Sam and Claire Johnson
“We tend to go in with the opinion that we haven’t got everything worked out but somehow it will work. It just may not work how we thought it would but we can just change and it will all work out in the end.” Claire Johnson
beef, pork and lamb; on-farm butchery; direct marketing with a regional food focus
Superb Parrot, Pink-tailed Worm-lizard, Flame Robin, Scarlet Robin and possibly Squirrel Glider
Sam and Claire own 'Windermere' which is a 1,500 ha farm located near Murringo east of Young. Their son Sid helps them run the farm. A feature of the farm is the grazing management, based on regenerative grazing principles, with three key points of difference to most other producers: (i) they produce beef, pork and lamb, in area dominated by cattle and sheep production, (ii) their business is integrated, including an on-farm butchery that involves direct-marketing to consumers, and (iii) they have adopted holistic grazing management.
Sam, Claire and Sid all work on the farm and employ staff to help with the frequent (often daily) grazing rotation and butchering. Through very careful management, the Johnsons have been able to increase the carrying capacity of their land at the same time as increasing perennial grasses in their pastures.
Sam and Claire have been active members in various holistic/regenerative grazing groups and have hosted events on their farm before. They are currently engaged in the development of a cooperative structure called Land to Market Australia which will provide certification for regenerative graziers. This scheme is exploring the use of indicators relating to soil condition and landscape function analysis. Windermere will be one of the first 100 properties involved in a trial collecting baseline measurements.
In addition to hosting field events on their property, Sam and Claire will act as champions for Sustainable Farms, in particular farming sustainably in Box Gum grassy woodland using holistic grazing practices, and advocating for land management outcomes in box gum grassy woodland between graziers and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.