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Married and both raised in farming families, Ian and Dianne Haggerty were shocked when they sought advice from a farm advisor on managing their fledgling operation in the drylands of southwestern Australia.
After looking at their farm size and financial capital, the advisor told them they should get out of farming because they didn’t have “a hope in heck” of surviving.
“Fortunately, Ian and I are both pretty stubborn customers and we just took that as a bit of a challenge,” Dianne says, lamenting that her father was a successful conventional farmer. “We didn’t have any room for error, so we had to start to look at things in a different way. At that point in time, using better and different types of machinery wasn’t going to be the answer.”
Rather than internalizing the advisor’s stinging advice, Ian and Dianne researched biological farming methods and have pushed through early challenges to grow their operation and take excess costs and waste out of the system.
The Haggertys now no-till cereal grains and multispecies hay or fodder crops and raise specially bred sheep for wool and premium-grade fat lambs.
Over time, their 1,600-acre operation has grown to nearly 65,000 acres…