My name is Prue Capp and I am fortunate to have grown up in Gresford on my family’s beef cattle property “Cawarra” in the Hunter Valley. As a sixth generation grazier and currently studying veterinary science, I understand the importance of a commitment to the highest standards of animal wellbeing. I am also a Young Farming Champion for the At4Agriculture program, sponsored by Meat & Livestock Australia and the Target 100 campaign.
At a farm level the welfare of our cattle is always at the forefront of our decisions. As a veterinarian in-training our profession is in the pole position working with sheep and cattle farmers to ensure they have access to the latest best practice animal husbandry knowledge as well as the support networks to help them implement new technology and skills. We are also on hand to assist sheep and cattle farmers to act quickly and humanely in times of crises such as natural disasters and biosecurity issues
Australia is the hottest and driest continent and our farmers look after more than 50% of the landscape. Like all Australian cattle and sheep farmers our family is always open to exploring pastures that can potentially reduce our Carbon footprint whilst improving productivity, profitability, management capability and resilience to the volatile conditions we farm in.
We have recently been trialling lucerne to provide green, high quality feed through summer and autumn for our cattle.
We are finding this perennial, deep rooted, nitrogen fixing legume to be resilient through extremes of climate (floods and droughts), as well as water and fertiliser efficient.
We have practiced low stress handling techniques for many years now at Cawarra. The experience of several generations of our family has contributed to building safe, user friendly and manageable low stress handling facilities, ensuring the safety of the stock and people in all handling environments. Intensive handling techniques are adopted in the cattle from a young age to expose them to new environments (and people) early on. This has proved to demonstrate better temperament in the cattle due to their confidence and familiarity to the exposed stimuli.
Access to grants from the Local Land Services (formerly Catchment Management Authority) have allowed us to plant seedlings of local native tree varieties along the river beds of the Paterson River on “Cawarra” (which feeds into the Hunter River) to help mitigate erosion and stabilise the river banks, while at the same time increasing biodiversity and providing shelter and shade for the cattle and wildlife.
With my veterinary knowledge I also aim to work extensively in the live export industry. Livestock export is a complex issue. People in underdeveloped countries need the protein our cattle and sheep provide them with but getting the best outcomes for people and animals is often not easy and it is important for professionals from Australia to continue to work with other countries to enable this to happen and I am looking forward to my opportunity to be part of the team.
I am very proud to play an integral role in agriculture, from my extensive farming background to investing in my education to better help the industry’s future. I believe in the importance of caring for our wonderful land for future generations, as well as building relationships and having conversations with our urban cousins so we can work together to maintain a sustainable livestock industry. I look forward to seeing where it will take me!
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