On the 31st of January 2020, over 120 local farmers and agricultural experts attended a Feedlot Information Day held in Wakool. The crowd was a diverse geographical mix, with attendees from Lalbert, Piangil, Moulamein, Barham, Deniliquin and Wakool. As following with the 'young farmer' focus of the event, the majority (42%) of attendees were under 35, while 28% were 35-45 and 37% were 45+.
The day began with a workshop at the Wakool Club focused on livestock feedlot considerations. Presenter Geoff Duddy from Sheep Solutions discussed the pro's and con's of feedlotting versus containment feeding, the cost of feed and comparison of different systems. He emphasized the importance of feeding sheep protein to build muscle, wool and encourage growth. The group finished off with an understanding of how feedlots interacted with the whole farm system. Following this presentation, district vet Linda Searle (Murray Local Land Services), educated attendees on the range of livestock diseases or health complications associated with feedlot production systems.
"It was great to look at two different feedlot concepts, it gave me some ideas about what we can implement and where to look for more information" - Jono Alexander, local farmer.
After the workshop, participants began a tour of local feedlot operations. The first was the Colligen Creek Feedlot, owned by Dennis Gleeson. This established feedlot operates with the objective of finishing off prime lambs. Next was the Modbury Merino Stud, owned by the Bibby family who operated their feedlot as a tool to drought proof their sheep enterprise.
Sponsors of this event, the Young Farmer Business Program (YFBP) have run numerous workshops targeted at young agricultural professionals, such as their 'Bank Ready' workshops to prepare young farmers to invest in their first business.
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