EMS creating Healthy Communities

Doug Paton
June 2006

EMS for me has been an enlightening experience in that it has made me more aware of our environmental responsibilities to our soil health our waterways and communities expectations

It has made me strive for more biodiversity in a sustainable way by monitoring the health of our farm through keeping ground cover to more than 75% and attending to special needs areas like erosion, high use lane ways, waterways etc.

The need to conserve rain and utilise the rainfall on our place by planting deep rooted perennials and having a healthy water cycle

To matching available feed to animal nutrient requirements through a managed grazing system that encourages a healthy mineral/nutrient cycle which promotes the growth of biodiversity from plants to bacteria in the soil our enterprise has invested in winter active dung beetles to complement our grazing system in moving nutrients through the soils (mineral cycle)

Our responsibilities to our community with proper disposal of inputs silage wrap, oils, chemicals, dead stock etc so as not to pollute water ways/soil and air, to adhere to Catchment Management Authority guide lines.

It has made me more aware of the OH&S issues associated with our enterprise, it gives our enterprise a monitoring tool on all aspects of our day to day programmes as well as reviewing process of things completed and in progress it reminds you of your responsibilities in instructing your workforce on certain procedures to be completed how and who to contact in times of need

Most of all it gives me some pleasure in knowing that we produce quality beef in a sustainable way with the systems we use and work with in this framework :

Healthy soils, Healthy animals, Healthy food chain, Healthy Humans, Healthy community

I would like to think that EMS produced product would be looked on favourably by the end consumer giving us a marketing edge and a better return ($) in doing so acknowledging the care takers of the land can continue to be viable

(One of the 100 farms in the pilot program conducted by a partnership of North Central, North East & Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authorities in Victoria,  and funded by the Australian Government through its EMS National Pilot Programs)