PASSION and Sustainable Ag
All farmers and graziers understand that consumers expect us to be doing the right thing for our land and our animals. The great news is WE ARE!
There is no one group more in tune with this than the farmers and graziers themselves.
Generations of livelihoods have relied on good farm management and continue to rely on it to ensure sustainable food production for the world, and succession to the next generation of smart, educated young farmers who are choosing to feed the world, as their profession. We hear so much about sustainable ag and famers now doing all they can to improve their environment.
It has made me reflect on when I first turned up on the farm as a “city girl” knowing little to nothing about agriculture. (FYI - 30 years ago!)
The conversations then were about how they could do this better and that better. How they could drought proof themselves and how they could improve soils and water holding capacity. How they could increase carrying capacity by improving pastures and grasses and how they could improve yields from cropping and on and on it went.
I want to say that this is not new. With 24 hour News and social media there is more and more attention focusing on Ag and many buzz words associated with Ag. We need to applaud the farmers and graziers before us, who had less resources than we do now, and yet still continually improved what they did have. They did an amazing job! They have managed to hand on to the generations after them.
Following from this past, I continue to be amazed by how much the environment has continued to improved with this prior knowledge and technology. Farmers are innovators.
The passion to manage the land by continuing to build healthier soils, by managing breeding and grazing practices to manage pastures and erosion, the work to capture and store water, the R&D to create feeding systems such as the feedlots, are all working to make our environment and sustainable food production even better.
The country and animals must be nurtured, and we, all people in Ag, want to assure everyone that we are all doing this! We live in a wonderful country where the farmers and graziers are passionate about where they live and what they do.
50 000 Screws
So, if you have seen our social media recently, you will know we are currently building a shed that is 230m long by 48m wide. Yes, you read correctly -
50 000 screws to be put in the roof.
The construction team is Dan, his four girls, Bonnie, Molly, Jemima and Matilda and his very dedicated and extremely hard working sister Nora and brother-in-law Dan (#2). I am the biggest cheer leader and supplier of the smoko and 5 o'clock somewhere beers! Watching what they have achieved /are achieving as a team is awe inspiring to me. We have raised the girls to believe they can achieve anything in life if they put their mind to it, but we must say this has taken it to the next level. It really is a massive life lesson.
Why the Shed?
Yes, once again we wish to reiterate that all our cattle are born on grass, raised on grass. Once they have grown to a set weight they enter the feedlot so they can be fattened or finished in the shortest period of time to their genetic potential, ensuring the highest quality nutrition available to them. (Remember, Australia is mostly drought and not flooding rains like present and it is typically very hard to consistently fatten cattle on grass to meet consumer demand each week on supermarket or butchers shelves.)
The shed has no spans, so no columns within the structure and we intend to finish our cattle under this.
By finishing our cattle under the shelter, our animals will be less exposed to weather driven events and will increase our productivity. We aim to increase weight gains to achieve a quicker turn off of consistent, quality beef. This means more beef is produced from less resources, which reduces the environmental impact per kilogram of beef produced.
We use the manure on our paddocks to build our soils. We wean our calves early so our cows are healthy and strong to get back in calf so productivity is high. We make sure our paddocks are not overstocked. We catch our water with the use of contour banks which also manages erosion. We live and breathe “sustainable ag” as has the past generation – always looking for ways to improve.
I use the word profession above because not everyone can grow food. We will most certainly stick to beef and leave the veges to those who are experts in their field. I always have great intentions with my vege garden, aiming to be able to harvest daily and eat fresh produce, however my knowledge and skills seem to let me down every time. I will leave that to the professional vege growers and stick to what we know – growing quality, consistent beef from our farm to you!
The welfare of our animals is our number 1 priority and we don’t just say that because we think we should. The welfare of our animals effects our bank balance. They are the ones that put money in our bank. Put simply, we do everything we can to look after our land and our animals.
We want to tell our story. We want consumers to know that we get out of bed for our animals. We grow a quality protein source that is full of the 12 essential nutrients our body needs. Cattle eat grass and other plants that humans cannot, and turn it into food that provides brain and muscle development, immunity and energy! How great is that!!
The Australian Ag Podcast
The girls are currently chairing a 10 minute weekly podcast with other young people in Ag as a part of The Australian Ag Podcast, which is hosted by The Australian and The Weekly Times. This amazing opportunity, which the girls are incredibly grateful for, has come as a result from winning "The Youth Shine Award" in 2022. We would like to thank The Australian and The Weekly Times team for providing this opportunity.
This weeks episode they chat with Hugh Dawson. It was so inspiring to hear his PASSION shared as well, and the quote of the session for me was, "If you ever think you are too small to have an impact, you have never been in bed with a mosquito." Just some of his words of wisdom. (You can find this episode here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6xicerxewlLZ4qQJdvtvyY?si=5f8edcef81224a52
Hugh's words resonated greatly and have also inspired. As a smaller family beef operation who thought they would export Four Daughters branded beef to the world, we do feel like the mosquito compared to the large companies that control the processing supply chain in Australia. It is a very very hard sandpit to play in but we are a strong unit, who are real, and will continue like the mosquito to make an impact.
So yes, we love cows and we love Ag. Help us share the genuine, authentic story of food production! Please share this with family, friends and colleagues! A ripple can make a wave.
As our video ends.. “We love what we do and we hope you do to!”
Have a watch!
Speaking of which, DECEMBER MIXED BEEF PINK BEEF BOX orders close on 19th November - 3 weeks left to secure your next beef box for 2022- CLICK HERE.
We also have bulk sausages boxes available! Stock up for your simmer BBQ!
LAST MONTH CUSTOMER FEEDBACK!
"Hi there - I just wanted to say that I picked up our first box today from Molly at the Kedron stop. Wow the packs look fantastic! I didn’t realise they’d all be ready for the fridge/freezer.
Bbq organised for tomorrow to try out the steaks/sausages."
"Just wanted to let you know that we cooked up the rump last night and it was absolutely delicious! We will be repeat customers! As will my dad who joined us for dinner last night.
"Always great product and friendly service from the Penfold family. Thanks!!"
"Hi Karen, just wanted to say a massive thank you!! My family absolutely loved the meat I purchased. Our Sunday BBQ was a massive hit especially with my 14yr old son, asI usually can't get him to eat. He ate so much he had no room for dessert. I'll definitely be ordering again!" Rita
(If it has been a while since you ordered or were disappointed with any of our products or packaging, we want to assure you we have worked with our butcher on this)