Welcome to my place, my purpose is to create a supportive environment. To create new landscapes through new mindscapes, new ways of thinking, doing and being. To provide a place where like minded fellow travelers can pause, get some useful information and some spiritual sustenance before continuing on their way. "Don't die with the music in you"
Welcome
Bill describes himself as a grass farmer, philosopher, raconteur, maven, epicurean, futurist & story teller.
Welcome to my place, make yourself at home, wander around, "set a spell". My aim is to see my philosophy expressed in my reality. I have been fortunate to have had some outstanding mentors and for those on the road less traveled, I hope to leave some sign posts to help those seeking a more regenerative way to live and be. Check out the quotes that run across the top of the page, I look forward to your feedback, talk to you soon.If your not dancing close to the edge, you are taking up to much room. Don't die with the music in you. We are human beings, not human doings.

Picture. Bill holding a Sliver Wattle (Acacia dealbata) planted in August 2014 at one of the SERCS sites at Broom Hills, Warrenbayne.
Fred Provenza coming to Swanpool & Warrenbayne 12th May 2014
Fred Provenza is one of the foremost authorities on wild and domestic animal behaviour, specialising in improving productivity and enhancing biodiversity, by allowing animals to regulate their intake with a balanced diet. He encourages them to eat and browse a range of plants and mineral supplements as well as encouraging animals to graze more effectively and efficiently while rehabilitating their habitat. It is indeed an honour and priviledge to welcome Fred to Warrenbayne to share his wisdom and explain how the SERCS program will facilitate enhancing productivity through biodiversity.Fred is one of the best speaker's and communicators I have had the pleasure to see and hear. I was a member of a self selected group of livestock producers and land managers in Dubbo, 27-31 August, 2012, for his Behave Course.

Fred Provenza
The Web of Life: How Behavior Connects Humans, Animals, and Landscape Human health is tied to the health of the land. Dr. Fred Provenza and his team are demonstrating how interrelationships among soils, plants, animals and people affect the health of landscapes. By understanding those interconnections, land and resources managers can increase profits while enhancing the health of landscapes socially, economically, and environmentally. For the past 30 years, Fred Provenza's team has produced groundbreaking research that has laid the foundation for what is now known as behavior-based management of livestock, wildlife and landscapes. In 2001, their efforts led to the formation of a consortium of scientists known as BEHAVE (Behavioral Education for Human, Animal, Vegetation and Ecosystem Management), an international network with members from five continents. The BEHAVE team is working to create awareness among a broad range of interests, including land management, wildlife management, eco-development, and even nutrition. By helping these groups understand the behavior of humans, animals, and the changing environment, BEHAVE helps them apply new and more efficient practices that benefit animals, the environment, and even the businesses that manage the land.

Links. December 2011 (No. 47) - Stipa www.stipa.com.au/LiteratureRetrieve.aspx?ID=108727‎
The Web of Life http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjUgX91VZpk Fred Provenza
BEHAVE - extension.usu.edu http://extension.usu.edu/behave/ 11papers
http://extension.usu.edu/behave/?search=fred+provenza+wisdom+body&searchType=1 several papers by Fred Provenza
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=278Twm8MpUo Jason Emms SARDI Enrich
SERCS
www.mingenew-irwin.asn.au/shrubs-for-emission-reduction-and-carbon-..
http://www.daff.gov.au/climatechange/carbonfarmingfutures/action-on-the-ground/round1/successful-projects

