From her sheep farm deep in the Australian outback, this farmer is living on the frontlines of climate change. The extreme heat and recurring drought we read about in our headlines are her reality. But she's got a plan and it involves you.
A new documentary series by
Tim Arnold and Eefje Suzanne Kragten
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“In those early years, I would get up at the crack of dawn. Jump out of bed. Put on my clothes and just go off into the paddock. And the family usually was still asleep.
You hear these incredible bird noises swishing around. Emus marching across the landscape and the kangaroos in the hills.
You feel very small in this enormous landscape and it feels timeless. Like time has just forgotten about this place. It hasn’t changed for millennia.”
But it’s changing now.
A journey into Australia's heartland
It all started when Anika Molesworth's family purchased Rupee Station, a sheep farm in New South Wales in 2000. Little did 12-year-old Anika know that it would be the catalyst for her lifelong passion for the environment. Anika's family had fallen in love with this "starkly beautiful piece of Australia" and began planning their future on the farm - but then the rain stopped falling.
“I want to take on the family farm one day, that’s the future I dream of. I want to be here forever.”
Home to 1000
Now the future of the family farm at Rupee Station is under threat. Once it was home to 1,000 sheep.
Today, that number has dwindled to none. Anika had to sell the last of her sheep last year. The extreme heat had made them infertile.
Successive droughts, dust storms and scorching soil temperatures of up to 70℃ brought on by CO2 emissions and climate change are making it increasingly hard to sustain life on this land.
Anika has come to the end of the line of what she can produce here. Yet she refuses to accept the situation and fights for a positive alternative.
If we act now,
we can turn this around
As a farmer and a scientist – with a PhD in agricultural science and ecosystems – Anika knows that it’s time to work with nature instead of against it.
To raise awareness of climate change impacts on farms, and the action that can be taken to reduce emissions. Action by farmers, governments and consumers.
It’s about joining the dots between the land, the climate and the food on our plates.
“To do things differently, we can stop forests turning into fields, keep rivers flowing, restore soil fertility and reverse the loss of life on earth – all the while ensuring there’s enough nutritious food for every person, now and into the future.”
Making her voice heard
Change doesn’t just happen.
For that you need to connect with others. That’s exactly what Anika is doing.
- She’s written a book:
In "Our Sunburnt Country", she shares how to grow the courage to protect our land and save our food.
- She’s empowering farmers:
Through Farmers for Climate Action, Anika provides a platform for support and training to help transition to a healthier agricultural ecosystem, with less reliance on single crops, chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The group now has 5,000 members.
- She’s lobbying politicians:
Here she is with a very special letter to the Prime Minister of Australia.