MaiaGrazing was excited to travel back to the USA and attend The Grassfed Exchange Conference 2019. The yearly event is a gathering of regenerative ranchers, dairymen, and sustainable food supporters from across the world who come together to network and exchange ideas.
As always, a great line up of informative speakers to help producers understand the possibility of managing and finishing cattle correctly on grass and to produce the best quality beef and dairy products possible that also ensures consistency of quality within the industry.
The MaiaGrazing Grassfed Exchange 2019 session featured internationally renowned grazing experts
Jim Gerrish – American GrazingLands Services, Central Idaho
Jim Gerrish is an independent grazing lands educator and consultant providing service to farmers and ranchers on both private and public lands across the US and internationally. He currently lives in the Pahsimeroi Valley in central Idaho and works with numerous ranchers using both irrigated pastures and native rangeland as well as working in high natural rainfall environments. His past experience includes over 22 years of beef-forage systems research and outreach while on the faculty of the University of Missouri. His research encompassed many aspects of plant-soil-animal interactions and provided the foundation for many of the basic principles of Management-intensive Grazing.
He has authored two books on grazing and ranch management. Management-intensive Grazing: The Grassroots of Grass Farming was published in 2004 and Kick the Hay Habit: A practical guide to year-around grazing was published in 2010.
He typically speaks at 40 to 50 producer-oriented workshops, seminars, and field days around the US and internationally each year. Jim keeps his day-to-day grazing tools sharp through the management of a ranch unit consisting of 450 center pivot irrigated pastures, 100 acres of flood ground, and several hundred acres of rangeland.
His research and outreach efforts have been recognized with awards from the American Forage and Grassland Council, Missouri Forage and Grassland Council, National Center for Appropriate Technology, USDA-NRCS, the Soil and Water Conservation Society, Progressive Farmer, and American Agricultural Editors Association.
This is Jim’s first time to the Grassfed Exchange so be sure to come & see him on the MaiaGrazing stand or at Friday afternoons breakout session on creating drought resilient grazing businesses.
Stuart Austin – Manager: Beef Production, Wilmot Cattle Company, Australia
Stuart, alongside his wife Trish and son Harry, manage the natural grassfed beef operations for Wilmot Cattle Co, based at Ebor in northern NSW, Australia. He wholeheartedly believes in a profitable regenerative agriculture management model and manages its properties in this manner. Stuart is a firm believer in the phrase “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” and as such uses various technology tools to measure production in the business, including MaiaGrazing.
Stuart grew up in southern NSW before heading north to the Northern Territory where he spent the most part of 10 out of the last 19 years, working in, contracting to, and managing large scale beef operations. Interspersed with some time spent in a feedlot in southern Queensland, rural training in north Queensland, and three years in Canada working in broadacre cropping and starting an international recruitment business.
Stuart and Trish moved to Wilmot in the Nth East of the State of New South Wales in September 2016 to take up the opportunity presented to them of managing a property holistically with a grass finishing focus, and they haven’t looked back! Surrounded by highly motivated staff and a terrific management team, who support innovation that leads to better environmental, production, and profit outcomes, they are excited by what the future holds for them and the Wilmot Cattle Company.
Col Feilen – MaiaGrazing, Australia
Col grew up on his family property in New South Wales, Australia where their primary enterprises included fine wool production and grassfed beef.
Having studied Systems Agriculture at University, Col spent the next 18 years dedicated to growing out innovative technology businesses in sectors spanning from agriculture, telecommunications, urban planning and corporate services.
In October 2015, Col came full circle and launched MaiaGrazing to support graziers to get in control of their profitable decision making through the simple application of technology.
Col say’s “There are many aspects to managing a profitable grazing enterprise, but those producers leading the industry understand it’s the management of their grass and natural resource base, not the livestock, that is the true foundation of their business success. Whether it’s our clients with 20 head or 20,000 head of cattle, this foundation principle remains the same. At MaiaGrazing we’re helping graziers extract value from their records in ways not possible on paper which positions them to be proactive in their decision making and management instead of being reactive. Making early decisions is where the money is made or losses are mitigated in our industry, so we focus on solving this problem with our clients through our simple to use software”.
Feilen describes the cloud-based MaiaGrazing software a precision agriculture tool with a grazing specific focus wrapped into a farm management program. MaiaGrazing works on a desktop web browser and also on or offline as an app version. The Free MaiaGrazingLITE version enables producers to do a variety of tasks, including tracking their herd, input pasture entries, understand grazing yields on individual pastures, map pastures, buy and sell livestock, record day-to-day farm management details, and even manage livestock inventory down to individual stock classes. The premium MaiaGrazingPRO version has everything in the free MaiaGrazingLITE version plus invaluable analytics, insights, and simple to use planning and scenario forecasting tools that back them up with the big dollar stocking rate decision making which puts you ahead or behind.
This is Col and the MaiaGrazing teams 3rd Grassfed Exchange conference and is thrilled to be hosting a session at the conference on Friday after lunch with Jim Gerrish from American GrazingLands Services and leading Australian rancher Stuart Austin. MaiaGrazing will also have a booth at the conference, so be sure to come and say hi.
Col lives with his wife Elizabeth and two daughters in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales – about 60 miles out of Sydney and also sits on the board of Australia’s first 100% member-owned, independent, social enterprise bank.