Biography
Fred Provenza is originally from Colorado where he began his career working on
a ranch near Salida. He worked on the ranch while earning his BSc Degree in
Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University, and upon receiving the degree in
1973 he became Ranch Manager. In total, he spent seven years working on that
ranch. Later, as a research assistant and technician at Utah State University, he
earned his MSc and PhD Degrees in Range Science. He joined the Faculty there
in 1982 and is currently a Professor in the Wildland Resources Department. His
research and teaching focus is on understanding behavioural processes and
using that understanding to better provide management. For the past two decades, he has studied how learning affects food and habitat selection by herbivores. He has been author and co-author of over 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals and books, and a key note speaker at numerous national and international meetings. He has been recognised for his endeavours in research and teaching. In 1994 he received the Outstanding Achievement Award, and in 1999 he received the W.R. Chapline Research Award,both from the Society for Range Management for exceptional accomplishments in research. He was named Professor of the Year in the College of Natural Resources at Utah State University in 1989and 2003, and in 1999 he received the University Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award.
Fred Provenza comes to Swanpool / Warrenbayne 12th May 2014
How Behaviour Links Humans, Animals and Landscapes
One day workshop with Fred Provenza
Monday 12th May, Swanpool Cinema
Fred Provenza is one of the foremost authorities on wild and domestic animal behaviour, specialising in improving productivity and enhancing biodiversity, by allowing animals to regulate their intake with a balanced diet.
Provenza encourages them to eat and browse a range of plants and mineral supplements as well as encouraging animals to graze more effectively and efficiently while rehabilitating their habitat.
This workshop relates to the national SERCS project (trial site at Warrenbayne) which aims to enhance productivity through biodiversity.
The workshop will cover functional relationships of how behaviour links human wellbeing with the health of soil, plants, and herbivores. It will highlight behavioural principles and processes and discuss their implications for:
• Improving animal performance in feedlots, pastures, and rangelands.
• Enhancing and maintaining biodiversity through grazing.
• Restoring ecosystems using grazing to embrace invasive species and reduce impacts to riparian areas.
• Mitigating human-wildlife conflicts to enhance wildlife values.
• Minimizing damage to valuable crops by wild and domesticated herbivores by altering food and habitat preferences.
• Enhancing carbon sequestration through grazing.
The day will conclude with a visit to the SERCS project trial site at Hill's property, Warrenbayne. SERCS Project Officer Donna Rayner will present a project update with information on the shrubs that have been planted at Warrenbayne and the survival rates for all the sites where the seedlings have survived the first summer.
For further information about the workshop and trial site at Warrenbayne go to www.billhill.com.au and/or contact thru this site
Monday 12th May, 9am - 4.30pm
Swanpool Cinema
Morning Tea and Lunch Provided
Cost: Free
Bookings Essential to Melanie Addinsall, Landcare Project Officer landcare1@iinet.net.au, (03) 5761 1560 or 0439 040 955
The SERCS project trial site on the Benalla - Warrenbayne Road will be visited at the end of the day.
SERCS Project:
Warrenbayne is one of the seven 'Shrubs for Emissions Reduction and Carbon Sequestration' (SERCS) project sites across southern Australia. Our farmers are trialling the use of Australian native shrubs as forage for:
• Reduction of methane emissions by improving the diets of livestock by more efficient digestion.
• Carbon sequestration.
• Improving animal welfare.
• Supplementary food during summer/ autumn gap.
• Improving land management by reducing erosion.
• Increasing biodiversity.
For further information about the SERCS project go to www.mingenew-irwin.asn.au
A synopsis of Shepherding, M Meuret & F Provenza
When Art and Science Meet:
Integrating Experiential Knowledge of Herders with Science
of Foraging Behavior for Managing Rangelands
M. Meuret and F.D. Provenza
Recreating relationships among human beings, livestock and landscapes
• Low stress techniques of moving and placing livestock in ways that minimize stress to animals and herders.
• Recognised benefits of short duration, management intensive grazing for soil, plants, herbivores and people, herders become ecological doctors regenerating the landscape

Animal scientists working with French Shepherds
• Excellent grazing motivation in closely herded animals, increased intake of forage through planned meal phases
• Inquiries and recordings with herders
• Scientists measured the type and condition of grazed areas, the pattern of activity by animals and herders in grazing circuits and intake rate of focal animals.

What was learned from herders?
Step 1 Teaching naive animals about forages and herding conditions
Step 2 Teaching the herd to respect the boundaries of the grazing area
Step 3 Modulating the "temporary palatability scoring" of forages
Step 4 Designing grazing circuits to create food synergies by meal sequencing across a
Range of forage, leveraging diversity and boosting appetite.

Learning about novel foods and habitats
• Herbivores display a range of social organization from solitary to highly social
• Social herbivores make collective decisions about where and when to graze
• Herders frequently refer to animal individualities and temperaments
• A herder must behave appropriately to be accepted as the uncontested leader by the flock
• Depending on the quality and quantity of forage available the herder either uses appetite stimulators or appetite moderators, then moves on to a booster phase renewing appetite, if the animals are not satiated then he gives them a dessert sector ensuring rapid intake over a short time. Generally there are 4 or 5 meal phases dependant on time place and degree of satiation.

