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Cell grazing field day attracts young producers

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Incredibly, Graham Finlayson believes the drought ended for him in 2002 when he first discovered GrazingforProfit. This is why he enthusiastically offered to host a cell grazing field day recently at his property, Bokhara Plains near Brewarrina.

More than 100 interested graziers and local people attended, some travelling many hours to hear what Australia’s cell grazing founder Terry McCosker and the Resource Consulting Services team had to say.

The audience was presented with the fundamentals of cell grazing, with many participants not having any previous exposure to the concept.

According to Graham, this made for an interesting day with lots of questions from both those who had been to a GrazingforProfit (GFP) school and those who wanted to know more.

“There was a large group of younger people who were extremely enthusiastic about implementing cell grazing practices,” Graham explained. “There seems to be a shift occurring in the take-up of new systems because people want to improve in a way that hasn’t traditionally been done.”

Graham and wife Cathy believe they have been on a journey of discovery and learning ever since undertaking the GFP school in 2002, and then moving on to do the ExecutiveLink program.

“It is so important that you keep learning, especially when you run into those long dry spells that force you to make changes,” Graham said.

In 2002, the horrendous dry spell forced the Finlayson’s to do just exactly that. They knew holding onto stock would result in disaster and so there were periods where they destocked completely.

“I believe the drought ended right then, the disaster ended right then and we made a decision to shut down this side of the business and put effort into other things,” Graham said.

“RCS gave us hope at that time. We had already formulated some ideas and so we took the opportunity to start the accommodation enterprise. If we run into another dry spell, we are prepared to take it in our stride.”

The Finlayson’s believe they still have much to learn and having Terry McCosker, Mike Parish and David McLean to provide feedback on their cell grazing techniques throughout the Field Day was invaluable.

Graham said the event was the perfect opportunity to gain their insight into his individual cell grazing management and talk about any other ideas they might have for improvements.

“Once they had a look, I again changed my viewpoint on resting pasture. I was under the assumption I had to rest the cells as much as possible after such a long dry period. They reassured me that a lot of herbages and soft winter annuals are suitable for cell grazing until they have dried off and that it is necessary to move the cattle back on once they have regrowth.”

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