Some of the central west catchment’s most innovative farmers are making fundamental changes to their farming practices in response to environmental, social and market-driven pressures.
The Central West CMA, in partnership with Central West Landcare, is showcasing some of the central west’s most impressive examples of sustainable farming throughout this year in celebration of 2012 Australian Year of the Farmer.
Our June Farmer of the Month, the Maynard family of “Willydah”, Narromine is focussed on building a resilient farm business within a healthy environment, not just for immediate needs but for the future of the family.
Bruce and Roz Maynard run their 1476 hectare property at Narromine with their three children, Liam, Ella and Hannah to produce lamb, wool, beef and cereal grains. A fourth generation farmer, Bruce manages the landscape on his property very differently to previous generations.
“We try to reinstate more diversity on the place, while previous generations tried to simplify things.”
To introduce more diversity to the property the Maynards have created a complex system of shrub, tree and grass layers within each paddock.
This provides the structure and complexity needed for healthy biodiversity and resilience in their farm business to withstand climatic and market pressures.
“Our children are the real reason we continue to farm here,” Bruce said.
“For the long term we need to make our property interesting and exciting for them.
“That’s why production alone is not our aim - it is one of the things we strive for, but we also strive for an interesting landscape for them to enjoy in the future.”
The family has reduced its energy consumption and costs through various means.
The use of no-kill cropping techniques reduces their reliance on fossil fuels.
Bruce also uses an electric vehicle on the farm, powered by solar energy.
“We are producing a farming model that is more resilient to knocks. We can go through good seasons and bad with a more consistent output. Very importantly, we are also reducing our reliance on inputs from outside energy sources,” said Bruce.
The Maynards have worked closely with the Central West CMA and other partners to build the diversity and structure on “Willydah” that is paying dividends for the family today.
“The Central West CMA has been an integral part of what we’ve been doing here over the years, being involved with several major projects and hosting many field days,” explained Bruce.
For more information on how the Maynard family manages “Willydah” and to read about other sustainable Central West farmers, or to find out how you can get involved to celebrate the Year of the Farmer visit www.cw.cma.nsw.gov.au.
You can also see the Maynards’ property first-hand by watching Bruce’s clip at