Hi, my names Josh Gilbert. I'm a 22 year old commerce graduate, law student and a finance cadet with the ABC. But my real passion is agriculture and in particular the long term viability and profitability of the beef castle industry. I am also a Young Farming Champion for the At4Agriculture program, sponsored by Meat & Livestock Australia and the Target 100 campaign.
My parents and I breed stud Braford cattle on the banks of the Wallamba River in Nabiac, NSW. We have found the Braford (Brahman and Hereford cross) have adapted well to our farm environment and can cope with extreme heat and parasites like buffalo flies and ticks.
Our aim is to produce high quality genetics, based on existing stud cattle bloodlines, for other beef farmers to use in their herds. We aim to sell bulls that will produce cattle that can efficiently turn quality pasture into meat. This means they can produce more kilograms of beef per hectare and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions per kg of beef produced.
As we have a relatively small stud, we are able to spend a lot of time with each individual animal and monitor their health and wellbeing closely. We also have a strong focus on low stress stock handling. Successful handling of livestock requires an understanding of their natural behaviour including their preference to be part of a herd. By regularly handling our cattle and exposing them to cattle yards from a young age, we can ensure our cattle and our team can work together safely
We also frequently attend cattle workshops and local shows, ensuring new techniques and skills are gained.
To look after our soils our cattle are regularly rotated and paddocks mulched which helps grow high quality pasture, reduce erosion and pugging as well as recycle nutrients and control weeds.
As our property is located on the side of a river that leads into the ocean, we also pay close attention to keeping our cattle out of our waterways as much as possible. All the riverbanks have now been fenced and we have installed off stream watering points, by way of dams, to ensure our cattle have access to clean fresh water at all times. This has the added benefit of reducing river bank erosion and water contamination from nutrients. To reduce heat stress for our cattle and increase biodiversity on farm, we have invested in shade shelters for our cattle and planted many trees around the farm
Our family is acutely aware that the long term viability of beef cattle production relies on the adaptation and adoption of environmentally sound farming methods, while ensuring animal wellbeing standards are adhered to at the highest level. We also know that best practice farming practices has productivity and profitability benefits for farming enterprises and will optimise meat quality to our customers.
I am lucky to be a 3rd generation farmer with access to both knowledge handed down from the past and through new technologies. I also have a thirst to be an innovator in the beef cattle industry and seek every opportunity to learn and grow my knowledge and be mentored by the best in our industry.
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