In August, the Bush AgriBusiness team took a group of clients on a tour of pastoral businesses on the Barkly Tablelands, visiting stations in Qld and the NT. We all returned home with a new perspective and a greater understanding of managing cattle, grass, people and businesses on an extensive scale.
The 18 members of the group were made up of producer group clients from the Maranoa and Pareto groups, along with two clients from the Gulf region. All clients on the tour have their businesses benchmarked using The Business Analyser®, as do the pastoral company stations we visited. This facilitated the sharing of knowledge amongst the group (visitors and hosts), allowing deeper insights to be gained. This two-way sharing of insights paved the way for some excellent discussions during the week on topics such as;
- staff management and retention
- preparing cattle for different markets
- different management styles
- managing seasonal variability
- managing land condition
- the importance of good genetics
We all returned home with a new perspective and a greater understanding of managing cattle, grass, people and businesses on an extensive scale.
It was a unique opportunity for the group to gain an understanding of the challenges and opportunities of managing a beef business on the Barkly, and operating within a pastoral company structure. It was also a good opportunity to build networks with other beef business managers. While many of these management challenges and opportunities were particularly unique to the Barkly production systems, the discussion of management strategies offered many learnings and principles that could be applied by the group in their own businesses.
Despite being underestimated, our trusty minibuses proved themselves and survived the journey (with only one flat tyre along the way)! With their wheelbarrow tyres handling 700kms of bulldust and corrugation, these buses proved themselves as ultimate off-road vehicles! We are very grateful to the host businesses for their hospitality. The open and honest attitude of all involved, a hunger for learning and a willingness to share collective wisdom made the tour a success.