Rural Reflections #5

Loyalty, trust, love and hope… is at the heart of why farmers bear the burden of drought year after year.  Loyalty to our passion in life, our love for the agricultural industry and our love for our family.  This is what motivates us to keep on going, implement our drought management plans and ensure our nation’s future food security.

We trust our agricultural industry to survive so we can continue to feed our great nation and the rest of the world.  We hold hope for a better season as we face hardship and worry every single day.  Farmers love what they do… they care for their livestock, they take pride in managing the land beneath them and they trust in what they are doing to help feed and clothe our nation.

Today I am sharing this photo with you, taken in November 2018, only 2 short months ago.  Our land has suffered the effects of drought, as we had a very dry start to 2018, with the driest first half of a year on record.  Our average annual rainfall is 673mm (26 inches), but in 2018 we only received about half of that… 369mm (14 inches), only 17mm more than the lowest annual rainfall on record.

In the month of November alone, we received 106mm (4 inches)… which had given us hope.  Hope for a break in the dry season and hope for some relief for the land, the livestock and for us.  Sadly it didn’t last for long, but nevertheless, there is light at the end of this tunnel… finally.

Rural Reflection #5…

05 Eager Hereford Breeders Follow With Excitement

image subject to copyright

As in stock management, a new paddock awaits this mob of cows and this photo depicts their excitement as the movement takes place.  A failed forage crop (on the left), planted in February last year, raises its head with the much-anticipated moisture.  Following every big drought, now we have the threat of weeds, invading paddocks that were once pasture.  But through on-farm management, weeds can be controlled, once some rainfall is received.  And those clouds above us hold hope that rain may be coming.

As we drive in front of the cattle, calling them to a new paddock… the hot, dry and dusty conditions were not restraining them at all.  I love this photo because it shows the natural quiet nature of Hereford cattle, the ease of stock movement and the trust that these beautiful breeders have in us.  They trust us to provide them with feed to meet their nutritional requirements.  They trust us to provide them with healthy clean water to drink.  They trust us entirely, as they follow eagerly without apprehension, as they contemplate what paddock may await them next.

So even with the over-bearing drought effects and the long-term process to farm business recovery… our loyalty to these animals and our industry drives us every day.  It is with the love of farming, that we do hold hope for a better season to fall upon us soon.

Take care, Karen.

“Loyalty is what makes us trust,

Trust is what makes us stay,

Staying is what makes us love,

and love is what gives us hope.”

~ Glenn van Dekken  

Rural Reflections #2

Babies in any form, always spark our interest.  Who doesn’t love newborn baby calves?  Today I will share another photo with you all, which reflects hope, something we all need right now.

With this horrid drought affecting farmers physically, emotionally and financially this year… we are always in need of finding joy in something every day.  The calving season always delivers us hope and joy.

This photo was taken in July 2018, right in the middle of this dreadful drought.  Not only farming to keep our stock alive but also at a production level, as we enter the calving season.  Sadly calves are dropping into a hard dry desert-like environment, where optimism is thin and prospects contemplated.  Nevertheless, these newborn calves always promise to bring us a smile.

Rural Reflection #2…

02 Baby Calves Deliver Hope in Drought

image subject to copyright

I really love this photo because of the innocence portrayed with these cute baby calves.  Our Hereford calves are naturally quiet which I adore.  But I love the calmness they simulate by lazing around in the hay, sleeping soundly and the nonchalant yet curious glances they give you.

They just lay upon the hay innocently… the hay that we just fed out in the wretched drought, during the current daily feeding ritual.  As we watch their mothers eating to nourish and gain energy, these babies rest peacefully, as if we just put the hay there for the sole purpose of softening the ground beneath them.  How can one not fall in love with these beautiful tranquil animals?

The adoration we have for baby animals is the one positive motivation to keep us working so damn hard on the farm.  The birth of life in a cycle, re-cements our vision and passion as farmers and reminds us as to why we accept farming challenges.

So my photo for today is reflecting that change is a part of life… we must appreciate the beauty around us and find this beauty amongst the darkness surrounding us.  Drought may have a gut-wrenching hold on us farmers at the moment, but we will get through it.  We just need to look around and be grateful for what we do have right now in our lives.

Take care, Karen.

“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr

 

 

 

National Agriculture Day Nurtured But Revelations Exposed

Have you eaten today?  Are you wearing something comfortable?  Did you put on some perfume or cosmetics this morning?  Thank you to our farmers, they are working hard every day… so we can eat and don’t need to run around naked.  (Scary thought huh!)  Today we celebrate.

It is my purpose to help you understand the direct relationship between food and agriculture, and the importance of food and fibre in our culture.  What you will find surprising in my blog is the revelation that, the extra products manufactured from raw agricultural products… and we use these items every single day.  What are they?

Today is the day to formally acknowledge Agriculture and the significant contribution that Australian farming and the agricultural related industries are making to ensure our nation is food secure and satisfying our community needs.  Nutritious Australian grown food and produce assures us of high eating quality, safe and affordable foods.  Food safety standards are in place to regularly monitor farming businesses to ensure our food supply continues to be safe and suitable for eating.

Farmers are feeding a hungry world, caring for the environment and creating important jobs in rural communities.  Through technological advancements and innovation, farmers are becoming more sustainable in quality and quantity and able to feed more people.  Not only are we provided with quality and healthy food products, we are also able to wear clothing made by our Australian-produced superior fibres like wool and cotton.

