Well, it has been an interesting time for me in the environmental space. A lot of great opportunities are upon me and it only seems fair to embrace them and run with it.

For those who don’t know, I share my time at the moment between my own family and involving myself in the local community in Deniliquin where my husband Lachie and I – and our farm – are based; together with championing Tahbilk’s environmental aims.

Yes, I work predominantly away from the Winery on a farm – this is the beautiful upside of working for a dynamic, flexible business.

While this arrangement has its challenges it has also given me amazing opportunities to work more deeply in agriculture, exposing me to so many dynamic farming systems which are directly applicable to Tahbilk. The story of the innovative farmer isn’t one which is widespread across the land.

You’re more likely to hear farming attached to the struggle, not the success. In Deniliquin farming innovation is all around me achieving growth, profitability and sustainability.

Every agricultural business is intrinsically linked to the environment – it is the world we operate within each day. A healthy environment (water, soil and air) means we prosper. Our farm in Deniliquin is very exposed to water variation so a lot of the projects I hear about involve efficiency drivers on-farm to use less water or the same amount of water more effectively. It’s all about risk management and mitigating the impacts of climate variation.

All of this exposure to a lack of water, due to a lack of rain, has turned me to give attention to Tahbilk. While water for Tahbilk is currently a lot cheaper than it is in Deniliquin due to the intricacies of how water is allocated (which we can save for another day), it is inevitable water availability will affect us in the future.

It has led me into my next project here which is to look at the way Tahbilk is currently using its water. I want to know how we capture water, what it is used for and then where does it go? The ultimate aim is to use this information to make us a more efficient water user.

I think we all need to stop and think about this. Often water issues in Australia are placed on the whinging farmer, but the question could equally be asked “What are you doing to be a more efficient water user?”

2017-08-25

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