Learning about forages
• A herder trains inexperienced animals where to go and what to eat with the help of experienced "guides"
• Social learning plays a key role in the acquisition of food preferences, this begins in utero and continues with lactation and then grazing with the dams.
• Social herbivores make collective decisions about where and when to graze

Learning about landscapes
• Learning, memory, caution & curiosity
• Reference memory is the map like representation of an area & the amount and quality of food available at various locations. Remembered for 20 days
• Working memory is used to recall locations recently depleted for 8 hrs.
• Animals learn and remember focal points including water points, various habitat types and the mixtures of forage as well as resting / camping areas.

Dynamics of palatability and food preferences
• Do sheep like that plant? Depends on the grazing contexts. The content & structure of grazing sectors, rather than individual plants, is what increases or decreases an animal's tendency to select & eat certain plants.

• Flavour and texture, palatability, physical and chemical composition, growth stage and associated plants all determine, how much of a plant or suite of plants are eaten.

Palatability and food preferences
• Feedback from body to the palate is how societies of cells and organs influence which foods and how much of those foods creatures select from the smorgasbord where they are foraging.
• Herders note that food preferences depend on the needs of the animal, relative to the mix of food on offer.

Temporary palatability scoring of forages
• Animals learn about different habitat types in a landscape, the locations of food patches in those habitats, and the specific forages they are likely to encounter in a food patch at a given time.
• Their spatial and temporal memories involve "patch ranking" for foraging, loafing, avoiding predators and insects
• Herbivores may sample 50 or more foods in a day, but only 3-5 items make up the bulk of a meal.
• Secondary compounds, phenolics (8000), terpenes (25000) and alkaloids (12000), inmfluence forage intake, nutritive & medicinal values of plants.
• Individual plants within a species maybe either nutritious or toxic depending on the time of day, week and season, location and on the mix and sequence in which other plants are eaten in a meal.
• Shepherds claim that what matters most is mix of forage and sequence in time and space.
• Gustatory, olfactory and visual neurons stop responding to taste, odour, and sight of food eaten to satiety, yet continue to respond to other foods.

Creating food synergies through grazing circuits
• Satiety, variety & biodiversity.
• Domestic herbivores make daily circuits, even when they are allowed to roam & graze freely.
• Synergies occur in both time (when the course is eaten) and place (what is eaten) and they occur among secondary compounds and among secondary and primary compounds.
• Sheep can eat more when they select a variety of shrubs with different kinds and amounts of primary and secondary compounds

Early learning process in animals
• The experience of pregnant sheep can influence preferences and performance of the next generation.
• Herders aim to diversify the foods offered in late pregnancy because that will improve the ability of their flocks to use the full range of fodder in the landscape
• Animal culture can be developed through appropriate grazing management

Mixing primary and secondary compounds in diets
• Herders appreciate the many nutritional and medicinal values of plants and plant diversity.
• The most elementary principle of toxicology is that every plant can be toxic depending on the time and amount eaten
• The herders practice is to diversify and sequence distinct mixes of plants within grazing circuits.
• The herders do not talk of secondary compounds in plants and diets; however they say self-medication should occur.
• Shepherds practice homeopathy on themselves and their animals

Time: a key variable for future studies of foraging behaviour on grazing lands
• Studies of ingestive behaviour use time (bite time & grazing time) and nutrient kinetics (primary and secondary compounds) with forages on pasture.
• Time is a key variable for appraising the value of grazing lands at the level of landscape, from long time scale (multi-year), of trans- generational learning, to become locally adapted, to a short time scale (seconds) for selecting plant parts (individual animals) within a half day diet.
• Herders like to stay in front of the flock, with their dogs doing any necessary moving of stock to push from behind, the animals learn to watch the shepherd, for cues as to when and where they should move.

