One of Australia’s most innovative and regenerative farmers, Colin Seis, engaged with over 80 local landholders over the past week, upskilling them on the grassland restoration methods he has mastered over the last 30yrs on his property ‘Winona’ in central NSW.
A bushfire in 1979 left Mr Seis with no income and made him completely rethink how he managed his farm. This event was the catalyst for Mr Seis’ mindset “To be more profitable, we should look at what has gone wrong”.
Two free workshops were held over Saturday and the following Monday titled ‘Farming for our Future’. The sessions were facilitated through the Geelong Landcare Network and supported by the Corangamite Catchment Management through funding from the National Landcare Program.
Mr Seis and a mate developed pasture cropping in 1993. His approach, “Grow more plants, grow more diversity”, meant that instead of sowing into a bare paddock, why not keep the grasses already there and add to it. “Instead of sowing pasture, why not restore the grassland.”
Pasture cropping pioneer Mr Seis spent the morning generously sharing with local landholders his farming experiences and how he came to use the low risk, low-cost technique to build healthy soils, contribute to biodiversity and make a profit.
The morning session was followed by an afternoon Q and A session and paddock walk where he pointed out the practical methods of his pasture cropping technique and how it can be adapted to the local conditions.
Corangamite CMA’s Chelsey Agg said, “It is a real pleasure to support the Geelong Landcare Network to deliver this workshop series to allow local farmers to gain invaluable industry knowledge from one of Australia’s most influential people in farming”.
Ms Agg continued, “We are confident that the practical knowledge, enhanced skills, and new partnerships developed will encourage farmers to put their new learnings into practice”.
One local farmer who attended the workshop said, “Attending Field Days like this again is great motivation to look at what low-risk changes I can make to my property to increase the diversity in our pastures”.
This project is supported by Corangamite CMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.