Life On A Regenerative Farm
We’re Jason and Belinda Hagan who with our young kids and very small team local and passionate farmers, we proudly run our family farm in Tooborac, Victoria. First and foremost, we are soil farmers who run pigs across our property to help us regenerate the land we live on by putting nutrients and biodiversity back into the farm’s ecosystem.
We have a herd of mostly Berkshire pigs, which are an old breed of pig, who act like natural-four legged ploughs to turn the soil and add nutrients back into the paddocks they live in. We plant seasonal crops like daikon radishes, grasses and grains that carry water down into the soil to create the ideal conditions for bugs, worms and critters to grow. The pigs are moved into these rich and plant filled paddocks to dig up and eat these plants for nourishment and fun. As a result they turn the soil for us and add organic matter back in for the next crop to grow.
For decades in Australia, intensive stock farming has led to the degradation of the land, removing flora and fauna and biodiversity in the land. This had lead to soil devoid of nutrients and life. This leads to a host of negative outcomes including erosion, poor growth yields for crops and unhealthy land for animals and people.
We’re working to end the degradation of land through stock farming and to create a closed loop system where we can grow as much of the food we can for the animals, and they in turn help us to aerate and turn the soil, to create optimal conditions for biodiversity and healthier land management practices for future generations.
Belinda and Jason started their journey on McIvor Farm in 2010, focusing on creating one of the few local free-range, ethical farming systems for pigs in Victoria.
Belinda and Jason’s knowledge and passion for holistic farming grew over the proceeding years. As they developed and implemented more systems that allowed the farm to exceed national requirements for free-range certification, now having surpassed these requirements McIvor Farm have created a beyond-free range pig farming system.
In 2012, they were also awarded The Weekly Time Farm Magazine Farmer of the Year, and Belinda was announced as a Finalist for Women Farmer of the Year
Jason and Belinda began strengthening their relationships with neighbours and patrons of the regional farmer’s markets who stopped by on their monthly rotation to talk pork, farming and tasty recipes.
Over the years, the Hagan’s refined their systems further to focus on being soil farmers using the pigs as nature’s ploughs to turn and disturb the soil to increase the amount of organic matter going in. They are focused on creating an ecosystem through happy, healthy and microbe-filled soil.
After years of nominations and placing at a state level, McIvor took out the Gold in the delicious. magazine Produce Awards.
The drought period during 2018-2019 was the worst McIvor had ever experienced. Jason and Belinda made it through the tough year and out onto the other side, now looking at growth and big things to come in their future.