Creating shared well-being between humans and animals on grazing lands
• Low stress stock handling techniques for moving and settling stock are much better accepted now, livestock owners who have adopted these practices highlight the benefits for working conditions and animals, a trust relationship forms between the animals and humans, looking after them.
Workshop abstract 12/5/2014
Palatability Links Variety with Culture and Health through Nutrition
Fred Provenza; Department of Wildland Resources; Utah State University
Palatability is a relationship that involves primary (energy, protein, minerals, vitamins) and secondary (phenolics, terpenes, alkaloids) compounds interacting with cells and organ systems in a dynamic network of communication that influences liking for foods and unites a body with social and physical environments. These relationships - mediated by nerves, neurotransmitters, peptides, and hormones - are the basis for the nutritional wisdom of the body manifest through ability to meet needs for energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins and to self-medicate to rectify maladies. Animals satiate on primary and secondary compounds, and if the variety of foods on offer meets needs, satiety leads to a lack of cravings that can cause animals to over-ingest foods to meet needs when diets are low in required nutrients. For herbivores and people to maintain health through nutrition, nothing is more important than eating a variety of phytochemically rich foods and trusting the wisdom of the body to select what it needs. Dietary habits emerge from within the context of ongoing transformation with biophysical environments where creatures are conceived, reared, and live over generations. Experiences in utero and early in life have life-long influences on preferences for foods and haunts, as shown for insects, fish, birds, and mammals. In mammals, mother is a transgenerational link whose knowledge of what to eat and where to go adds stability; offspring add creativity by exploring the unknown. Together, they enable social animals to transform with ever-changing landscapes. While the cultures that emerge from these interactions can enable health through nutrition for people and the animals in our care, that is not currently the case, as revealed by the obesity crisis and many diet-related diseases we are experiencing.

Workshop content and timelines 12-5-2014
Fred Provenza
One-Day Workshop
How Behavior Links Humans, Animals and Landscapes
We will discuss functional interrelationships that illustrate how behavior links human wellbeing with the health of soil, plants, and herbivores. We will highlight behavioral principles and processes and discuss their implications for: 1) improving animal performance in feedlots, pastures, and rangelands; 2) enhancing and maintaining biodiversity through grazing; 3) restoring ecosystems using grazing to embrace invasive species and reduce impacts to riparian areas; 4) mitigating human-wildlife conflicts to enhance wildlife values; 5) minimizing damage to valuable crops by wild and domesticated herbivores by altering food and habitat preferences; 6) enhancing conservation values including ways to improve performance of wild and domestic animals introduced into unfamiliar environments; and 7) enhancing carbon sequestration through grazing.
More generally, we explore what it means for people and the animals in our care to transform with the landscapes we inhabit ecologically, economically, and culturally. The goal is to help people become aware of behavioral principles and processes that foster healthy relationships among soil, plants, herbivores, and people. The vitality of land influences the species and behaviors of organisms that live in soil. Soil health affects the varieties, chemical characteristics, and behaviors of plants. That in turn affects the nutrition and health of herbivores. Ultimately, the health and wellbeing of people is entangled with the health of soil through plants and herbivores.
From life in soil to plants and animals including people, vitality comes when creatures create their way into the future. Our goal is to help people embrace transitions creatively. Appreciating the importance of transformation alters peoples' philosophies and practices from rigid, unyielding, and unenjoyable to fluid, malleable, and invigorating. We no longer view creatures, including ourselves, as machines and genes as destiny. Rather, we grasp how to use behavioral interrelationships to create an array of solutions to the challenges people face as they embrace change.
Unlike costly infrastructures such as corrals and fences, understanding and implementing behavioral principles and processes costs little because they don't depend on fossil-fuels. It's what's in our brains, not what's in our pocketbooks, that counts. Once people grasp and use behavioral principles on landscapes, they create practices that are innovative, inclusive, and self-sustaining.
We know environment interacts with the genome during growth and development influence form, function, and behavior. Though experiences in utero and early in life are especially important, genome-environment interactions continue throughout life and they constitute what it means for creatures to transform with landscapes. The issue isn't if biophysical environments are transforming; and they do so every day. The question is: Do we want to creatively engage the process. The challenge is: Continually changing our behavior to create our way into the future.
Schedule of Events

Introductions & Overview 9:00 to 9:30

Wisdom Body 9:30 to 10:30

Wisdom Body: Palatability is more than a matter of taste. Palatability is a process that involves dynamic and ongoing interrelationships among cells and organ systems that feedback to the palate to change liking for various the mixes of forages available. Flavor-feedback interactions involve phytochemicals interacting with cells and organ systems in a dynamic network of consciousness and communication that unites digestive, excretory, cardiovascular, respiratory, skin, muscular, skeletal, immune, nervous, endocrine, and reproductive systems in the body. These relationships -- mediated by nerves, neurotransmitters, peptides, and hormones -- are the basis for the nutritional wisdom of the body manifest through abilities of herbivores to meet needs for energy, protein, and various minerals and to self-medicate to rectify maladies. Understanding these relationships has opened heretofore unimagined opportunities for people to train livestock in a variety of ways including to forage in forest plantations, vineyards, and citrus groves; to avoid eating poisonous plants; to better utilize invasive plants; and to rejuvenate landscapes for the benefit of both wild and domestic animals.

