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
Drivers of Success:
Ideas for future innovation:
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.
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.
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.
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;
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:
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;
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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