Trees For Life
by Kirsty White 2016 e-Leaders Grow, Innovate and Sustain Program participant
Sharing Stories of Sustainability | Tree Planting for Sustainability
When I think about what sustainability means in agriculture, I find great inspiration from the longevity and history of family livestock businesses. My husband, Sam and I, with our two boys aged 11 years and 7 years, live and work on a property called Bald Blair, located on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales.
Together with two full time staff we run 400 angus stud cows and 600 commercial angus cows, plus their progeny on five properties. We also have 1000 head of sheep. Our angus stud, Bald Blair Angus, www.baldblairangus.com.au is the one of the oldest angus stud in Australia and my husband’s family have been farming on the main property Bald Blair since 1898.
We are very grateful for the opportunity to build on the generations of hard work that has gone before us and we continue to strive for a profitable livestock operation, whilst maintain a sustainable resource base.
One of the reasons I applied for the 2016 e-Leaders Grow, Innovate and Sustain program was to connect with other rural women. The sustainability project I worked on was to plant native trees and shrub seedlings on Bald Blair in three sites. The provision of trees is a key in biodiversity and will provide habitat for birds and other native animals to increase their numbers. This year we have planted 600 native shrubs and trees.
Our goal is to plant 1000 trees a year, season permitting. We’ve been working on this goal for almost 17 years and every year we are seeing the benefits in the landscape. Our local Northern Tablelands Local Land Services (LLS) have provided great support for my project. I attended a number of workshops which assisted me to collate the information I needed.
At the same time as doing the e-Leaders program I was also doing another program that focussed on self-awareness and personal leadership and this was complimentary and great timing. Another key way I stay connected is via our local Ladies in Livestock Group. We meet monthly and this group provides a source of great seasonal and technical advice, as well as providing links with local female farmers.
One of the best snippets of advice I received when I started working at Bald Blair, was to “do as many courses as you can before having kids”. I decided to keep up with professional development after having the kids. It can be challenging to juggle everything at times, but I’m giving it my best shot and the rewards have been significant.
Family Photo Credit – Al Mabin Photography