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Local farmers learn from tour

GOOD farmers went on this year’s Don Campbell Memorial Study Tour, but better farmers returned.
The annual Young Dairy Network event saw 10 farmers from Gippsland and two from South Australia visiting some of Tasmania’s most innovative farm businesses.
Over five days, the group visited farms that challenged their existing ideas of herd and pasture management as well as business practices.
Meeniyan share farmer Rhys Livingstone said the Don Campbell Tour gave him the opportunity to look at similar farming systems to his own as well as farms that would challenge his existing thinking.
“I wanted to look at some farms outside of my area to get an insight into some different systems and get an insight into how some farmers over in Tassie were doing things,” he said.
“I knew a lot of farms over there run a similar system to what I do here, which is a low input seasonal calving system with crossbred cows.
“It was really good to see some guys over there doing that successfully and making a real good job of it.”
Rhys said the tour had something for everyone, from new entrants to the industry to experienced farmers like himself.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for people in the industry to get over and see some successful farm businesses,” he said.
“The farmers we saw were really generous with their time. You could ask them anything and they were quite open and gave us a lot of good feedback.”
For Cath Mackin, the Don Campbell Tour was all about expanding her horizons.
An assistant manager on Wendy Whelan’s Toora farm, the 29 year old enjoyed asking questions of farmers and looking at non-traditional operational models.
“In Tasmania, a lot of the farms were doing 16 hour milking and it was working really well for them, which I found really interesting,” she said.
“One girl who came on the tour implemented it at her farm a week after she came back, so they are giving it a shot, and I will keep in touch with her and find out how it goes.”
GippsDairy regional manager Allan Cameron said this year’s tour had been an unqualified success, with the ten Gippsland and two South Australian participants all returning with ideas on how to improve their own farm businesses or careers.
“Don Campbell was committed to developing the dairy industry, so we would like to think he would be proud of what this year’s tour achieved,” he said.

New ideas: as an assistant manager of a Toora dairy farm, Cath Mackin was particularly interested in a 16-hour milking operation, seen on the Don Campbell Memorial Study Tour to Tasmania recently.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=21903

Posted by on Jul 12 2017. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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