Beef farmers sharing secret of success

Coragulac’s Graham Sutherland is pictured with his daughter Charlotte Henry and granddaughter Lucy Henry, 1.

COLAC district beef famers hope learning from their neighbours will boost the success of their farms.

The 12 farmers from Birregurra through to Camperdown who make up the Colac BetterBeef group will meet on-farm to discuss and develop farm practices to increase their farms’ sustainable profitability.

Coragulac’s Graham Sutherland, who runs 200 cows and calves and 400 steers, said the participants would travel to each other’s properties once a month.

“I think you get to meet other farmers and see what they’re up to and keep myself motivated,” Mr Sutherland said.

“You have a co-ordinator who will bring new ideas and good speakers,” he said.

The group nominated Ballarat’s Nathan Scott as its co-ordinator after an information session in early July.

Mr Scott co-ordinates a similar group at Ballarat and works as a livestock production consultant with Mike Stephens and Associates.

“We’re looking to hold our first meeting in early August, that’s the hope, on one of the group members’ properties,” Mr Scott said.

He said the group was looking for more members from the district.

“There is a joining cost which is usually between $100 and $200, it just depends on the number of members in the group.”

The Department of Primary Industries’ BetterBeef Network project manager Dougal Purcell said the group would focus on material from Meat and Livestock Australia’s More Beef from Pastures program and would pick up on the success of Bestwool Bestlamb.

“The group will be formed initially on pasture growth, market specifications and genetics,” Mr Purcell said.

He said the network would have a range of activities including field days and conferences, training programs, webinars and seminars.

There are 15 other BetterBeef groups in Victoria, five of which are in the south-west.

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