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Robyn Adams

TNQ Hatch 2022-23

1 Nov 2022

Robyn Adams


Robyn Adams describes herself as a silvopastoralist, a graze engineer, a creative industrialist and a polymath. With a background in domestic and international fashion, costume and arts education, Robyn returned to her homelands in central western Queensland twenty years ago, purchasing, then slowly improving and regenerating a tired grazing property in the wooded desert country south of Jericho on Wadjebangi Lands. Robyn operates a beef breeder enterprise on predominantly native pastures. She’s deeply passionate about biochar, agriculture and the arts and is an avid community and industry contributor through numerous volunteer and board roles.

The Idea

Through Robyn’s deep understanding of native rangeland pastures and the beef production industry, she is aware of the problem of toxic weeds significantly affecting red meat production in the rangelands through poor animal productivity (ill-thrift) through to death. One particular weed that is an issue in the Western Queensland regional and broader Eastern rangelands is Pimelea, which causes toxic poisoning, particularly in horses, cattle and sheep. Furthermore, she understands the challenges of maintaining and adapting rumen in feedlot cattle during the induction process and how this affects the bottom line. Robyn believes there is an opportunity to leverage the application of high quality fit-for-purpose biochar products that are manufactured in the rangelands themselves where the fuel source is.

Robyn proposes a mobile to-the-source pyrolysis plant which can achieve high quality biochar production at a much higher temperature than the current earth-fire based solutions in the market today. By bringing the plant to the timber source, as well as the distribution region, this allows for the production of high quality biochar on site. This would be coupled with pasture seeds to be fed to red meat livestock in rangeland regions through existing lick supplementation practices. The aim of this feed input is to remediate the impact of toxic weeds on animal health, increase soil carbon and regenerate landscapes (which also suppresses weeds) through pasture seeds being excreted by cattle who have consumed the seed-laden biochar through their lick supplement.

Similarly, there is evidence to support that biochar supplementation has a positive effect on the induction process for feedlot cattle as it relates to rumen production. The mobile pyrolysis plant has been recently developed in southern Australia with a proof of concept project on blackberry completed with the manufacturer and Victorian state government.

Robyn plans to manufacture a similar feed supplement biochar product to be fed to cattle being backgrounded and inducted into feedlots to improve commercial outcomes by improving the rumen adaptation process in digestion.

What's Next?

Robyn’s key actions for the next few months after the conclusion of the Hatch program are to:
- Continue to further focus is customer discovery, validating her detailed assumptions around her customers in order to create a value proposition that they want, which not only solves the problems for them but they are prepared to adopt and pay money for. This step is critical to the progression of Robyn’s idea.
- Review and update her portfolio of canvases which include additional customer segments around mining and carbon markets.
- Develop an in-field pilot in partnership with an established mobile pyrolysis plant manufacturer to deliver a proof of concept in a rangeland setting. Robyn is currently working on partnerships with other key stakeholders and exploring grant funding opportunities.

Program Partners

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