On 30-31 May our South-east Victorian and Tasmanian Regional Committee met in north-west Tasmanian to explore all things beef and undertake Working in Groups training, a recent training package that SALRC is rolling out across their seven regional committees.
Day one of the meeting provided the committee with an opportunity to get out in the paddock and visit a number of Tasmania’s top beef producing properties. Producer hosts for the day were members of the Tasmanian Circular Head Beef Group.
Property 1 (Stanley, Tas) – Breeding and finishing system
The Vic Tas team were treated to a farm of tremendous consistency in terms of climate, management and production system. This highly tuned operation produces high quality grassfed beef for national and international markets. The team were impressed with some well managed high producing pastures that were older than they were and some carefully selected new perennial pastures.
Property 2 (Arthur River, Tas)
The team visited a large grass finishing operation on Tasmania’s rugged west coast. A solid move toward managing for soil and pasture health was highlighted along with working with the natural environment. The team were impressed with the livestock management on show and were given an introduction into the emerging dairy-beef industry in the region.
Property 3 (Woolnorth, Tas)
A breeding and backgrounding operation, the team discussed a very interesting heifer management system for calving and then toured the property that is in a transition period. Dairy-beef backgrounding is currently a strong pillar of this operation and the team’s knowledge was again enhanced by this visit. Pasture management, total grazing pressure and input selection were also strong topics discussed. The team were also treated to an update on a current University of Adelaide heifer fertility research project being undertaken.
The day ended with a Q&A session over a meal with a group of producers from Tasmania’s Circular Head Beef Group. Producers from the group were able to share their insights into challenges and opportunities of beef production on NW Tasmania.
Day two of the meeting saw the group undertake Working in Groups (WIGS) training with Meridian Agriculture HR Consultant, Ben Reeve. This training session was relevant to the group as a team that works through SALRC priority setting and regional issues on a regular basis, as well as producers or industry members running their farming systems, carrying out their roles, and working with others. The training provided the team an occasion to understand more about their own and each other’s personalities. Various other activities provided opportunity to learn about common categories of behavior styles. Understanding these help us get to know what makes others tick and how we can get the best out of ourselves and others in a team environment.
Across the two days, the Regional Committee also heard updates from key MLA Program Managers:
– Georgie Townsend, MLA Program Manager Consultation – RD&A Priority feedback and process
– Andrew Morelli, MLA Grassfed Beef Productivity Project Manager – The current operating environment for Southern beef producers; Update on current offering of RD&A projects and programs; Overview of the southern beef TOR aim and process.
– Michael Laurence, MLA Program Manager Animal Wellbeing: The investments around the development of LSD and FMD vaccines; Work developing a pinkeye disease app for producers; New PDS projects with a focus on balanoposthitis in bulls and BVDV in heifers; Sterile insect project on Kangaroo Island to eradicate blowflies; The scour worm vaccine project
Article written by:
Jen Smith, Regional Chair South-east Victorian and Tasmanian Regional Committee
Tasmanian Beef Farm Tours
Tasmanian Beef Farm Tours