BRETT Christie doesn't look at producing organic beef as a business, more a way of life.
Speaking at the FBA Muster, the Blackwater landholder said he ran organic charbray cattle on his property Wedgewood.
Organic, it's a state of mind, it's a place Renee and I want to be at as far as our business management, our land management and our lifestyle.
It's clear that producing organic has been a positive step for his commercial operation but he concedes it's not for everyone.
"I don't think organic is the be all and end all - I don't think it's for every producer," he said. "For our situation, the financial benefits were well worth the trouble. Organic, it's a state of mind, it's a place Renee and I want to be at as far as our business management, our land management and our lifestyle.
"We take a lot of pride in our children and what our kids understanding is of where their food comes from, how it's produced and how we can do so in a manner that has such a little impact on the environment," Mr Christie said.
"I think we, as beef producers, don't need to be necessarily organic ... but portraying that we're not environmental vandals.
"Without our land, we don't have the ability to produce anything and we don't have a future.
"We implemented a program where we culled cows on their lack of ability to be resilient to ticks and parasites and, after 10 years of these practices, we had a pretty productive base breeder herd," Mr Christie said.
"Commencing the organic certification process through Australian Certified Organic only required our breeders to be managed organically for three years, as we'd not been treating our cattle for parasites using any chemicals. The only input we had in our herd was five-in-one and Lepto and we still use that - we obtained a letter from the DPI saying it was an endemic disease that was quite common in the region and we were able to continue that practice." Organic beef attracts a premium and has allowed him to cut out the middle man: "It's given us the ability to gain more dollars per head of cattle and do so at a young age.
"We're aiming to produce a 250kg dress weight body - at the moment, I think they're on $4.40.
"That's male or female, no sex discrimination.
"This year, we sold some organic weaners straight off mum. We had a large amount of control of the sale price, we had no commission, no freight, no yard fees."
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