Wool is the textile fibre produced most commonly from sheep and Australia is one of the largest wool producers, producing about 25% of the global wool clip.  Merino sheep produce the finest wool.  Wool is a natural fibre with unique breathable but insulating qualities.  Wool is used in a vast array of clothing, from underwear to luxury suits.  Wool is also produced from other animals such as cashmere and mohair from goats, and angora from rabbits.  Some wool is also used to manufacture carpets, bedding and quilts.

Cotton is both a food and fibre product and almost all parts of the cotton plant are used in some way.  We use less land to produce more cotton than any other nation and the most water-efficient cotton producer globally.  Cotton is a soft, absorbent, non-allergenic and a breathable natural fibre.  About 60% of the world’s cotton harvest is used to make clothing.  The rest is used in home furnishings and industrial products such as tents, fishnets, book-binding, paper for bank notes, bandages, cotton buds and x-rays.

Cottonseed is mainly used to make cottonseed oil, margarine and salad dressings.  But it also is used in the manufacture of soap, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, rubber, paint and candles.  Cottonseed is also used to make stock feed which has been used excessively in the current drought, making it more difficult to meet the demand.

The Cattle industry is the largest farming sector in Australian agriculture, accounting for approximately 55% of all farms.  Although Australia is a smaller producer of beef, we are the second largest exporter of beef in the world.  We produce both grass and grain-fed beef.  Beef quality is determined by the size of the beef cuts produced from an animal and the marbling of the beef.  Australian beef cattle farmers produce 2.1 million tonnes of beef and veal each year, which is safe and of high-quality due to our industry standards.

Not only do we get to enjoy mouth-watering steaks and a variety of delicious beef products, many other products are also made from the cattle industry.  This is why the beef industry is so important (even if you do not eat much beef) as the manufacturing of other products makes it a very versatile industry.  Examples of other products include medicines, dyes, inks, adhesives, plastics, pet food, plant food, photo film, wallpaper, plywood, air filters, brushes, felt, insulation, plaster, textiles, fertiliser, charcoal, tennis racquet strings, hormones, vitamins, cosmetics, chewing gum, detergents, deodorant, shaving cream, perfume, lotions, paints, lubricants, biodiesel, cement, chalk, fireworks, matches and shampoo.  So yes, everyone is using some of these products every single day, thank you to the beef cattle industry.

Farmers are producing many agricultural commodities each and every day… wheat, grains, dairy, wine, sugar, horticulture products, fruit, vegetables, fish, pork, chicken, sheep and lamb, the list seems endless.  In Australia, 385,000 hectares are dedicated to farming land to produce our primary agricultural products.  Agriculture does make our world a better place.

So next time you are warm in your woolen jacket or wearing your comfortable cotton panties… give the farmer a second thought!

Next time you bite into your hamburger… please acknowledge the many hours that farmers gave, to provide you with a flavoursome experience of a nourishing beef patty, sizzling onions, crisp lettuce, tasty tomato, all held together on a bun enticed by our wheat farmers.

Every time you chew and taste a tender steak with a glass of wine… recognise how lucky we are to enjoy delicious, nutritious and top-quality food in our country.

Tonight when you shower… remind yourself that our agricultural industry helped me to wash my hair, lather myself with soap and apply our anti-aging moisturiser.

And on New Year’s Eve or at the Show… enjoy those fireworks, with a sense of appreciation to our farmers.

Today, we celebrate how agriculture makes our nation a better place.

For more information about National Agriculture Day see https://www.agday.org.au/

Take care, Karen.

“Farmers don’t just work til the sun goes down,

They work til the job gets done.”

~ Author Unknown

winery

Hardy Hereford Beef is the Boss

Hereford cattle are renowned for their docility or quiet temperament.  But they will also give you excellent feed conversion, hardiness, good fertility traits, easy calving ability and outstanding growth.  These whiteface cattle provide high performance in the beef industry with excellent meat quality and marbling.  The new brand of “Hereford Boss” beef products, grass-fed and a result of consumer demand… lets us taste the difference.

Originating from Herefordshire in south-west England, the british breed of cattle were imported to Australia in 1826 and a year later to mainland Australia.  Further importations in the 1840’s is where it all began.

Hereford cattle are found across Australia in all extremes of environment due to their adaptability.  The hereford has the ability to perform well on a wide range of pastoral conditions, still retaining its good fertility, docility and a top-quality carcase.  The impact of drought on hereford cattle has proved their hardiness and fertility traits.

Their distinctive white face tends to dominate when crossed with all other breeds and was probably the feature, as the popularity of the breed was established.  Hereford and hereford cross weaners still seem to have the most efficient weight gain for age conversion.

Hereford beef has long been recognised for its superb eating qualities.  It is very exciting to have the new “Hereford Boss” brand, the most tender and flavoursome beef product produced in Australia and in the top 10% of all MSA graded beef.  “Hereford Boss” is uniquely grass-fed for life and the most natural beef product available.

The “Hereford Boss” program was developed in consultation with cattle producers, processors and most importantly the end users – consumers.  The program and grading gives consumers the confidence that the eating quality of the breed is consistent.  For more information on Hereford Boss and to taste the difference, click here.

Beef is good for you and it provides nutrients like zinc, iron, protein and B vitamins.  Plus half the fat found in beef is monounsaturated, the same healthy-heart fats found in avocadoes.  Just remember to save our beef industry and eat more beef!

Take care, Karen.

  “7 Days without beef makes one weak”

 ~ Author Unknown

steaks