Caroona cattle farmers Derek and Kirrily Blomfield are so passionate about regenerating food producing farmland, that they holistically practice what they preach and it’s this proactive attitude that’s earnt them the title of NSW Farmers of the Year.
The dynamic duo were presented with 2014 NSW Farmer of the Year award by NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson and NSW Farmers’ President Fiona Simson, last week in Sydney.
“We were surprised to receive the award as the other contestants are amazing. The judging was a great process to be involved in for all the finalists. The organizers really encourage finalists to make the most of all the opportunities that have been presented to us,” said a jubilant Kirrily.
The Blomfields practice regenerative agriculture on their property ‘Colorado’ near Caroona to produce their grassfed beef, which they sell direct to Australian families who are conscious about their health and how their food is produced.
As a family owned business, Derek and Kirrily along with their two sons Patrick (aged 11) and Reilly (aged 9) and Derek’s father Sandy aspire to an agriculture of which both the grower and all of society can be proud of and reap the benefits of.
The family market their grassfed beef direct to families and consumers and manage their land in a regenerative way.
“We make conscious decisions about our farm, our life, our livestock and our health, as well as the effects these decisions have on our land and our future. We also have fun while we do it,” continued Kirrily.
The team say they love owning and operating a farming business, working with nature and all its variations and challenges.
“Living in our natural environment and doing the ever important job of producing food is our passion and we love this even more now we have a direct link with the people that are consuming our grassfed beef direct from the farm,” said Derek.
The Blomfields who are in the process of restocking their breeding mob of cattle say they are committed to living and promoting proactive, regenerative and profitable farming practices.
“As a country if we are to produce healthy food in healthy landscapes we need to embrace what nature intended us to be conscious of and that includes, the soils and its microbiology, the landscape and ground cover, water and its movements, soil carbon and organic matter,” said certified agronomist Kirrily.
The 980-hectare grazing farm produces steers and heifers that are grass fed on perennial pastures and sold direct to consumers under the Blomfields brand ‘The Conscious Farmer’.
Kirrily also administers the’ Conscious Farmer’ blog, bringing practical regenerative agriculture to farmers and graziers around the world.
“The blog sparks ideas for other farmers in their sustainable, productive farm practices, we aim to inform, inspire and share in the practice of regenerative farming,” Kirrily said.
In presenting last week’s award and cash prize of $10,000, Minister Hodgkinson said Derek and Kirrily are showing great innovation, tapping into the latest science, seeking expertise from outside their enterprise and connecting with their customers.
“They impressed the judges with their commitment to improving and regenerating soils, pastures and biodiversity while optimizing beef production and profitability,” she continued.
NSW Farmers’ President Fiona Simson was very impressed with this year’s finalists.
“They are helping us show the broader community the incredible diversity, enterprise and business management skills of our farming men and women,” Ms Simson said.
The Farmers President said it was farmers like the Blomfields who ensure the food we get to enjoy is of a high standard, using the latest sustainable production practices while making a valuable contribution to our national economy.
The Blomfields, who hold field days and on farm tours are also currently undertaking a crowd-funding project to help fund their attendance at an Ohio conference focused on regenerative agriculture and if successful will be donating a whole body of beef to the OzHarvest charity for people in need.
The annual NSW Farmer of the Year award recognises the best farmers in NSW, focusing on their agricultural management skills, their use of innovation, profitability, environmental sustainability and community involvement.
“We can’ t thank our mentors, friends and supporters enough, they have believed in us and supported us the whole way,” concluded a thrilled Kirrily.
The Award is an initiative of the NSW Farmers’ Association and NSW Department of Primary Industries, with support from The Land, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW and WorkCover NSW.
To assist the Blomfields attend the Ohio conference go to www.gofundme.com/healthyfarms
Photograph by www.sallyaldenphotography.com