The star of this month’s #PeopleOfNRM is local farmer, Pip Bain!
Pip hails from the green hills of Walkaway, where she works on her family farm business focusing on beef production as well as annual and perennial contract seeding. She comes from a long line of farmers, and being raised on a station in the Gascoyne, was always destined for the industry.
Pip attended the WA College of Agriculture in Morawa, worked on stations in the Pilbara and Gascoyne as a teenager, and has travelled both Australia and America while working in the ag industry. While in Queensland, Pip gained her Bovine Pregnancy Testing Accreditation from the WA Veterinary Association, which saw her work as a contract Preg Tester & Speyer for some time.
After obtaining their Walkaway property in 2002, and battling through the drought of 2006, the Bains farms is now 100% under sub-tropical perennials as of about four years ago. At the moment Pip and her family are running approximately 150 Brahman cross Charolais cows as well as an intensive breeding and trading program. You can even find their grass-fed beef at local Geraldton small business, Mick Davey Butchers.
Pip says that farming makes for many challenges, but has opened up a varying range of ventures for her, keeping every day new and interesting.
“There’s always new technology, new ideas and new science,” said Pip.
“I love seeing change within the ag industry, especially on our farm where our story will always be changing because we’re always finding new ways to do what we do better and better.”
When it comes to doing better, Pip prioritizes sustainability in her farming practices wherever possible and says it is the key to generational longevity and success.
“We need to ensure that our soil and our food are nutritious and healthy for our future generations, and not just there for profit,” says Pip who has seen the correlation between thriving soil and nourishing food.
“It’s time we started going back to ‘the root of the problem’ and focusing on improving soil health, and plant health, therefore improving your animal and your produce.”
Sustainable farming is a very broad term and is often used interchangeably with regenerative agriculture. The Bain family have been working hard at it for over 20 years, and have come to terms with trying and failing, essentially leading to results and new ideas.
Pip says it’s important to do your research when wading into the waters of regenerative agriculture or sustainable farming, and has some recommendations on where to start.
“I found that Holistic Management by Allan Savory and For the Love of Soil by Nicole Masters were two books that I can recommend,” said Pip.
“Do your research, get inspired and start, because in the long run it’s all about management and through the trials and tribulations, it does get easier.”