Kay caught up with Jodi Roebuck ahead of the Grazing Workshop that he will be delivering at Koanga, to get an idea of what participants can expect from the course:
Q: Can you earn a living doing this or is it just for homekill meat.
A: That’s the context and scale bound but yes many farmers are making their incomes grazing holistically with improving landscapes.
Q: Jodi who is this workshop for?
A: Anyone who wants to graze on any scale while improving pasture diversity, lowering inputs and buffering extremities such as drought/runoff. Novice to rancher
Q: Do you have to be a farmer already?
A: Not at all, I’m proof of this
Q: Is it a useful workshop for existing traditional farmers?
Q: Is it a useful workshop for those who dream to become farmers but do not own land?
A: Yes I’ve explored the access to land relationship in depth, for us it was the only way to increase the size of our farm without a mortgage. A local farming mentor/friend has 20 leases yet owns no acreage
Q: Do you see this as useful for people who own lifestyle blocks, or larger farms.?
A: Both, the principles & patterns are scalable. I regularly work with farmers in brittle (dry) climate who farm 5000 acre, yet I also value the learnings/feedback that come from a small mob managed tight
Q: Does it apply to all kinds of animal management?
A: Esp sheep and cattle but also done with goats
Q: How did you get into farming, when we met you were a gardener?
A: We had to do something with our outer acreage so first I learnt to fence then came the grazing which has fascinated me. Herbivores have developed grasslands as have humans developed cultivars
Q: What inspired you?
A: Salatins ideas such as access to land which led me to follow Greg Judys work documenting the restoration of his farms ecology and finances
Q: Who did you learn from?
A: Local farmers Bruce Andrews and Matt Denson, Darren Doherty Joel Salatin Bruce Davison Of Candelo Salers.
Q: Is this kind of farming you are doing and teaching about, a realistic proposition for other young people today?
A: Can you earn a living doing this or is it just for homekill meat. Thats context and scale bound but yes many farmers are making their incomes grazing holistically with improving landscapes.
Q: You are very passionate about everything you do but what is it about Holistic Management that get you buzzing?
A: Darren Doherty pushed the import and find out a few things about his knowledge and fascinationstracking down farmers in VIC, NSW and CA that were grazing holistically. The pattern I witnessed was restoring grasslands despite drought, creating calm, shiny animals in great condition and farmers who still worked hard but had quality of life, not to mention they were also in control of all the on farm decisions. I like the relationship of using timed grazing to restore grasslands while mimicking natural patterns. Independence from fertilizer companies, seed companies & vets appealed to me also.