Clare Cannon, the owner of one of Australia's oldest pastoral stations believes a recent decision to protect a third of her property with a private land conservation agreement will eventually increase the value of the farm and its produce.
Clare’s Farm, Woomargama produces grass fed beef from a 1,000 head herd of poll Hereford cattle and runs about 7,500 fine wool merino sheep. Clare also manages a third of her property under a conservation agreement with a covenant via a farm management plan. The farm management plan focuses on regenerating grassy woodlands an endangered ecological community by removing grazing in protected areas during summer whilst continuing grazing throughout the remainder of the year to help control exotic plants and weeds.
Clare believes the agreement provides a happy medium where it works for both biodiversity and farming and discovered that running a profitable business can co-exist with environmental sustainability. For example, during a wool sale it was noted that Clare’s merinos had grazed on the protected land and wool buyers at the sale found this a point of difference. Clare discovered that the provenance of the wool and the environmental aspects of wool production is very important in Europe and sees a conservation agreement is a positive feature adding to her brand, rather than detracting from it.
Clare is discovering that some of the other on farm economic benefits of the management plan include the impact of more bird life on insect populations, more tree cover protecting livestock from extreme weather, reduced wind exposure, lower wind shear, reduced loss of lambs, fewer blowflies, more insectivorous birds, more diverse pastures and deeper rooted perennial grasses.
Clare’s story was also featured on ABC Landline on the 25th February 2017, you can hear her story at the following link: abc.net.au/tv/programs/landline
Image: Clare Cannon on her Property at Woomargama, Holbrook.
Source: Scott Hartvigsen (Border Mail)