Anika Molesworth spent most of her childhood in Melbourne, Australia, and like a lot of people living in a big city, she didn’t think too much about where the food on her plate had come from.
Twenty years ago, her parents bought a farm 1,000 kilometers away in far western NSW. That’s when her journey with food, farming, and the climate changed forever.
Written by: Anika Molesworth
Throughout my childhood, my mum and dad would buy groceries from the local supermarket and would cook tasty meals for my brothers and I. Food was always there, and I guess I was complacent that it always would be too.
I was 12 years old when my parents decided to buy a farm 1,000 kilometers away from Melbourne. City buildings and cars were replaced with open skies and paddocks with kangaroos. Food suddenly became something that did not originate from a supermarket, but from the farm that surrounded me.
I fell in love with the landscape and felt a tremendous privilege to be involved in growing food that would nourish people. With my family, I learned the secrets of the soil, marveled at the plants and animals, and developed a great sense of belonging to the rural community.
But it was the decade-long Millennium drought that changed my life forever. Between the years 2000–2010, very little rain fell in Australia. My home became dry and dust storms turned the skies red. My heart ached watching the land suffer. My family and the community obsessively looked at the skies, waiting for the rain to come again.
That's when I started to join the dots between the land, the climate, and the food on my plate.
It was at this point that I started to read about climate change. I began to understand that extreme weather events - like droughts, bushfires, and floods - were becoming more frequent and intense. I became worried about the rate and scale of the changes occurring and became concerned with the lack of leadership in tackling this issue.
I knew I had to do something.
I am a farmer, a scientist, and a storyteller of a better future.
I know that we can live and eat in a way that is good for both people and the planet.
With your help, we can find the answers on how to feed the global population well and in a way that tackles climate change.
With a passion for rural communities and healthy ecosystems, I am committed to helping create sustainable and vibrant farming landscapes commonplace.
My dedication to raising awareness of climate change impacts on farms, and most importantly, what action can be taken to reduce emissions and adapt to changing conditions has gained me widespread notability. As a keynote speaker and educator, I bring heartfelt warmth, authenticity, and optimism to complex global challenges.
In 2014, after recognizing that science-based best practices needed to be more accessible, I founded Climate Wise Agriculture as a knowledge-sharing platform for climate change as it relates to food systems around the world.
From 2015 to 2020, I’ve been awarded many accolades for my contribution to sustainability and climate issues, bringing to life my passion for the cause and my desire to do better for our planet.
In 2021, I authored Our Sunburnt Country, a book on climate change and the food system - and it explores both the challenges and the solutions.
The book brings together stories and ideas from farmers, nutritionists, climate scientists, chefs, and social entrepreneurs. It is aimed at delivering a compelling vision for improving the food system, for now, and for the future.
Hand in hand, I’m positive that we can make better, climate-conscious decisions to change the trajectory of the planet. The time to act is now, and we need to do it together.