For 13 years, Mid Lachlan Landcare has been running their groundbreaking Growing the Grazing Revolution (GGR) project, resulting in business and biodiversity gains for local producers and the wider community. 

Launched in 2010, the GGR project is aiming to: 

  • Build the skills of local farmers and increase the capacity for sustainable grazing management in the local community; 
  • Improve water use efficiency to increase groundcover and feed availability, reduce erosion and salinity, increase soil carbon and improving soil health; 
  • Explore and support farming systems which have already demonstrated benefits in the Mid Lachlan Landcare district; 
  • Encourage farming systems which deliver positive financial, social and ecological outcomes; and 
  • Provide forums for local producers to share their experiences, expertise and information about farming systems. 

The project is facilitated by Scott Hickman on behalf of Mid Lachlan Landcare. Scott acts as a mentor, and provides 130 participating local landholders, as well as 238 landholders in Mid Lachlan Landcare’s wider network, with resources and opportunities for knowledge sharing. 

“We want to have people involved in agriculture, and have really resilient, strong landscapes that can actually cope with agriculture, because everybody relies on a farmer three times a day, seven days a week,” said Scott. 

GGR hosts both field days for up to 100 producers, as well as small cluster meetings for 6-12 people to discuss localised issued including management decisions and practices. Scott also focuses on skilling up peer leaders to build community ownership of the project by organising opportunities to visit other farm enterprises, agricultural conferences and training days. 

Local grazier and Mid Lachlan Landcare member Wendy Bowman runs a self-replacing Angus and Wagyu-cross herd on her property in Canowindra. Having practiced holistic grazing management including using controlled grazing and grazing charts since the late 90s, she was thrilled when Scott organized for the Grazing for Profit School to visit the local area as part of GGR as it allowed her to meet and learn from a likeminded group of local producers. 

“Farming is a pretty lonely profession; you often don’t have others around to bounce ideas off. So having the support of the GGR network enabled me to put the training into practice. It added the extra confidence,” said Wendy. 

Wendy immediately got involved with GGR and has since offered up her wool shed to host a dung beetle field day, soil health field day and several cluster meetings for the project. The support of Scott and GGR also helped her through the 2017-2020 drought by giving her the confidence to make difficult decisions including selling down breeding stock, something she hopes will help her through future drought periods. 

Wendy’s experience with GGR led her to become a member of their board, allowing her to give back to the project what she had gotten out of it. Together with the GGR board, Wendy now helps to guide the project, and the board’s diverse range of experience and expertise helps to ensure GGR remains focused on positive outcomes that are relevant for the local community.  

Over the course of the project, Wendy, Scott and the GGR board have found that producers in the region have achieved the greatest success by following four key principles: 

  • Ensuring the landscape has permanent groundcover; 
  • Focusing on maintaining biodiversity; 
  • Supporting healthy soils with strong biomass; and 
  • Having clear goals for their business and landscape. 

They hope that their learnings from the project will not only continue to contribute to the health and wellbeing of their local community and landscape, but that it will inspire Landcare groups across the country to try something similar. 

“I’d advise other groups not to underestimate the demand that might actually be out there for a project like this,” said Wendy. “That was our experience, that we found people just jumped at the chance to have support.” 

To find out more about Growing the Grazing Revolution, visit: 

This case study was produced as part of the Landcare Farming Innovations in Agriculture Series. Supported by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, the Landcare Farming Innovations in Agriculture Series is managed in partnership by Landcare Australia and the National Landcare Network. 

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