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Christine and Henry White, 'Talbragar', Coolah
15 Jan 2013
Published To

A damaging storm in the middle a drought was a catalyst for change for Henry and Christine White of 'Talbragar' near Coolah, NSW. The storm dropped 2.5 inches in 29 minutes and caused massive gully erosion, leading the Whites to question how they were running their farm and what could they do to improve their natural resources. Christine, Henry and their children Sarah, Georgia and James manage 'Talbragar' -- an 1821 hectare property near Coolah in central west NSW. 'After the storm we realised there was more potential in agriculture than what we had been doing for the last 15 years,' said Christine. Their approach to farming now is to create a solid business that gives their children the confidence to return to the family farm if they choose a career in agriculture. To do this, Christine and Henry have subdivided the property into a number of paddocks and installed a large water supply system. This allows them to utilize their paddocks more efficiently. Just by doing this '...our productivity improved by a third,' Henry comments. 'The business is sustainable this way. We have improved the property with groundcover and native grass diversity, he said. 'The paddocks used to be a real monoculture. Now we have a lot more forbs and perennial summer grasses -- some we've never seen! You hear it wherever you go... but it works.' The Whites are committed to their children, the agricultural industry and sustainable farming. 'I've always liked this way of life -- it's a great place to raise a family, a great community to be in and a great way to contribute to society,' said Henry. 'We feel it is very important to set up a successful business for a potential next generation to come on board. 'The creek that runs through the property is a good indicator of the health of our system. It now runs clear even in large storm events. This tells us we have our system working, good infiltration and healthy soil. 'We've gone from a business where I was chasing my tail and hurting our country. Now I have time to think about growing the business and my family is happier.' During the 2012 Australian Year of the Farmer the Central West Catchment Management Authority and Central West Landcare have profiled a number of farming families committed to improving the environment while running a sustainable business.

Coolah Sustainable Talbragar White
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