HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : June 2016
OFF FARM 23 Australia’s woolgrowers are proud custodians of a large part of the Australian landscape. Possessing a natural affinity with the land, these farmers strive to ensure their innovative farming practices are applied in harmony with the environment. For today’s discerning customers, this eco- sensitive farming can be as important as the quality of the clothing itself. There are many brands that use ‘the farm to fashion story’ as a core ingredient in the marketing of their high-value end product. One aspect of responsible land use is biodiversity – and David and Susan Rowbottom, whose 9.9 micron fleece won this year’s Ermenegildo Zegna Vellus Aureum Trophy (see page opposite), are doing their bit to help safeguard the biodiversity of native animals on their property. The Rowbottoms, along with their sons Aaron and Gavin, run the internationally acclaimed Rowensville Stud located in South Western Victoria. As part of their farming operation they are also active custodians of the last known population of the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot in Moyne Shire. Custodianship for a small ground dwelling mammal that eats fungi and insects might seem a tricky task when also trying to produce a pasture based income. It is, especially when the paddocks the bandicoots favour contain rushes and pressure is on to change to improved pasture. The Rowbottoms have some choices to make, knowing that what they decide will have ramifications for the bandicoots but also for their own financial situation. Across a three-year period, the bandicoots have been seen on remote sensing cameras, emerging from fenced remnants which have the low thick cover they prefer, to feed on insects and fungi in the adjoining paddocks. The cameras were set up by the Basalt to Bay Landcare Network to prove that the farmland does provide habitat for the species and that farming can coincide with species’ protection in many cases. Over and over again, sheep and a host of native species have been filmed using the same land. There is no doubt that the farm is an important host to bandicoots, extending the habitat range of the adjoining Parks Victoria Reserve and enabling the bandicoots in the reserve safe passage to new homes and mates. Without the farm, the reserve could become a dead end for many of its inhabitants. When private land is known to provide habitat for Federally protected species, there are opportunities than can help the landholder protect that species. One of those is accessing the variety of Landcare locally delivered grants for remnant protection. For David and Susan, their choices are based on wanting to develop better pasture in some parts of the paddock, whilst also fencing off more of the locations the bandicoots are shown to use as cover from foxes and feral cats. The Basalt to Bay Landcare Network is partnered with other adjoining landholders on fox control, and this year will work with David and Susan to plan where the new fenced remnants will be located with possible assistance from the Victorian Landcare Grants. This mix of sheep and biodiversity will increasingly become a selling tool for woolgrowers like David and Susan – whose story of bandicoots and other species will be told to markets as a way of differentiating wool from other competing fibres that are less eco-friendly. MORE INFORMATION www.basalttobay.org.au BIODIVERSITY HELPS MARKETING Woolgrowers David and Susan Rowbottom manage their property’s natural landscape to not only grow top quality wool, but also encourage biodiversity – an important consideration for increasingly environmentally-aware customers. The Rowbottom’s property ‘Rowensville’ is an example of how endangered native species are protected within a farming model. Pictured is a Southern Brown Bandicoot photographed in the same location as where some Rowensville sheep graze. PHOTO: Basalt to Bay Landcare Network Susan and David Rowbottom from South Western Victoria with the 9.9 micron fleece that won this year’s Vellus Aureum Trophy, an award they won for a third consecutive time. They are pictured here with the Chairman of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, Paola Zegna. PHOTO: Tim Kindler
In the Shops - September 2016