Crafting carbon literacy: How we developed MLA’s Carbon EDGE training manual

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), renowned in Australia for its innovative EDGE programmes, identified a gap in its training portfolio concerning carbon farming.

Recognising the increasing importance of carbon literacy in the agricultural sector, MLA aimed to expand its EDGE series with a new workshop titled Carbon EDGE. This workshop was designed to empower red meat producers across Australia with knowledge and skills in carbon farming and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction.

The challenge

MLA sought to create a comprehensive manual for trainers of the Carbon EDGE workshops. The existing programmes, such as Business EDGE and Breeding EDGE, had successfully upskilled farmers in various aspects of meat and livestock production. The new challenge was to develop a manual that not only informed trainers about carbon farming but also equipped them to handle complex and varied queries from workshop participants.

A collaborative effort

MLA partnered with our team at Environmental Accounting Services and Pinion, a consultancy specialising in extension services, to bring this vision to life. We collaborated closely with Harriet and Hilary from MLA, as well as with the team at Pinion, to ensure that the manual met the nuanced needs of this project.

Our approach

Recognising the diverse background of the trainers and participants, we focused on creating a manual that was both informative and accessible. The manual was structured into five comprehensive chapters, covering:

  1. Policy and market drivers: Explaining the regulatory and market forces shaping carbon management in agriculture.

  2. Reporting GHG estimations: Guiding on how to effectively communicate GHG estimations to various audiences, including the required level of assurance.

  3. Methane and nitrous oxide emissions: Delving into the science of GHG emissions specific to the agricultural sector and exploring abatement strategies.

  4. Sequestration measurement and opportunities: Discussing methods and potential for carbon sequestration in farming practices.

  5. Best practices and practical examples: Providing current best practices and real-world examples to enhance understanding and relevance.

Our extensive experience presenting and facilitating workshops in the agricultural GHG space informed the manual’s development. We aimed to create a resource that trainers could rely on for comprehensive and clear answers to a wide array of questions.


The outcome of this collaboration was a five-session manual that elevated the standard of training materials available for Carbon Edge workshops. Key achievements included:

  • Enhanced detail and science: The manual offered an in-depth look at current best practices and the science behind various mitigation options.

  • Practical examples: To add depth and relevance, we included practical examples tailored to the audience of red meat producers.

  • Structured learning approach: The manual was designed with clear learning objectives and guidance, supporting rural professionals in effectively facilitating the training.

The Carbon EDGE training manual represents a significant step forward in equipping Australian red meat producers with essential knowledge and skills in carbon farming. Offering a resource that is detailed, practical, and anchored in scientific principles, this manual aids in the promotion of lower emission agricultural practices, meeting increasing environmental standards and market expectations.

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