Begin with the End in Mind.

The difference between those who work with a goal and those who don't is RESULTS

I have an American friend, Jim Dornan, who is very successful in business. One of his much quoted sayings is  "If you don't change direction, you will end up where you are headed"  It is my observation that too many people never take the time to figure out what they want their life to look like, say 10 years from now. These  people, it seems, get up each day and deal with the challenges that life serves up,  one day at a time. They flop into bed at night, just to repeat the process tomorrow. They seem content in the belief that they have no real control of their destiny.   Failure to set a goal is no more than a decision. All decisions carry consequences. Australians, for whatever reason, have over time made decisions that now find only 1% retire on an income greater than $40k per year. After 40 years in the work force, more than 80% of Australian retirees are grateful for the Aged Pension. Too many people, in my opinion, live lives of quiet desperation .

When we take time to develop a clear picture of our desired lifestyle, say 10 years from now, it  is pretty easy to workout if  the path we have chosen is going to take us there or not. If not,  we need to "change direction"  This is not dissimilar  to the lost traveler who reprograms the GPS. To do this requires identifying your current position as well as where you want to go. The action step is getting into motion with a willingness to follow instructions.The GPS, as we all know, gives very clear instructions. "At the next roundabout, take the second exit" We know that each action step is made with only one objective. To take you to your written down destination. If you disobey the instruction and " take a short cut" the computer has to recalibrate the route starting  from your new position and ending  at the same stated destination.
Before we moved to Dunblane I spent years thinking about exactly what it was that we were trying to achieve.  I knew that both Elizabeth and I wanted a rural lifestyle. Because for me it needed to meet the criteria set out by "grandpa's world" it had to be effective for grandchildren when they were preschool, adolescents and young adults. It needed to provide for boys and girls. It had to be easily accessible etcetera . For Elizabeth it needed to allow her to pursue her love of horses. It needed to have an old rambling farmhouse, beautifully maintained, surrounded by an established garden. 
I wrote multiple lists and visited many properties. I remember once, after a 5 hour drive, with the agent in the car, I turned around at the gate, refusing to do an inspection. I just knew it was wrong, because the vision of what I was trying to do was so crystal clear.
One of the huge concerns I have about farming in Australia is that it has become non viable as a business. The input costs far outweigh the Earnings. Over the last 40 years,  Australian land dedicated to agriculture has fallen by 20% which means that since 1976, farmers have abandoned more than 100 million acres of land. I think the average age for farmers is in the mid fifties. I know that young people are not interested in a career on the land.
In his address to the National Press Club, on 19/10/2011, Alan Jones said: "Mr. Rudd told scientists in Brisbane that global food production would need to increase by 70% by the middle of the century to feed an expected population of 9.3 billion.  At about the same time, the Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson,  predicted that exporting food to Asia would provide a massive opportunity for Australia to further cash in on the urbanisation of Asia. Dr. Emerson said, "As 1 billion extra people inhabit the region by 2035, and the proportion of Asia's population living in urban areas increases from 42% to 55%, the demand for protein rich food is set to soar." 
I have practiced goal setting for the best part of 25 years. It was "music to my ears" to discover that Holistic Management is all about setting a long term goal and then engaging in a series of decision making processes designed to identify the action steps, which like the GPS, will move me towards my written down holisticgoal ( which is a description of the desired lifestyle)  
Every decision  MUST be                      1: Financially Sound 
                                                        2: Environmentally Sound   
                                                        3: Socially Sound
There is a 7 step questionnaire to check compliance.
I have read enough and watched enough short testimonials  on YouTube  to know that Holistic Management can and does make farming, not only financially viable, but also environmentally responsible. Best of all, those engaged in its practice seem to be filled with optimism. They display emotions of joy and happiness. The journey they are taking is not  alone, but shared with their family and friends.  WHAT A DEAL!!
By now I have realised that I have two separate challenges on " Dunblane."
1: Correcting the degradation problem in "The Bluff" This involves activating the Liquid Carbon Pathway. As Christine Jones put it "The cocktail cover crop will channel liquid carbon, increase microbial diversity, stimulate nutrient cycling and build new topsoil. These factors inturn encourage the establishment of perennial grasses." 
 The goal for this perennial pasture is biodiversity. "Diversity above ground improves the interconnections in the soil food-web below ground."(Jones) i have come to realize that the cover crop gets things started, but to potentiate this long into the future will require the beneficial effects of mob grazing.
2: Managing the remainder of the farm so that we can turn off sufficient lambs and steers to pay the bills. To do this sustainably, requires that I energise the Liquid Carbon Pathway In the established pastures..........." to increase microbial diversity, stimulate nutrient cycling and build new topsoil. These factors inturn encourage the establishment of perennial grasses."  (Jones).  Ha!! the same thing!! 
In established pastures this is done with mob grazing,  utilising the tools of both "grazing" and "animal impact" which are distinct tools, not one and the same thing. 
In any industry, tools are used to manipulate ‘resources’, and the purpose of using the tool is your achievement or movement towards a specific outcome.  
When managing holistically the resources that underpin your economic whole, and the things you manipulate, are the four renewable ecosystem processes.  They are the underlying capital of your business.  Once you begin, you are making decisions that give equal footing to your quality of life, your economic success, and to the four ecosystems that govern your environmental soundness.  (Bruce Ward)

Latest comments

28.04 | 17:47

Wow, I lived on the Haye's farmstead for a couple of years, crazy to hear of this fire coming through. Hope I can visit again one day.

15.08 | 01:17

This is all brilliantly documented Paddy - am so totally inspired by how you have transformed Dunblane.

31.07 | 06:36

Hi Peter, exciting indeed. Suggest you contact a Rory O'Leary at BVSC. He is the economic development officer. Big focus on Eden Another

31.07 | 02:48

Sounds exciting! I'd like to discuss how this might fit in with some other opportunities for the Port of Eden.