Obsalim. If you follow our blog, and us, you will know we are big fans of this method of animal husbandry and its French instigator Dr Bruno Giboudeau. We have been fortunate to have Bruno visit the farm several times to teach us and other dairy farmers about the benefits of Obsalim and how it can translate from the French, to the Australian context. Our goats have definitely benefited.
If you’ve missed hearing from vet Bruno previously, then you have another chance this October when he comes to Australia to speak at the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA) AGM. NASAA was formed in 1986 to support the education of industry and consumers on Organic, Biodynamic and Sustainable agricultural practices. It’s fully owned subsidiary NASAA Certified Organic (NCO) carries out certification of organic farms in Australia and internationally, including ours.
Their AGM this year will incorporate field visits to local organic farms, including a visit to Holy Goat, where you can also see how we have put Obsalim into practice.
And you can delve deeper into the theory and practice of applying Obsalim to your own farm, because we have brought Bruno out from France to run three ruminant nutrition workshops in regional Victoria. The workshops will be applicable to sheep, goat and cow dairy enterprises and involve a 2-day workshop and a 1-day farm visit to see how to apply the tools in a hands-on setting. The training is designed to be straightforward and hands-on and will give farmers the tools and confidence to monitor and make the changes that will result in improved herd health and the farm bottom line. Northern Victoria (24 – 26 October), Fish Creek in Gippsland (30 – 31 October) and Sutton Grange (2-3 November) are the locations.
Our farm is in central Victoria, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take learning and inspiration from overseas and afar, and especially from France, the font of goats cheese. Other organic farmers think the same.
This year’s NASAA AGM will feature another international agriculturalist alongside Bruno Giboudeau; Rei Yoon will introduce Jadam Organic Farming – a system rooted in the traditions of Asia (Korean Natural Farming) and bolstered by modern science. Closer-to-home speakers will be Terry Hehir, the inaugural Chair of Organic Dairy Farmers of Australia Co-operative, soil ecologist Dr Christine Jones, soil scientist and microbiologist Dr Ash Martin, and Chris Alenson who has spent more than 35 years teaching and consulting in organic/sustainable agriculture. There will also be a tribute to the late Rod May who was a stalwart of the organics industry (and to NASAA in particular).
Held in the Macedon Ranges on 26th and 27th October, “Into Organics” should be an event worth taking time out from the farm or business for. It’s a chance to catch up and connect with other organic growers and, importantly, to stop, ruminate and reflect upon your own place into organics. You can also find out how focussed observation and attention can improve the health of your herd, and of your farm.
The field trip to our farm will be on Thursday 26th October, with The Organic Mushroom Farm at Diggers Rest and Harcourt’s Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens also on the itinerary. The AGM featuring keynote speakers including Bruno, will be held on Friday 27th at the Macedon Ranges Hotel.