Prior to watching the film, Mr. Blackmore had used feedlots – an intensive farming practice, where animals are fattened before slaughter.
The film, Perry said, showed the harm that industrial farming, combined with the low cost of corn, was doing the American agricultural industry.
David walked away saying, ‘My God, we have to do something about this,’ and made the plan to get his animals to walk on the grass, to lie on the grass, to walk the grass. ‘pen and walk to the end of the pen to supplement feed every now and then, and farm 25 cattle, where you would normally feed 500, “Perry said.
“It’s the difference between heavy factory farming and what David does.”
But five years after his new system was put in place, Mr. Blackmore was forced to apply for an intensive breeding license. Neighbors complained about his new breeding method, which he said was more intensive than traditional cattle farming but comparable to a dairy farm.
He also said his livestock levels – the number of cows he keeps in his pens – were significantly lower than the previous owner, who established the farm, which borders the Goulburn River near Alexandra about 165 kilometers away. north-east of Melbourne in 1998.
The council rejected his request against the advice of its planning officers and agricultural consultant Professor Roger Wrigley, who recommended Mr. Blackmore’s continued operations subject to a few conditions.
This angered Perry, who started an online petition on change.org and has now attracted more than 91,000 supporters.
“This should absolutely be taken as the benchmark on how complementary feed animals in Australia should be treated, because it’s ethical and sustainable,” said Perry.
“That’s why I’m so pissed off about it all. He’s a trailblazer and a creative guy, but he’s one of the top farmers in the country. Basically they don’t have a box to put him on. , so they put him in the intensive factory farming box, and it just doesn’t. “
A retired couple who bought lifestyle land, surrounded by Mr Blackmore, were among those who complained. Mr. Blackmore says he doesn’t blame them or blame anyone, but rather challenges planning regulations.
He said policies in rural areas were at odds with state and federal governments urging farmers to become more productive and adopt more efficient farming practices.
Mr Blackmore said an unintended result of moving his cows to pasture increased his yield – or cattle weight gain – by about 20%.
“People said I was angry when I did it, saying I could ruin a good deal because the meat would get tougher because the cows would use their muscles to walk around,” he said. declared.
“But the opposite happened. The animals are happy. They have been lying on the grass all day, ruminating. In the feedlot, they would only lie down if they were absolutely exhausted. . “
Cindy McLeish, the local Liberal MP representing Eildon where Mr Blackmore’s farm is located, said this type of innovation should be encouraged.
Instead, she said farmers’ confidence in her electorate “has certainly taken a hit.”
“Farmers are now questioning their right to cultivate,” she said.
“People who move [farming] zones really need to have their eyes wide open to what it means to live next to a farm and understand that the paddocks may be green right now, but this is an operational farm. “
The state’s main agricultural lobby, the Victorian Farmers Federation, called on the government to “make sound planning reforms to protect farmland.”
“We are calling for (…) planning plans that encourage the growth of farm businesses, rather than stifling them in uncertainty,” said VFF chairman Peter Tuohey.
“Agriculture must take priority in an agricultural area. Although trees and sea changers may love hills and open spaces, then they cannot stand up to the dust, smells and noise that are part of everyday life in the agricultural area. “
Among the VAW’s recommendations to the government are the removal of planning permission for wool and beef producers, but their retention for pigsties, feedlots and broiler operations.
Mr. Wynne heard the message. “I am working with the office of Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford and we are identifying problems and potential solutions for farmers,” he said.
“We need to make sure that the definition and interpretation of agricultural policy is clear – one thing that farmers can be very sure of is this government’s commitment to protect their industry.
In the meantime, time is running out for Mr Blackmore, who has yet to decide whether he will appeal the decision of Murrindindi’s council or shut down his farm.