Gaining Ground for Better Grazing

Monica Haynes
June 19, 2017

A new grazing program called Gaining Ground will help farmers get better business outcomes by addressing grazing challenges in sensitive environments.

The series of free workshops will equip farmers in the Lower Herbert region with practical responses to land management issues for both profit and environmental benefit. The program is funded through partnerships between Terrain NRM, Greening Australia and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Regional Landcare Facilitator Fiona George said the workshops take a hands-on action-learning approach. “The workshops are being held in the paddock, with minimal paperwork and no powerpoint presentations, because we know that to learn new skills and land management responses, we actually have to get in there and get our hands dirty!’

The first workshop, called “From the ground up: looking at the soilpit” is being held on Friday 23 June in Kennedy Valley and runs from 9:30am – 3:00pm. It will be repeated the same time the next day, Saturday 24 June, at Forrest Beach.

All workshops in the program will be held on-farm at Kennedy Valley, Forrest Beach and Stone River.

Agricultural ecologist David Hardwick and educator Judi Earl, who both have vast experiences with grazing systems all over eastern Australia, will teach the workshops. Wet Tropics farmers might remember Dave from last year’s Digging Deeper workshops, which Gaining Ground is modelled on.

Different issues will be tackled each workshop, including: water flows; soil properties and the effects on pasture; weeds and pests; pasture grasses and forage; rotations; fencing; and business goals and how to get there. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about these, don’t miss these workshops!

Participants are encouraged to bring along other ideas and issues too. “We structure the days so everyone can share their knowledge and learn from each other. The more minds are focused on the subject the better,” said Mr Hardwick.

There will be opportunities for farmers who attend all workshops to develop a property management plan to address some of the issues raised, develop priorities for action, and a budget to implement. Incentive funding may also be available to help implement key actions.

Phone or text Fiona at Terrain NRM on 0488 702 203 for more details or to book a space. Everyone is welcome, and interested farmers are invited to “bring a friend”.