Positive Messages from the BIGG Grow Conference

The key messages from the Grow 2021 Conference held by the Barossa Improved Grazing Group on Thursday 18th February were for farmers to stay positive, look at the great things happening in the livestock industry and make the most of the opportunities provided.

Paul Leonard, National Smallstock Livestock Manager for Thomas Foods International demonstrated that the price of lamb and mutton remains high, and for producers in the Barossa area, demand is only going to increase, particularly when their new sheep processing facility is completed within the next three years. He encouraged the use of electronic identification in sheep to provide product assurances and enable stories to be told about the whole value chain.

The positive messages continued with Tim Burvill, Managing Director of South Australian Cattle Co., who runs a vertical beef integration business. Tim encouraged participants to actively look for opportunities, to work on the business rather than in it and to surround yourself with like minded ‘go getters’ who will encourage and support you to achieve your goals.

Steph Schmidt, Clinical Psychologist, and the 2020 SA Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award Winner followed on from this presentation with a discussion on how the brain works. She demonstrated exercises to help improve wellbeing and support everyday psychological flexibility.

The conference supported these ideas, with over 70 people attending the day. It provided a great opportunity for producers to network, have a chat about their local issues and meet with BIGG sponsors who had a range of different trade displays.

Water samples were also tested on the day by PIRSA’s Brian Hughes. Of the 24 samples tested, salinity measured between 100mg/L and 11,000mg/L demonstrating the huge variances in water quality across the region. This was supported by a producer panel session on improving water security and infrastructure. Three producers discussed the challenges that have been associated with the lack of surface run off and ground water which they have previously relied upon. Innovative solutions such as sheeted catchments and water monitoring systems were explored.

BIGG Chair, Ian Koch commented that the day was a huge success, “everyone left the day with a list of things to action to improve a component of their grazing business whether it be their land, livestock or the people side”.

Photos from the conference that appeared in the Stock Journal can be found here.

Presentations are available under the resources tab/ presentations on this website!