Looking after ourselves to look after our place
Agri-Phoenix Feature: George Stacey
Name: George Stacey
Organisation: RCS Australia
I’m not sure what people think about when they look at agriculture or the beef industry from the outside. I grew up smack inside of it on a cattle property in the north-west, near Richmond. The thing is, at the end of the day this industry is as much about the people as it is about the land and the cattle.
Running a good, productive, and regenerative agribusiness – it’s actually more about the people, the relationships and the knowledge sharing, than it is about any technique or clever system for managing cattle. Because to make the system work, everyone has to know what their part is, and be comfortable they have the knowledge and confidence to put that to work. It does come down to appreciating that this business works as part of a system – the eco-system, and we have the ability and the responsibility to make that work to its best advantage.
I’ve been working for RCS Australia (Resource Consulting Services) for just over a year and I absolutely love it. My focus is on helping people who are interested in developing the skills to make their business more resilient. That’s resilience in terms of the landscape from the ground up: soil, the vegetation and the animals that inhabit the landscape. We also focus on resilience in terms of financial security for your enterprise and what that contributes to sustainable and resilient regional communities.
Regenerative agriculture is a hot topic right now, but RCS have been thinking and talking about it for three decades and have a very deep understanding what it takes to build this into your approach to land management and why it is important. We work to empower farmers and graziers to build their knowledge about what’s happening on their property from the ground up. And our system works deliberately to build up networks of people and family businesses who share their knowledge and experience. We take a very real interest in how everyone is doing. The human connection is critical.
Our understanding starts with the idea that your land can’t support a healthy business unless you focus on taking care of the health of the people and the health of the land. To do that you need to understand how the natural capital – the rain, sunlight, soil work to support everything they feed: plants, animals and the ‘biome’. It is that simple and that complicated. I love this work and I love the opportunity it gives me to support others who want to look after this place.