Inside the farm gate

07 December 2018

While producer tours organised as part of Red Meat 2018 visited farms quite close together, attendees witnessed the diversity and different focuses in livestock enterprises.

Red Meat 2018’s second producer tour travelled to NSW’s Boorowa district, just over an hour’s drive from Canberra.

It's in the genes

Participants met with producer James Corcoran, whose production system at Gooramma Poll Dorsets utilises tools including electronic identification, objective measurement and automatic drenching.

The Corcorans’ stud uses genetic programs in conjunction with DNA-marker technology.

“For us, lamb survival is the main thing – especially in an area as cold as this,” James told the tour attendees.

“If the industry got a good handle on DNA-marker testing, we’d see a huge increase in the number of lambs going through to weaning nation-wide.

“Going forward, I think the spotlight will be on the lamb survival area for consumers." 

Story sharing

Twenty minutes down the road at ‘Hanaminno’, sheep and cattle  producer Charlie Arnott also has a strong consumer focus.

“I always say to people ‘who’s your doctor?’, and they can always tell me straightaway – but when I ask ‘who’s your farmer?’, they scratch their heads,” Charlie said.

“I want consumers to be able to have a connection with the people who feed them three times a day. You only need a doctor every three to four months (if that), but you need your farmers every day.”

While Charlie uses tools like Instagram, Facebook and his website to connect with consumers, he also facilitates on-farm workshops for other producers. He’s passionate about the use of biodynamic and organic production principles to manage Hanaminno’s soils, pastures and livestock – and it’s a passion he wants to share with the world.  

“We buy good bulls and we buy good rams, but I think another huge area where you can make a difference to production is the soil and how you’re handling your stock. That’s where it all starts,” Charlie said.


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