Angus & Kim Deans operate Heart & Soil consulting. Transforming lifes, relationships & landscapes through personal & business coaching, regenerative agriculture and subtle energy. We work at the heart of the issue on a wholistic level with motivated and curious clients and use a unique blend of skills and experiences collected from 30+ years of working in agriculture, coaching and personal development.
Angus & Kim have been implementing regenerative agricultural practices for over 15 years and are passionate about empowering farmers to improve their businesses and lives through improving soil health.
Kim has 30 years of experience in agriculture in farm management, dryland and irrigated crop production, livestock production, farm business and financial management and is an experienced coach, trainer and facilitator. Kim draws on training and personal experiences in regenerative agriculture, holistic management, permaculture, farm business management and self-development.
Kim has an established track record of capacity building and empowering farmers to gain an improved understanding of their situation and identify options for business improvement. She has effective communication skills and is able to effectively engage in challenging conversations with farming families around tough issues. Kim enjoys using her motivational skills to coach farmers to take action to tackle complex problems.
Kim is an experienced presenter, teacher and facilitator who prior to establishing Heart & Soil Consulting worked as a rural financial counsellor for 12 years and spent 3 years delivering a successful whole farm planning program to farmers in the Northern Tablelands region of NSW. These courses filled quickly and frequently had a waiting list.
Angus has had a life long passion for agriculture and for bringing life back into agricultural ecosystems. He grew up in a farming family in New Zealand and relocated to a farm in Australia with his family when he was 16. With a lifetime of experience in a range of enterprises including wool growing, lamb & beef, intensive vegetables, stone fruit, grape production and adaptive grazing management, Angus has a depth of practical experience in regenerative agriculture.
Angus has been passionately restoring landscapes through adaptive grazing and other means to improve soil organic matter and water holding capacities of landscapes long before the concept of regenerative agriculture.
Angus’s journey along the pathway of sustainable and organic agriculture was hastened after developing chronic fatigue syndrome as a result of chemical use on horticultural enterprises he worked in. Angus passionately believes that our health is dependent upon the health of the food we eat, which is dependent upon the health of the soils on which the foodstuffs – be they animal or plant – are raised.
Angus is motivated to improving our health and perhaps more importantly the health of our descendants and the earth through leaving the land, in whatever capacity we have stewardship of it, in a better state than when we assumed that stewardship. This is true of a suburban backyard or of thousands of acres – the size does not matter.
Ecological & regenerative agriculture
Adaptive grazing systems
Coaching & Mentoring
Soil health assessments
Farm business management
Whole farm planning
Subtle energy in landscapes
Services & clients include:
Regenerative Agricultural Coaching with Integrity Soils Ltd (see below)
Grazing Management coaching and mentoring (see below)
The Rural Woman, delivering of training & coaching & facilitator for the seed scheme.
Various community, landcare and government agencies for delivery of workshops on farm business management, natural disaster recovery and regenerative agriculture
Farmers who want to take their business to the next level
Nice things people say:
“An extraordinary learning experience” PJ Roberts
“Angus & Kim deliver a digestible, rich palette, to improve, disturb and challenge with practical guidance and explanation. They sow seeds of hope in a luscious soil of information.” Jenny Cracknell
“Awesome, knowledgeable & engaging”.
“Very informative, humble & generous spirit”.
“Excellent, clearly articulated, very approachable, knows his stuff!”.
“Very, very knowledgeable, very humble, funny & entertaining”.
“Knowledgeable & great at providing simple language. So useful”.
“Very knowledgeable, informative sessions. Excellent & easy to understand.”
“Well spoken and well explained. Everything was balanced between theory & practical”.
