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    Wilmot wins regional 'Excellence in Landcare Farming' award

    Wilmot award

    We have great pleasure in congratulating Stuart Austin and Trisha Cowley from Wilmot Cattle Co. Ebor, in winning the Excellence in Landcare Farming Award at this year's NENW Regional Landcare Awards held in Narrabri.

    Local Landcare Coordinator, Sara Schmude said, “I admire Trisha and Stuart’s practical and philosophical approach to land stewardship and their willingness to share their knowledge and experience with the broader community."

    Station Managers at Wilmot since 2016, Trisha and Stuart Austin have embraced a regenerative management approach that places equal emphasis on ecological health and financial profit.

    Their mantra is ‘you can’t manage what you don’t measure’, and this they have undertaken across the 1854 ha property.

    “We live by this philosophy, we measure almost everything we do, from a daily to an annual basis, that results in an annual scorecard of our key metrics of rainfall, soil, grass, livestock and money,” said Stuart Austin.

    The restoration of ecological function has been central to their success, with a shift in 2013 from a set stocking regime to intensive rotational grazing using large mobs of cattle in excess of 1800 head, in paddocks as small as 20 ha, with regular rotation and long rest periods.

    The Austins use the Maia Grazing livestock management software as their number one decision making tool to determine stocking rates relative to carrying capacity, measuring grass consumption and constantly reviewing individual paddock analytics and overall farm performance.

    In 2018 the Austins secured a Federal Government 20 Million Trees Grant and over the course of the next 3 years will plant a total of 20,000 native trees, including 7000 New England peppermints, in 25 km of corridors across the property.

    During this process they appreciated valuable input from long-standing Hanham Landcare Group members, Maria and Chris Eveleigh from Kentucky Tree Nursery.

    In February 2019, the Austins opened Wilmot’s gates to more than 250 people at a field day “Creating Drought Resilient Farm Businesses”.

    Stuart spoke about graziers needing to think differently about farm business management. 

    He advocated accepting the two things beyond control - weather and markets, and focussing on the things we can control - grass, money and livestock.

    The couple received further recognition at the 2019 Carbon Farming Conference by being awarded the ‘National Young Carbon Cocky of the Year’.

    We wish Trisha and Stuart every success as candidates for the State Landcare Awards at Broken Hill in October.

    The New England Regional Landcare Awards were held to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of Landcarers in our region and the positive impact they have on the environment and their community.

    This year the awards were presented at the New England North West Landcare Adventure held in Narrabri and organised by Northern Slopes Landcare Association.

    Image - Trisha, Stuart, Harry and baby Poppy with their award in the garden at Wilmot.

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