Satiety-Biodiversity 10:30 to 11:30

Animals satiate - they get sick and tired of eating the same old foods in the same old places. That is extremely beneficial for maintaining health. Assuming the foods on offer meet needs for energy, protein, minerals, and other phytochemicals, satiety leads to contentment and a lack of cravings that cause animals to over-ingest foods. For domestic and wild animals to maintain health through nutrition, nothing is more important than eating a variety of foods and foraging in a variety of places. For people, nothing is more important than exposing our body to a variety of whole foods and trusting the wisdom of our body to select what it needs. Providing a variety of foods and habitats enhances nutrition, health, well-being and ultimately the efficiency of production of domestic and wild herbivores in confinement, on pastures, and on rangelands. Biodiversity is thus more than an ecological buzzword - it is the foundation for nutrition, health, welfare, and low-cost production. This knowledge is helping people develop plant mixtures that build soil organic matter and nutrients, reduce dependence of plants on fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides, promote the nutrition and health of herbivores without reliance on antibiotics and anthelmintics, and enhance the flavor and quality of meat for human ingestion.

Morning Tea 11:30 to 11:45

Transgenerational Linkages to Landscapes 11:45 to 12:45

Transgenerational Linkages: Behavior occurs within the context of ongoing transformation with biophysical environments where creatures are conceived and live over generations. Experiences in utero and early in life have life-long influences on behavior including an animal's disposition to the foods and habitats where prefers. Natal experiences affect food and habitat preferences in animal taxa including insects, fish, birds and mammals. In mammals, mother is a link who adds stability, whereas offspring add creativity by exploring the unknown. Together, they enable social animals to continually transform with ever-changing landscapes. The emerging field of epigenetics, which highlights how experiences with social and biophysical environments influence gene expression, is changing static view of evolution based on natural selection of beneficial mutations, a process that occurs over millennia, to one that is dynamic and ongoing within the lifetime of the individual and across generations. Understanding these processes has implications for creating animals that can prosper using foods and habitats available locally while minimizing inputs of costly fossil fuels. This knowledge is enabling people to better manage the food and habitat selection behaviors of livestock and wildlife for social, economic, and ecological benefits. These findings have counterintuitive implications for issues -- from invasive to rare and endangered species -- that have to do with developing philosophies and practice that accent transformation with ever-changing environments as the low-cost alternative to attempting to "go back to the way things used to be."

Lunch 12:45 to 1:30

Health from the Ground Up 1:30 to 2:30

Health: The health of people is entwined with the health of landscapes. Palatability is a relationship that involves primary (energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins) and secondary (phenolics, terpenes, alkaloids) compounds interacting with cells and organ systems in a dynamic network of communication that influences liking for foods and unites a body with social and physical environments. Animals satiate on primary and secondary compounds, and if the variety of foods on offer meets needs, satiety leads to a lack of cravings that can cause animals to over-ingest foods to meet needs when diets are low in required nutrients. For herbivores and people to maintain health through nutrition, nothing is more important than eating a variety of phytochemically rich foods and trusting the wisdom of the body to select what it needs. Dietary habits emerge from within the context of ongoing transformation with biophysical environments where creatures are conceived, reared, and live over generations. In mammals, mother is a transgenerational link whose knowledge of what to eat and where to go adds stability; offspring add creativity by exploring the unknown. While the cultures that emerge from these interactions can enable health through nutrition from the ground up for people and the animals in our care, that is not currently the case, as revealed by the obesity crisis and many diet-related diseases we are experiencing.
SERCS species list for Broom Hills
Jayfields Nursery. Fodder plants contract grown for SERCS project
Allocasurina verticillata ( Weeping sheoak) 1040
Atiplex nummularia ( Old man saltbush) 960
Acacia dealbata (Silver wattle) 1030
Acacia pycnantha (Golden wattle) 990
Acacia rubida (Red stem wattle) 560
Acacia implexa (Lightwood ) 520
lndigofera australis (Australian indigo) 520
Rhagodia sprnescens (Hedge saltbush) 480
Artemisia absinthum ( Wormwood) Supplied by Bill
Hardengergia violacea ( Native wisteria) 522
Chenopodium deseftorum (Frosted goosefoo)t 18
sub Atriplex semibaccata ( Berry Saltbush ) 560