"Angus Deans has been coming to Bellingen annually for the last six years to present at the Orchard Management workshops organised by Biodynamic Agriculture Australia.Angus is a personable, enthusiastic and very knowledgeable presenter. He encourages the participants to think for themselves and problem solve. When it comes to teaching practical skills, such as pruning fruit trees, Angus patiently guides the audience, step by step, explaining why he has made each cut and encourages them to do it themselves.Angus is a lateral thinker and has an intimate knowledge of soils, landscape, pasture, fruit trees and animal husbandry. It is clear that Angus loves people and loves helping them to learn new skills and be empowered to try them on their own property. Alan Johnstone, Preparations Coordinator, Biodynamic Agriculture Australia Inc “Kim helped me with many options that I could not see myself. Therefore I was able to make an informed decision about my farm and my life. All credit goes to her. Thankyou” Farmer, Northern NSW Australia
“Kim is professional, enthusiastic and encouraging”
“Thank you Kim for your passion, knowledge, facilitation and kindness”
“Extremely beneficial and well presented, much appreciated. Thanks for a very professional presentation”
“This course has enabled me to make more informed decisions with confidence, many thanks Kim”
“Kim has been delivering mentoring and training support to THE Rural Woman community for many years, particularly in the application of systems thinking in business and life. She has provided our Members and community with deep insight and transformational exchanges both in person and online. Her content is relevant, potent and impactful and her delivery is bright, respectful and enthusiastic, meaning there is great uptake of the knowledge she shares. Kim is an excellent teacher and mentor, she cares deeply about the people she connects with and this emanates in her work. Kim seamlessly blends the science and understanding of nature with real life applications. I love working with Kim and she is a valued member of THE Rural Woman team and of my own inner circle of support. I confidently recommend Kim in the fields of training/mentoring, consulting, coaching and facilitation.” Rebel Black, Human Agronomist and founder of The Rural Woman
Regenerative Agricultural Coaching with Integrity Soils
Kim and Angus are excited to join the Integrity Soils team and to offer consulting, coaching and training to Australian farmers who wish to adopt regenerative farming methods, improve their soil health and create a more successful and enjoyable business. We both bring to the team a holistic approach, experience in coaching farming businesses through processes of change and a ever increasing passion for soil health as the foundation of viable farming businesses.
Many farmers who are wanting to implement more regenerative farming practices struggle with where to start and how to do it. It can be confusing and time consuming working through all the information available and the range of biological products on offer, making it overwhelming to know where to begin. In farming there is never a one size fits all approach and to be successful in the long term farmers need to tailor an approach that works for their unique landscape, soil type and personal goals and values. Without a targeted strategy guided by a monitoring program farmers often do not get the results they are seeking and can lose confidence in how to approach farming in a more biological way. Working with an integrity soils consultant through our coaching process will assist you to develop a unique strategy tailored to help you overcome your most limiting factors and achieve the results you want. You will be supported through the process of change and gain confidence in implementing biological farming practices that work for you.
Contact us for a free no obligation chat to discuss how we can help if you are ready to take your farm business to the next level.
Improving your grazing management on any sized land area can lead to improvements in ground cover, increased soil organic matter, increased water storage in the soil, increased soil biology, improved animal health, improved production and improved profits. Angus is passionate about grazing management and offers practical support services to land managers who wish to improve their production and sustainability through improved grazing management.
Angus’ ideas of grazing management have evolved over time spent managing properties for others, leasing a property himself, and his family farming experiences through to now. His practices and awareness are constantly changing due to all of the vagaries of differing locations and soil types and changing climatic conditions. Angus is truly in awe of the landscape’s ability to heal itself when we choose to work in tune with it rather than thinking it merely exists in some form to be converted into short term idiotic gain whilst destroying it.
About Angus: Angus Deans was raised on farms in NZ; coming to Australia at the age of 16 when the family purchased a 7305 acre woolgrowing property at Ballandean in southern Qld. The move was necessitated as three sons in the family expressed a desire to farm and this was simply an unattainable imagining in NZ. The family sold their 27 acre property that ran 300 sheep and 7 stud cattle on the 20 acres of grazing and were able to purchase the property at Ballandean with 1800 sheep and 50 cows for the same amount of money.
Angus built his first subdivisional fence at age 10 in a school holidays. At the time he could not even lift the concrete posts and so had to use the three point linkage on the tractor to put the posts in. He was responsible for the grazing management from the age of 12 and just has an intrinsic understanding of optimising pasture and animal production.
Coming to Queensland in 1981 at the tail end of a big drought was indeed very formative to developing what has been a guiding tenet of Angus’ ever since. He does not believe that there is such a thing as drought as many others do because he observed that in most years 8 – 10 months were ‘drought’ – due to inadequate rainfall or heavy frost combined with impoverished soils creating nil or minimal growth.
