Thinking Outside the Box

The economic goal of beef and lamb production is PROFIT. In very simple terms profit is calculated by subtracting production costs from sale of live stock. The problem with farming as a business is that farmers have no control over the prices they can charge for their produce. They have to accept whatever the market will pay. Over the years the input costs of production have risen such that farming is no longer economically sustainable. Most farmers in my district stay on the land because they enjoy the lifestyle. It is now accepted practice to develop an "off farm income"

There are two major components to my farming project: 1 the animals. 2: The land. Developing bio diverse, nutrient dense pastures is what This website is all about. Imagine if concurrently one was able to develop a genetically "low input" herd of cows. To be honest, I had never thought about this possibility. I was just ecstatic that as my pastures have improved, so too has my animal health. Thus far conception rates are good, calving rates are high and peri natal complications are pretty much non existent.
I enjoy a blog called Chris Stelzer, who owns the blog is a very proactive educator of Holistic Management. He is most active with his podcast program. He interviews real experts in different fields. One of these people is Kit Pharo who talks about developing "forage only" cattle. He has taken some years to establish a herd that has done just that. As if this wasn't enough, I have recently been introduced to work done by Dr Fred Provensa, professor emeritus Utah State University. His research includes teaching cows to eat weeds who then in turn pass on this behaviour to their offspring.

This project began with me trying to correct a degraded paddock. now I'm thinking about cows eating weeds!!! This is obviously a longer term project that I need to get my head around.

Alastair, our son who lives in Singapore, is a young man wired for opportunity. He called the other night telling me that there is a big shift in the USA away from feedlot cattle. He tells me that perhaps they will import grass fed beef from New Zealand and Australia. YAAY!!! I hope he is right.

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.