In Australian agriculture, so much of what we hear and talk about are the negatives. The tough times, weather, prices, the lack of progress, welfare issues, climate change, and plenty more. But what about those aiming for the stars and nailing it? What about those who truly believe that there is opportunity to always achieve more. They are often the quietly spoken characters, not looking for any limelight. Not interested in having their face in the paper, but simply going about their business of being exceptionally good farmers.
Take for example one of our clients who this month pregnancy scanned his ewe lambs with only 4% empty! The sort of result that we aspire for, but even for me, probably didn’t think was possible. It didn’t happen by chance. It was well planned, and very well executed. An exceptional result.
Or perhaps the client that has once again delivered a scanning result of 191% across all of his mature composite ewes. This isn’t a fluke, but the sort of results he has delivered each year for the past 5 years. A simple five week joining, based upon always making sure that the ewes are in immaculate condition. No fancy tricks, just good management. While others have had scanning results fluctuating with the seasons, he is steadfast in his delivery of impressive results year in and year out.
Move over to merinos and there are even more results to be impressed by. We have seen multiple producers pregnancy scan merinos in excess of 150% this year, but that is simply the first part of the equation. Their view immediately shifts to the strategies around achieving industry leading lamb survival results to go with them. One client last year achieved better twin survival in his superfine merinos, than many in the industry do in their crossbreds and composites. And it all came down to planning, preparation, and effort.
This year I am amazed by the number of producers using temporary electric fencing to split paddocks for lambing. Their goal is to reduce mob size, and improve lamb survival. Too much lamb loss occurs purely due to confusion in the lambing paddock, and mismothering. Reducing mob size, will reduce the number of lambs being born in a paddock on any given day, and therefore reduce the amount of confusion across the paddock. It isn’t a silver bullet, but it is a damn good strategy to help. Across our entire client base this year, including crossbred, composite and merinos, the biggest twin lambing mob is expected to be 170 ewes, with the vast majority around 60 twin ewes to a mob. Five years ago, we would have been told that wasn’t possible. It is, and it is an impressive effort from all!
These are just a handful of examples of people desperate to be better. Better than they were 5 years ago, better than they were last year, better than they were yesterday. Striving to constantly raise the bar, and not accept that the current level of performance or effort is going to be sufficient in the future. They aren’t looking for recognition, or their face in the paper. Simply satisfaction in the knowledge that they are doing the best they possibly can.
Let’s celebrate those having a go, and show the industry, the general public, and the rest of the World what is possible. Real leaders don’t need titles, they need action. They need change, and they need progress. If we stop moving forwards, then we are going backwards. We need to celebrate all of those helping to push forwards into previously uncharted territory.
I believe that we have so much untapped potential in our industry. We will see more progress and change in the next 10 years, than we have seen in the last 50. Being a part of that journey with our clients makes ours' one of the most rewarding jobs in the world.