Total 7200
private order
Enchylaena tomentosa ( Ruby Saltbush ) 80
Eucalyptus Melliodora (Yellow Box) 52
Accacia Pycnantha ( Golden Wattle) 51
Accacia Dealbata (Silver wattle) 50
Total 273

Grand total 7473
Poppy Cloudia Hill
Poppy is the first grandchild of Bill and Debbie, born on 15th January 2014, to our elder son Robert and his wife Octavia. Poppy is the light of our life and has given us a new focus on the future. We want to be a catalyst for change in regenerative ways of living, farming and being. The world Poppy and her peers will grow up in will be significantly different from the one we now have, but if every person makes an effort to make a difference in their lives, we can mitigate the excesses of our profligate lifestyles. When we know when enough is enough, then we will have enough and enough to share.
Check out "The Starfish Thrower" & "The Cheshire Cat" in "A View from the Hill"
Scroll down the page for Information on Fred Provenza comes to Warrenbayne 12th May 2014
Farner and property profile
Bill and Debbie Hill own 'Corramandel' and 'Broom Hills' Warrenbayne, near Benalla, in North-East Victoria. The Hill family have farmed in Warrenbayne since 1908.
Their property
Soil type Broom Hills - Stony gradational and yellow duplex, pale gradational, brown gradational, red gradational and friable brown gradational.
Corramandel - Clay loam, sandy loam, brown gradational, friable brown gradational
Rainfall (average/yr) 900 mm- 'Corramandel' 160 ha (100 meg rain fed dam, commanding 12 ha of border check, gravity fed lasered irrigated pasture.
800mm- 'Broom Hills' 260 ha ( SERCS trial here)
Property Area (ha) 420 ha plus (they have a lease block for wethers, as well as agistment for dry cows and dry sheep)
Main enterprises Fine wool merino sheep, spring lambing
Self-replacing, winter/spring calving Angus cattle for weaner production
Current pasture Broom Hills has native grasses and clover, rye grass, phalaris and annual weeds, some pasture cropping to supplement stock feed, mainly for grazing.
Current average stocking rates 150 cows and calves on 'Corramandel'
1000 ewes and lambs on 'Broom Hills'
Heifer weaners and merino weaners
Vegetation (no of ha)
5-6% of remnant vegetation and revegetation. With the planting this year the revegetation sites and the remnant vegetation have created a connection across the property
Bill and Debbie Hill own 'Corramandel' and 'Broom Hills' Warrenbayne, near Benalla, in North-East Victoria. The Hill family have farmed in Warrenbayne since 1908.
Their property
Soil type Broom Hills - Stony gradational and yellow duplex, pale gradational, brown gradational, red gradational and friable brown gradational.
Corramandel - Clay loam, sandy loam, brown gradational, friable brown gradational
Rainfall (average/yr) 900 mm- 'Corramandel' 160 ha (100 meg rain fed dam, commanding 12 ha of border check, gravity fed lasered irrigated pasture.
800mm- 'Broom Hills' 260 ha ( SERCS trial here)
Property Area (ha) 420 ha plus (they have a lease block for wethers, as well as agistment for dry cows and dry sheep)
Main enterprises Fine wool merino sheep, spring lambing
Self-replacing, winter/spring calving Angus cattle for weaner production
Current pasture Broom Hills has native grasses and clover, rye grass, phalaris and annual weeds, some pasture cropping to supplement stock feed, mainly for grazing.
Current average stocking rates 150 cows and calves on 'Corramandel'
1000 ewes and lambs on 'Broom Hills'
Heifer weaners and merino weaners
Vegetation (no of ha)
5-6% of remnant vegetation and revegetation. With the planting this year the revegetation sites and the remnant vegetation have created a connection across the property
The SERCS project
How many shrubs planted 7200
Planting rate 2 rows 3 m apart with 10-12m alley. The rows were alternated with 2 shrub rows with shrubs planted 3m apart and 2 tree rows with trees planted 6m apart.
Site preparation Eleven small blocks were ripped along the contours with a bulldozer then a blanket weed control with a boomless sprayer. Each block was fenced with prefabricated fencing , galvanised steel posts with a hotwire, gates strategically placed for easy stock movement, water reticulated to troughs from a solar pump, via a tank on the highest point of the farm.
Planting method used The seedlings were planted on 19 & 20 June after 120 mm of rain during May and early June, which ensured good moisture profile in rip lines. The trees and shrubs were guarded on the next 3 days. The seedlings were planted at the depth of the root ball. As there were plants left over Bill extended other areas and created 2 more blocks so he could plant all his seedlings. All his blocks are fenced and all his seedlings have tree guards to protect them from wind, rabbits and cockatoo damage. He has since spot sprayed with a Glyphosate/ Canvas 750 mix around the seedlings to reduce the weed load.
On site challenges Weeds including Bracken fern, very stony sites requiring a bulldozer for ripping. More fencing required to create smaller paddocks on what was formerly the least valuable grazing land.
Bill's response when asked why he was interested in the SERCS project was "For many years we have been wanting to add to the fodder available to our livestock and to make use of all available rainfall and conserved moisture, wherever & whenever it may fall. Debbie has been involved in a project called "Green haystacks" which has been trialling native trees and shrubs for a many years and has given us some valuable data with a few species. Animal production is paramount in today's challenging environment, but animals must be healthy and content, to reach their potential." In a proactive response to a changing climate we are keen to try to add to our feed base, creating reliance through diversity by adding browsable shrubs and trees.
When asked how he saw shrubs being an advantage on his property, he replied "Many animals in today's industrial farming systems have a hidden hunger that doesn't allow full expression of their genetic potential. Browse of native perennial shrubs can satisfy many of these deficits and balance their diets and to help in keeping them healthy, content and productive." "We are always looking for ways to work with nature to become more resilient through diversity rather than force production through external inputs."
Grazable Shrubs Workshop / Field day 5th March, Warrenbayne, 9.30 -1.00
Warrenbayne-Boho Landcare Presents:
Grazable Shrubs
'SERCS' Project Field Day
5th March, 9:30am - 1pm
Warrenbayne Hall- Warrenbayne Benalla road, Warrenbayne

