Grazing For Growth — How OBE is Leading the Charge in Sustainability

On the 21st August, OBE Organic hosted their second innovation forum in Roma.  One of the focuses of this forum was to introduce organic producers to the Grazing Best Management Practices (#GrazingBMP) program, and its long term benefits to producers. Here is a little bit of history about the program and how OBE Organic came to be involved in it.

 

Roma Forum Logo

 

The grazing BMP program was initiated after the success of similar programs in the cotton and grain industries. These programs are known by industry as Cotton BMP and Grains BMP. The Grazing BMP program was developed by the Fitzroy Basin Association with support from Agforce & the Queensland Government. The Fitzroy Basin Association is the natural resource group of the Fitzroy Basin.

 

The Grazing BMP program was developed to ensure that beef producers in the region were operating in a way that ensured sustainability and to reduce grazing impact on the Great Barrier Reef.  To date, 25% of beef producers in the Fitzroy Basin region are now participating in the program. To see how this program has already contributed to positive outcomes for the reef, please visit the Target 100 YouTube Channel.

 

As Australia’s oldest organic beef marketing company, OBE Organic recognised early,  the importance of sustainability in the beef industry. In June 2015, OBE announced its partnership with Grazing BMP, to deliver what is thought to be the world’s first best management practices program for organic beef producers. Grazing BMP is a voluntary industry led process that consists of 5 modules that are built around:

 

– animal health and welfare

– animal production

– grazing land management

– people and business

– soil health

 

This self-assessment program is designed to allow graziers to identify aspects of their business that are below industry standards, and then supplies them with the skills to be able to developing their practises to reach, and then exceed these standards to ensure that they can remain sustainable.

 

OBE’s Livestock Coordinator, Ross Mackenzie sees lots of value in the Grazing BMP program. “It’s great to see the journey producers are going on, to benchmark their business against industry and then work through plans to improve their practises and become more sustainable,” he says.

 

To meet booming global demand, OBE is looking for more committed organic beef producers to join the OBE family. To discuss supply or your organic livestock to OBE, please call Ross on mobile: 0409 960  084 or email him at rmackenzie@obeorganic.com

Dalene Wray & Ross Mackenzie in Roma

Trader Schmidt, Mick Crothers & Eduardo Prado

The OBE Organic Grazing BMP forum, held in Roma on Friday the 21st of August was a great success and provided the opportunity for producers to complete two of the five Grazing BMP modules. Watch our General Manager, Dalene Wray, give a recap of forum here. To see more of what OBE is doing to help producers flourish, please connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn.

Forum attendees working through the #grazingBMP modules

Panorama of Roma #grazingBMP forum.1

For more information about this innovative initiative, please visit the Grazing BMP website here.

This blog post was written by Sarah Rutledge, Sales and Marketing Executive for OBE Organic. It is the first of a series of four blog posts about the #GrazingBMP program. Sarah is participating in the Graham Acton Beef Connections Program, which is aimed at developing the skills of young beef producers by providing training and personal development opportunities. Sarah is being mentored in the program by Charlie Wilson who was one of the very first graziers to champion the concept.

Here's Charlie Wilson and Sarah Rutledge working on Sarah's Beef Connections project.

The inaugural Beef Connections program is a new initiative of Beef Australia and is proudly supported by Westpac Agribusiness. It has been named in honour of the late Graeme Acton, who was a leading Queensland beef industry figure renowned for supporting young people in entering the sector, and sharing with them his extensive knowledge.

Chat to Sarah on Twitter about her project and OBE’s focus on sustainability at @SarahFRutledge or email her at srutledge@obeorganic.com.

 

 

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