Meet the Finalists - Just Add Trees
Founded by Clinton Tepper, Just Add Trees, is a multi-storey farming system that utilises the strategic planting of timber species alongside pastures to increase carbon sequestration, improve the soil, provide shelter for animals and provide the producer with the dual benefit of a highly valuable timber commodity, without sacrificing pasture growth.
This “multi-storey farming” approach to planting is not only highly innovative but has been showing promising results and generating significant interest across the region.
The success and growth of this agribusiness has also earnt a position on the finalist list in the Excellence in Fibre Industry category, sponsored by East Gippsland Shire Council in the 2020 Excellence in Agribusiness Awards.
Clinton Tepper is an expert in tree growing and has developed a system that truly provides the best of both worlds. He offers a multi-storey farming and farm forestry service that improves the productivity, profitability and resilience of farming businesses.
Multi-storey farming was originally developed on the family property, Camaray Farm in Baw Baw Shire Council, to address a significant green feed gap during Summer and Autumn months.
Where multi-storey farming has been established and extended the feed gap has been reduced by >50%, whilst also creating additional benefits of carbon capture, improved soil biology, shade and shelter, fodder production and medium and long term revenue options through sales of wood products.
The pilot system worked by truly integrating different “storeys“ of soil, pasture/crops, livestock and trees on one land unit to create a diverse system with a mosaic of production opportunities over the short, medium and long term.
Clinton’s vision is to grow and further develop the system through his own experience and “in-house” and collaborative research so that other farmers can share and experience the benefits on their land.
There have been and are farming systems built on similar concepts to multi-storey farming across the world. However, Clinton’s system is different because it seeks true integration between soil, climate, trees and agriculture. Rather than competing with one another the forestry and agricultural components complement one another enhancing farm productivity, resilience and sustainability.
Multi-storey farming builds on Gippsland’s natural assets of soil, climate and industry expertise and agriculture/forestry and provides an option for substantially improving the resilience of farming communities through integration and diversification of forestry and agriculture.