Warrenbayne- Boho Landcare in conjunction with Mingenew Irwin Group are hosting a field day for the 'Shrubs for Emissions and Carbon Storage' (SERCS) project. The project is trialling the on-farm use of a range of Australian native shrubs to demonstrate their anti-methanogenic properties and potential as a fodder source, when used as a "green‟ feed during the summer-autumn feed gap. The project involves farmers from WA, NSW and Victoria. The only Victorian trial site is located on Hill's property at Warrenbayne.

From results of the Enrich project, it is expected that the inclusion of these plants in the stock diet will promote more efficient digestion thereby limiting emissions, primarily methane, from animals. The project is in collaboration with the Future Farm CRC, the Enrich project team and UWA. It's supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry as part of its Carbon Farming Futures - Action on the Ground program.

The day will feature an information talk by Donna Rayner - SERCS project officer and a visit to Bill Hill's project site, Warrenbayne.
• Morning tea and lunch provided.
• RSVP Essential for catering purposes
Melanie Addinsall - Landcare Project Officer
(03) 5761 1560 or landcare1@iinet.net.au by 26th February
Home Page
Bill describes himself as a grass farmer, philosopher, raconteur, maven and epicurean.
Welcome to my place, make yourself at home, wander around. I welcome your feedback. Talk to you soon.

It takes two to speak the truth,—one to speak, and another to hear.
H D Thoreau
It takes a golden ear to be empty enough of itself to hear clearly. -M.C.Richards






