Location: Gogango, 65km West of Rockhampton, Central QLD

Property size: 3,500 hectares 

Currently runs: 1200 – 1400 LSU 

Average annual rainfall: 615mm 

Enterprise: Beef cattle trading 


  • Increased ecosystem health and resilience
  • Property development
  • Giving back to community and industry
  • Great result from family succession

Drivers of Success: 

  • Regenerating, not sustaining
  • Desire to improve land for future generation
  • Education

Ideas for future innovation: 

  • More solar technology
  • Satellite mapping for feed budgeting
  • Online grazing charts
  • Walk-over weighing and automatic drafting

RCS services used: 

Ecosystem Improvements for Profit and Purpose

In 2007, Andrew and Meagan Lawrie became the owners and managers of Moora Plains, a 3,500-hectare property they had been managing in partnership with their family since 2000. Noticing a gradual decline in landscape health, they embarked on a journey of property and personal development, transforming Moora Plains into the productive, healthy, and innovative operation it is today.

Located on the banks of the Fitzroy River, which runs into the Great Barrier Reef, the decisions they make impact more than their own business. Thankfully, Andrew and Meagan remain determined to do whatever it takes to positively impact their local ecosystem. Their transformative journey is proof that sustainability and profitability can work in harmony.

The Challenges of the Early Days

When Andrew and Meagan started managing Moora Plains, they had several challenges ahead of them. Firstly, the family had to work through succession to produce a positive result for all involved. Next, they needed to extract more income from a tired landscape. Most importantly, they aspired to convert the traditionally-managed property—in a state of ecological decline—into a thriving, healthy operation for cattle and people. On top of all this, like most other graziers, they have to contend with extreme weather events, experiencing floods, droughts and frosts in the last decade.

Case Study - The Lawrie Family

Gaining Momentum Through RCS

The most significant turning point for the Lawries came from completing GrazingforProfit®. The course opened their eyes to what was possible on Moora Plains with ecosystem regeneration. The couple went on to complete the three-year ExecutiveLink® program from 2003-2006. During this time, the Lawries gained huge momentum in their business. They found that support from other producers and mentors assisted them in maintaining strategic direction. The pair strongly believes education was the catalyst to their business success.

Early Adopters of Innovative Strategies

Andrew and Meagan quickly adopted much of what they were exposed to through RCS. “Taking action and implementing what you learnt is critical, as education with no action won’t give you the changes you need,” says Andrew. Some of the strategies they implemented and still utilise include;

  • Time-controlled grazing with electric fencing
  • A fully reticulated water system to shift reliance off bores and dams
  • Camels for weed management and grazing biodiversity
  • Low-stress stock handling
  • Ecosystem monitoring and data recording (including Grazing Charts, Fixed point photo monitoring, Feed budgeting using SDH (Stock Days per Hectare), ProfitProbe® business analysis tool, Land condition scoring (A-D) and KLR Business Analyser Spreadsheet)

Reaping the Benefits of Regenerative Agriculture

The underlying incentive for the Lawries to adopt sustainable management is their drive to improve the land for future generations and prove that ecosystem health makes sense for business profitability. Determined to achieve this, they took on significant debt for property development—a risk they now see benefits from.

Here are just some of the results the Lawries have seen from their application of innovative sustainable agriculture strategies:

  • Improved response to rainfall with pastures capturing and storing maximum moisture.
  • Boosted carrying capacity.
    Increase in plant and animal biodiversity, improving the overall resilience of their ecosystem.
  • Improved water use efficiency.
  • Increase in beef production.
  • Resilience to market fluctuations and changing weather conditions.
  • Increase in ground cover and improved overall condition of the land.

The Future of Moora Plains

When it comes to land management, the Lawries believe there is no end to how much the ecosystem can improve. Some of their big aims and ideas for innovation might see them;

  • Run 2000 LSU on the same land area.
  • Improve production while increasing profitability.
  • Reduce debt and increase the diversity of income.
  • Make further paddock subdivisions to create higher stock density.
  • Use online grazing charts to allow graziers to click and drag a mob of cattle on a paddock map to calculate feed removed automatically.
  • Use satellite technology for feed budgeting and ecosystem health monitoring.
  • Apply Brix measurements to calculate optimal energy at grass level.
  • Replace diesel generators with more cost-effective and sustainable solar pumping technology.
  • Utilise walk-over-weighing and automatic drafting.

In the future, Andrew and Meagan hope to see more cohesion between producers and other supply chain members, with everyone working together to create profit and healthy ecosystems. For other producers wanting to make positive changes in their business Andrew and Meagan recommend getting an education on all aspects of agricultural business, including communication and people management.

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