understand the causes of degradation."
The conference continues until Thursday.
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