Spending time on the business message that hits home for 1,000th Grazing BMP enterprise

Amy and Richard Holcombe bought Kinma, a 1,610ha grazing operation 11 kilometres north of Moura in mid-2013 and following a chaotic start, have found a good balance for their business and their family.
Like many other grazing families, Richard and Amy split the day to day operational work on-farm, book work, decision making and strategic business direction with raising three children, now aged 6 months, 3 ½ and 5 months.
“We were trying to do things during the day but with three young children it just wasn’t happening, so we’ve had to get smarter,” she said.
So whether she’s had a good night’s sleep or none, Amy Holcombe can be found in the office with Richard before the sun comes up, planning their family’s future.
The Holcombe’s have recently completed an Accelerated Grazing BMP course becoming the 1,000th grazing business to complete the program in Queensland. The program really hit home what was needed for their business.
“When we took over it was chaos and we got so caught up in the day to day, we just needed that little push to get us heading where we wanted to go.”
“Grazing BMP was a big reminder that it doesn’t matter how good you are in the paddock, if you’re not spending time on your business, you might not be doing enough.”
For the Holcombes, the People and Business session of the five module Program was where the benefit for their family was gained.
“In the past to ‘work hard’ and to be doing things well, people thought you had to be in the paddock busting yourself 24/7 – these days that is not the case,” she said.
“If you understand your cost of production as a proportion of your income; control your overheads; understand what drives your profits and know the strengths of your business and where you can improve, you are not as susceptible to the ups and downs of the market.
“We found we were actually meeting industry standards in most modules, and those areas we didn’t meet standard, we were doing most things required – we just needed to ‘fine tune’ or take things a little further to get there.
“It certainly wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be, and I think most producers would be the same.”
Grazing BMP was developed in partnership between AgForce, Fitzroy Basin Association Inc. and Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and is funded by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to support ongoing reef water quality improvements.
Fitzroy Basin Association Inc. Chief Executive Officer Paul Birch said the more graziers that undertake Grazing BMP the greater opportunity to showcase the quality management practices already underway in the Queensland grazing industry.
“We want to acknowledge how important it is to reach this significant milestone of 1,000 grazing enterprises having completed the Grazing BMP program,” Mr Birch said.
“By continuing to demonstrate the industry’s strong take-up of the voluntary program, we aim to avoid the need for regulation and green tape,” he said.
The Grazing BMP Program incorporates five modules – Animal Health and Welfare, Animal Production, Grazing Land Management, Soil Health and People and Business.
The Holcombes have now committed to undertaking a Grazing BMP audit, which involves a desktop review of 55 industry standards and a half-day on-farm audit of the grazing enterprise and procedures, to become an accredited Grazing BMP grazier.
For upcoming Grazing BMP dates check out our events calendar or visit www.bmpgrazing.com.au