Reports from our meetings

A history of the meeting activities


May 27 

The Landcare Goulburn Mulwaree Grazing and Farming group gathered on the 27th May for its second workshop, this time hosted at Mike Steketee’s property in Yarra. The workshop was well attended by local land managers who braved the crisp conditions.

Our presenter from Soils for Life, James Diack, with his colleague Kristy Yeates, gave a highly informative presentation explaining the soil-water-plant system. There was lively discussion on a particular weed issue presented to the group and the various options of weed management verses competition, bare ground, and soil health. We also took a theoretical look at soil structure and texture. After afternoon tea and a much needed stretch, James Diack and Kristy Yeates led us on a very interactive session where attendees were able to examine soil samples from their own properties and gardens, leaving many participants excitedly chattering about what they had discovered about their soil samples.

A huge thank you to James Diack and Kristy Yeates from Soils for Life for their time and expertise on this crucial topic.

After this practical session we retreated to the warmth of Mike Steketee’s magnificent old farmhouse where James Diack facilitated a brainstorming session to collate ideas on what participants would like to learn more about at future workshops. Some themes that emerged from this activity broadly include pasture management, vegetation management, soil health, landscape water management, carbon, and farm planning and rotations. This information will inform future workshops and we are also considering running workshops targeting “blockies” as well as “cockies” as we realise the Goulburn Mulwaree agricultural region has immense diversity which we intend to cater for.  For a further breakdown of the main themes our members are interested in learning more about please keep an eye on our gateway which will soon be updated with this information

We also brainstormed participants thoughts on the frequency and timing of our grazing and farming group gatherings and again, please keep an eye on the gateway which will soon be updated with a  schedule of events for the remainder of the year

Feedback from participants was reassuringly positive with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 and all respondents would recommend the group to other local farmers.

A huge thank you to our members for your invaluable feedback and participation in this event. We hope to continue to share and learn from each other and grow the group for the benefit of all our members.


Launch of The Goulburn Mulwaree Grazing Group on 18th March

 Report on the Launch of the Goulburn Mulwaree Landcare Grazing and Farming Group on 18th March 2021. By MIke Steketee, Secretary of Community Voice for Hume and a member of the Grazing and Farming Group, with some modifications by Bob Philipson.

Mayor Bob Kirk attended the launch on Thursday of a new group seeking to promote improved farming practices in our region.

The Goulburn Mulwaree Grazing and Farming Group will share innovative ideas that implement the current best sustainable methods represented by regenerative/resilient agriculture. These methods have been recently endorsed in a policy paper from the Menzies Research Centre, entitled:-

"From the ground up: Unleashing the potential of soil". See

In opening remarks at the launch, Mr Kirk said that, although not a farmer himself, he fully supported the aims of the group to encourage more profitable and regenerative farms in the area.

It is part of the Grow Goulburn Mulwaree Farms and Garden Project run by Community Voice for Hume, a registered Landcare body. The overall project also has received the endorsement of Mr Kirk, as well as that of State MP Wendy Tuckerman and Council general manager Warwick Bennett.

The launch is supported by the provisional announcement that Community Voice for Hume has won a grant to help the grazing group achieve its goal of encouraging and supporting landholders to transition to best sustainable and regenerative farming practices. These have as their highest priorities the health of soil, pastures and farming landscapes.

An example of the new approach is that, instead of maintaining stock numbers during dry periods and hand feeding, animal numbers are reduced so as to retain maximum ground cover. As well as allowing a quicker recovery from droughts, in the longer run this increases levels of organic matter and carbon in the soil, making for more productive pastures.

An important additional benefit is lower input costs for feeding and fertilizers.

The launch was held at the Tirannaville property of Gail and Robert Favalaro, who heads the new group, and was attended by about 20 people.

The main presentation was by the team of Ruth Aveyard, Landcare co-ordinator for Upper Lachlan, and Paul Hewitt, the facilitator of the Upper Lachlan Grazing Group, whose activities have inspired members of the new group.

Mr Hewitt, a farmer near Grabben Gullen, explained that his group supported land management practices that delivered better outcomes emotionally and environmentally, as well as economically.

While encouraging a move towards more regenerative land management, it acknowledged there was a diversity of approaches: there was no single recipe for success.

The convenor of Community Voice for Hume, Bob Philipson, said he was amazed by the breadth of experience and knowledge at Thursday’s meeting, confirming his belief that there was a real opportunity to make a difference to farming landscapes in Goulburn Mulwaree.