I have an American friend, Jim Dornan, who is very successful in business. One of his much quoted sayings is "If you don't change direction, you will end up where you are headed"
It is my observation that too many people never take the time to figure out what they want their life to look like, say 10 years from now. These people, it seems, get up each day and deal with the challenges that life serves up, one day at
a time. They flop into bed at night, just to repeat the process tomorrow. They seem content in the belief that they have no real control of their destiny. Failure to set a goal is no more than a decision. All decisions carry consequences. Australians,
for whatever reason, have over time made decisions that now find only 1% retire on an income greater than $40k per year. After 40 years in the work force, more than 80% of Australian retirees are grateful for the Aged Pension. Too many people, in my opinion,
live lives of quiet desperation .
When we take time to develop a clear picture of our desired lifestyle, say 10 years from now, it is pretty easy to workout if the path we have chosen is going to take us there or not.
If not, we need to "change direction" This is not dissimilar to the lost traveler who reprograms the GPS. To do this requires identifying your current position as well as where you want to go. The action step is getting into motion with a
willingness to follow instructions.The GPS, as we all know, gives very clear instructions. "At the next roundabout, take the second exit" We know that each action step is made with only one objective. To take you to your written down destination. If you disobey
the instruction and " take a short cut" the computer has to recalibrate the route starting from your new position and ending at the same stated destination.
Before we moved to Dunblane I spent years thinking about exactly
what it was that we were trying to achieve. I knew that both Elizabeth and I wanted a rural lifestyle. Because for me it needed to meet the criteria set out by "grandpa's world" it had to be effective for grandchildren when they were preschool, adolescents
and young adults. It needed to provide for boys and girls. It had to be easily accessible etcetera . For Elizabeth it needed to allow her to pursue her love of horses. It needed to have an old rambling farmhouse, beautifully maintained, surrounded by an established
I wrote multiple lists and visited many properties. I remember once, after a 5 hour drive, with the agent in the car, I turned around at the gate, refusing to do an inspection. I just knew it was wrong, because the
vision of what I was trying to do was so crystal clear.
One of the huge concerns I have about farming in Australia is that it has become non viable as a business. The input costs far outweigh the Earnings. Over the last 40 years,
Australian land dedicated to agriculture has fallen by 20% which means that since 1976, farmers have abandoned more than 100 million acres of land. I think the average age for farmers is in the mid fifties. I know that young people are not interested
in a career on the land.
In his address to the National Press Club, on 19/10/2011, Alan Jones said: "Mr. Rudd told scientists in Brisbane that global food production would need to increase by 70% by the middle of the century to
feed an expected population of 9.3 billion. At about the same time, the Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson, predicted that exporting food to Asia would provide a massive opportunity for Australia to further cash in on the urbanisation of Asia. Dr.
Emerson said, "As 1 billion extra people inhabit the region by 2035, and the proportion of Asia's population living in urban areas increases from 42% to 55%, the demand for protein rich food is set to soar."
HOW CAN IT BE,
THAT IN THE FACE OF SUCH MASSIVE OPPORTUNITY, FARMERS ARE THROWING IN THE TOWEL AND WALKING AWAY? Surely there is a need to change direction.
I have practiced goal setting for the best part of 25 years. It was "music to my ears"
to discover that Holistic Management is all about setting a long term goal and then engaging in a series of decision making processes designed to identify the action steps, which like the GPS, will move me towards my written down holisticgoal ( which is a
description of the desired lifestyle)
Every decision MUST be 1: Financially Sound
2: Environmentally Sound
3: Socially Sound
There is a 7 step questionnaire to check compliance.
read enough and watched enough short testimonials on YouTube to know that Holistic Management can and does make farming, not only financially viable, but also environmentally responsible. Best of all, those engaged in its practice seem to be filled
with optimism. They display emotions of joy and happiness. The journey they are taking is not alone, but shared with their family and friends. WHAT A DEAL!!
I AM A PERSON WHO LOVES A CHALLENGE.
By now I have realised that I have two separate challenges on " Dunblane."
1: Correcting the degradation problem in "The Bluff" This involves activating the
Liquid Carbon Pathway. As Christine Jones put it "The cocktail cover crop will channel liquid carbon, increase microbial diversity, stimulate nutrient cycling and build new topsoil. These factors inturn encourage the establishment of perennial grasses."
The goal for this perennial pasture is biodiversity. "Diversity above ground improves the interconnections in the soil food-web below ground."(Jones) i have come to realize that the cover crop gets things started, but to potentiate this long into
the future will require the beneficial effects of mob grazing.
2: Managing the remainder of the farm so that we can turn off sufficient lambs and steers to pay the bills.
To do this sustainably, requires that I energise the Liquid Carbon Pathway In the established pastures..........." to increase microbial diversity, stimulate nutrient cycling and build new topsoil. These factors inturn encourage the establishment of perennial
grasses." (Jones). Ha!! the same thing!!
In established pastures this is done with mob grazing, utilising
the tools of both "grazing" and "animal impact" which are distinct tools, not one and the same thing. www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6HGKSvjk5Q
In any industry, tools are used to manipulate ‘resources’, and the purpose of using the tool is your achievement or movement towards a specific outcome.
When managing holistically the resources that underpin your economic whole, and the things you manipulate, are the four renewable ecosystem processes. They are the underlying capital of your business.
Once you begin, you are making decisions that give equal footing to your quality of life, your economic success, and to the four ecosystems that govern your environmental soundness. (Bruce Ward)