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Steve Grist – 2018 Nuffield Scholar

Steve Grist from Koah near Cairns in Queensland receives a Scholarship supported by Hort Innovation.

Steve will research how growers can close the waste stream loop in small farming operations via circular economic practices. Using technologies such as algae, mushrooms and insects, Steve will seek out operations that have integrated waste management systems.

He said that waste is now a commodity and with new technology and innovation this could be part of the second green revolution. In his research, Steve will study which systems will be most appropriate and commercially viable in Australian farming.

Steve owns and operates Cairns Microgreens and Exotics, which supplies mixed potted microgreens as well as a range of sunflower shoots, wheat grass, edible flowers, and other mixed exotics. He believes due to the global challenges of climate change, soil degradation and population growth, industry will need to develop more sustainable and efficient farms in the future.

The current food and agriculture system is quite linear and wasteful. There are a small number of operations that are adopting “Syntropic”, regenerative and closed loop farming practices with good results, Steve said.

“As a research priority, I want to investigate how to capture and recycle nutrients back into farming systems, to reduce costs in fertilizer and waste management.

Steve will travel to the Philippines, Indonesia, Cuba, North America to study various closed loop systems.

Phone: 0438 454 435

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