As beef producers, we need to have a wide understanding of many factors to build and maintain our production. Sustainable beef farming practices have become extremely important to ensure pasture, soil and water management, along with the efficient use of resources. At the Watergrasshill Angus farms, we practice rotational grazing, moving the cattle in small groups of 8-12 across paddocks.
Grass grows prolifically at this time of the year which has been great for feed. Our property is on a hilly pasture. We keep the top hill for harvest and the bottom for grazing. Water troughs are positioned at the bottom of the hill purposely, so that the cows walk up the hill to eat and go down to drink. It is much easier to go downhill when hot, so it encourages movement.
In terms of animal management, human interaction is vital. We pick out about five leaders of the herd which are used to the grazing pattern and interactions with us. These leaders work to keep the new cattle in line and organize the older heifers. Naturally, we tend to develop our favorites. We like to keep our favourites on the farm to live out their days.
We have over 20,000 native trees on our property that attract native birds and insects. They also act as wind breaks for our farm. Nature corridors cover around 17% of our land which tiger snakes, platypus, bush-rats, native crays and other species inhabit. Trees bring life and diversity. We want to work with the land not against it. We have an ongoing program to plant 700 new trees per year that are native to the area.
Watergrass Hill Angus is happy to be accredited with the Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association and hopes this will give us the exposure to develop a solid customer base, without compromising our ethics.
We are mindful of carbon footprints and ethical farming, caring in a humane manner, while still being mindful of the price to bring our beef straight to your table.
While growth is important, we want to keep supplying our niche market, rather than overstocking our lot and not being able to adequately look after the animals.