His maxim quickly became to manage with the view that you must always have a considerable buffer of feed stored for the inevitable so-called drought events. Another guiding tenet has always been that it should be a land manager’s responsibility to leave the land for which he/she has stewardship in better condition than it first was found. This is an absolute no-brainer as it means inevitably ever increasing production and thus lower costs of production per unit.
The simplest way to achieve this in a grazing situation is by ensuring slight understocking and tight grazing control with a view to maximising rest periods and so allowing pastures to recover quickly and optimise growth rates. The side effect is reduced animal health costs, increased per head production, and increased production per acre. This process can be started from day one. No more infrastructure is required than already exists on any farm. If you have 2 paddocks you can start. But even better if you have 100! The more paddocks the greater the control, and perhaps more importantly the greater the flexibility.
Since December 2004 Angus and his wife Kim have owned 20 acres of granite country near Tingha that had been sluiced for tin at the turn of the 20th century. There were 5 paddocks on the place and about 4mm of darker looking ‘soil’ atop coarse sand with a clay layer at about 18” deep. The place could not carry 1/3 DSE/acre. Now there are 31 permanent paddocks that are often subdivided with temporary electric fencing that can vary that total up to 61 paddocks at present. The place is currently carrying 1DSE/acre and with no signs of soil degradation. Ground cover is always improving as a result of this management.
In early 2011 Angus & Kim had the opportunity to participate in a Soil Carbon Research Programme SCaRP that was examining soil carbon levels in the top 30 cm of the soil. It was designed to compare carbon levels between a rotational (or similar style of grazing management) grazed property and a conventional set stocked neighbour on light soils to see whether grazing systems influenced Carbon sequestration. The soil samples were taken by Soil Conservation staff and due to the neighbour’s absence Angus was fortunate to be present as both sites were sampled. The hydraulic core sampling rig they used could sample to a depth of 750mm on Angus’ property without aid but only about 60m away in the neighbours paddock it could only penetrate approximately 170 mm!
When the results were returned the differences in total organic carbon expressed as mg/g were massive in the top 20 cm as the attached table shows with no difference in the depth 20 – 30 cm.
Total Organic Carbon mg/g
Our Property Neighbour 0 – 10 cm 17.9 5.6
10 – 20 cm 14.1 2.3
20 – 30 cm 4.2 4.2
This equates to total carbon stocks per hectare as per the table below:-
Carbon Stock tonnes/ha
Our Property Neighbour
0 – 10 cm 22.3 7.8 10 – 20 cm 20.4 3.2
20 – 30 cm 6.3 6.2
Total 0 – 30 cm 49.0 17.3
The most exciting aspect of this from our perspective is the much increased ability of the soil not only to support correct biological functioning but also to store water from rainfall events which, as in most of this arid country, are far too infrequent.
The difference in total Carbon Stock per hectare between Angus’ and the neighbour of 31.7 tonnes equates to approximately 52.6 tonnes of humus per hectare. This then enables the property to store 210,000 litres more water per hectare than the neighbour. These observations which obviously are anecdotal suggest that the property has improved in resilience, biodiversity and productivity with each passing year and this must necessarily be so even if only because of the improved ability to store water.
Sound grazing management is the answer to many of our farming woes. By increasing the organic matter we store more water which grows more grass and increases the organic matter and so on it goes. This improved organic matter supports much more soil biology and biodiversity that is essential to counter the effects of a changing climate and enable not just sustainable, but regenerative farm management. As an aside animal health improves and so obviously does productivity as health issues only occur in unthrifty organisms. In fact the last time Angus drenched for worms was in 2012.
Angus’ ideas of grazing management have evolved over time spent managing properties for others, leasing a property himself, and his family farming experiences through to now. His practices and awareness are constantly changing due to all of the vagaries of differing locations and soil types and changing climatic conditions. Angus is truly am in awe of the landscape’s ability to heal itself when we choose to work in tune with it rather than thinking it merely exists in some form to be converted into short term idiotic gain whilst destroying it.
If you wish to contact Angus for a free chat to explore working together please send us an email via our contact page.