Rocky’s own or­ganic meat set to be sold

CQ farm sell­ing or­ganic beef di­rect to res­i­dents

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - ZHANAE CON­WAY-DODD Zhanae.con­way-dodd@apn.com.au

PAD­DOCK to plate doesn’t get much more di­rect than the Alexan­ders’ farm.

Pro­duc­ing or­ganic santa an­gus drought­mas­ter cross or­ganic beef, Mick and his wife Noela have de­cided to sell di­rectly from their farm to con­sumers.

In the works for sev­eral years, the op­er­a­tion is some­thing Mick is ex­cited to see fi­nally come to fruition.

In 2013, Mick and Noela es­tab­lished the fam­ily prop­erty, Bin­da­ree, in Gar­nant as an or­ganic en­ter­prise with the goal of demon­strat­ing how to grow chem­i­cal-free beef.

Mick also knew first-hand the harm harsh chem­i­cals could cause and didn’t want his chil­dren grow­ing up around them.

“I ac­tu­ally was sick when I was very young from an over­does of chem­i­cals and I’ve seen so many other fam­i­lies get sick be­cause of the same prob­lems, and we didn’t want to put our kids through it,” he said.

Work­ing on a 1456ha farm, Mick and his wife found in­ter­est as their op­er­a­tion grew quickly.

“As we started the change, we found there were so many peo­ple look­ing for qual­ity meat,” he said.

“Over the last cou­ple of years, peo­ple have been ask­ing when are we go­ing to sell it.

“There are many brands of beef around the re­gion, but none that are cer­ti­fied or­ganic and so proven to be free of chem­i­cals, hor­mones and an­tibi­otics.”

Ini­tially the fam­ily was sell­ing their or­ganic meat to other pro­duc­ers and di­rect to the meat­works, but they made the de­ci­sion this year to process some of the cat­tle them­selves and send them di­rectly to cus­tomers.

Al­though it costs Mick 30–40% more to pro­duce or­ganic beef, he says it

❝As we started the change, we found there were so many peo­ple look­ing for qual­ity meat. — Mick Alexan­der

doesn’t make that much of a dif­fer­ence be­cause he needs less cat­tle as they are gen­er­ally health­ier.

“We see our cat­tle nearly ev­ery day as they are moved be­tween pad­dock and so are quite con­tented and happy,” he said.

“All of the or­ganic an­i­mals we are sell­ing are born and bred on our prop­erty – they are raised from birth to pro­cess­ing.” With 74 pad­docks on their prop­erty, Mick and Noela move cat­tle ev­ery two to three days.

“We’re shift­ing them ev­ery three days at the mo­ment be­cause it is right at the end of the dry sea­son,” he said.

Mick said the past few years had been an ex­cit­ing time for his fam­ily as they es­tab­lished their new busi­ness.

“It’s been an ex­cit­ing project for the whole fam­ily – elim­i­nat­ing chem­i­cals, es­tab­lish­ing a planned ro­ta­tional graz­ing pro­gram and im­prov­ing an­i­mal health by bal­anc­ing nu­tri­tion to pro­duce a qual­ity prod­uct,” he said.

“I have been ed­u­cat­ing other farm­ers about graz­ing best prac­tice for nearly 20 years and could see or­gan­ics as the ideal strat­egy for our­selves and the com­mu­nity.”

Mick and Noela Alexan­der will be de­liv­er­ing their first di­rect-to-con­sumer or­ders of CQ Or­ganic Beef early in Novem­ber to the Rock­hamp­ton and Capricorn Coast re­gions. For full cost­ings and de­liv­ery times, phone 07 4938 3919 or 0438 395 255, or visit the CQ Or­gan­ics Face­book page.

PHOTO: CHRIS ISON

OR­GANIC OP­ER­A­TION: Beef pro­ducer Mick Alexan­der watches on as wean­ers lick up an or­ganic feed sup­ple­ment.

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