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Beefed up Grazing Forum a winner

This year's Cape York NRM Grazing Forum attracted almost 70 attendees at the Laura Rodeo grounds and based on the immediate responses and the feedback survey, it was a winning formula.

As promised, this year’s event combined expert information, with a bit of fun, a lot of food and a great night of music from local legends Black Image band.

Lucky door prizes also added to the festivities with one grazier happy to collect a new wheelbarrow donated by Cooktown Cairns Hardware, with a case of beer thrown in. Other prizes included fishing lures, and an overnight stay at Pullman Cairns International Hotel in Cairns for another lucky couple.  

But the business of beef was front and centre throughout the two days with presentations on a wide variety of subjects including a fascinating account of genomic sequencing of cattle, carbon credit schemes, soil sequestration, gully erosion remediation, Crime Stoppers and the importance of minor details, navigating the world of financial support grants, fire management planning, how to use the NAFI alert system and the nuts and bolts behind better performing grazing businesses. 

Sharing knowledge and speaking up in Q&A sessions was also an important part of the Forum, and there were plenty of opportunities for attendees to compare notes with other graziers, corner an expert over a coffee, or just catch up with old friends. 

One recurring theme among presentations and grazier discussions alike was the need for accurate record keeping. Having year-by-year comparisons was essential on everything from pasture management, productive herds, weights, herd expenditure, overhead costs, rates and rents, capital improvements, labour efficiency, long-term carrying capacity and breeding data such as growth rates, mortality, turn-off weights and joining/timing decisions.

As one presenter put it. Good records are like having the trusty torch rolling around in the back of the car. When the car breaks down, a torch can't fix the problem but it can shine a light on where the problem may lay. Records shine a light on where a business may be underperforming, or not.

The 2022 Grazing Forum is funded by the Australian Government's Reef Trust, the Australian Government's National Landcare Program and supported by Meat and Livestock Australia and AgForce.