New landscapes through new mindscapes
The environment we most need to change is the one between our ears.
We can only develop new landscapes when we use new mindscapes, new ways of thinking, seeing and being.
Be the change you want to see in the world
Mahatma Gandhi, said "Be the change you want to see in the world," and consistant with that purpose I wish to share my vision for a more sustainable world.
My intention is to create a sustainable and supportive environment.
I will encourage elegant communication, networking, sharing wisdom, experience and information with an aim at gently provoking and stimulating conversations around attitudes to a sustainable self, in a sustainable world which moves us toward a more sustainable, preferable future.
SUBMISSION TO THE LAND AND BIODIVERSITY AT A TIME OF CLIMATE CHANGE GREEN PAPER
A View from the Hill, a farmer's perspective.
"This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it."
Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Our current global environmental crisis could easily produce a variety of wildcards, but right now most people perceive it as gradual and regular in its development. Petersen (1999).
Wildcards are low probability, high impact events that happen quickly and force the limits of human capabilities abruptly. Humans do not cope easily with rapid change and swift solutions get caught in the mire of scientific and bureaucratic consensus.
Nature is cyclical, holistic and peerless and has managed the environment for millennia without our interference and does not respond predictably to science, which is linear, reductionist and peer reviewed.
My experience with natural resource management is that as a general rule, when we make a positive intervention, with respect and good intention, in our farming system, we get much more than we planned for. When we combine correct process with the right amount of energy and at the right time and with sufficient patience to allow nature to weave her magic, we often get unexpected benefits as well as our desired result. To me this is nature at her most generous and understanding.
Frog Hollow, Broom Hills, Warrenbayne is a biomemetic response to a NRM problem that we have successfully implemented and documented. Frog hollow, shows how a formerly a sad degraded saline gully was regenerated and demonstrates the power of a nature based approach that resulted in positive change and multiple benefits including shade, shelter, increased but better managed grazing resulting in increased productivity, cleaner water and increased native flora and fauna habitat. This was funded under an LPIS grant and facilitated by agency staff, particularly in the very successful direct seeding of a shotgun mix of native trees and understorey species.
A well functioning ecosystem, sensitively managed can produce many of the outcomes demonstrated above. However the current round of local cuts to landcare facilitation will result, in less NRM benefits being realized on the ground. Country people develop confidence and trust in landcare facilitators and this results in a multiplying effect of on- ground work and demonstration sites for other interested farmers to see and learn from. This multiplier effect has not been properly researched and recognised.
The bloody minded resolve of those in charge of grants to demand 30 to 50 meter wide tree corridors, regardless of the size of remnant and existing vegetation that they may link has resulted in a general halt in this vital linking process. This example demonstrates a lack of understanding of how to facilitate vital NRM infrastructure.

Environmental Best Management Practices workshops are an EMS pathways program, designed on a Canadian model and refined by DPI and delivered in Victoria by VFF appointed facilitators. The EBMP workbook is not only an excellent, user friendly training manual, but is also a comprehensive resource on environmental management. The workbook guides participants through a self assessment of environmental management on participants farms including property management planning, soil, water, vegetation and biodiversity, pest plants and animals, pastures and livestock, cropping, farm forestry, nutrients, irrigation, chemicals, greenhouse effect /climate change, farm wastes.
The format is two/ four hour workshops with a meal supplied, one week apart, which take the participants through the kit, with an opportunity to do some guided work in their workbooks / computer program.
The participants are then encouraged to finish their self-evaluation process, and in the second workshop they are facilitated to develop a list of priorities and an action plan.
These workshops are free to farmers and have been well received by enthusiastic participants, they find the process both stimulating and empowering. The process can be value added with a whole farm - planning course. Participants are keen to have an ongoing association, which would include workshops on common interest subjects determined by individual groups, including soil management and natural fertilizers for instance, would be welcomed and well attended.
The Canadian process includes a peer review process, which would be invaluable addition to these workshops to allow participants to share knowledge and advice as to the best methodology to implement their individual plans.
A second round of 2 /4 hr workshops could provide a peer review process, where farmers would present a 10 minute overview of their property and outline a preferred path and then receive constructive criticism / advice on how they may proceed and where they may find additional advice, agency staff could be on hand to advise on grants / funding arrangements to participants on request.
The 2nd workshop could be dedicated to a greenhouse/ climate change session, with a workbook -computer program designed in a similar format to the EBMP workbook, where participants could work through a self evaluation process and develop a way forward to gain the knowledge to adopt the necessary changes to deal proactively with a subject that hangs like a sword of Damocles over all our heads.
These workshops would be delivered by peers of the participants, and would not only be seen for enhancing EMS awareness, but as a forum for farmer's and landcarers to socialize and be heard on their concerns about NRM and the delivery of funds and facilitation for on ground work. The other main objective, also taken from the Canadian model, is that priority of funds for landcare projects be predicated on the successful completion of an EMBP. The Canadian model has an as of right access to a total of $50,000 per farm on delivery of a four-page document, for each peer-reviewed project. This single initiative would revolutionize percentage of the environmental dollar spent directly on farm. The leverage that Canada gets from this program is huge.

A very simple process to reward individual farmer's and landcarers commitment to NRM and its public benefits would be to develop a system whereby the state government gave, say for instance, a 20% rebate on shire rates to those farmer's who after an environmental audit, were seen to be delivering above average NRM outcomes, including those of a public good, while running a viable farming enterprise.
It would also make the state government more aware of the inequitable rate burden that rural landholders bear.
Water quality, pest plant and animal reduction, soil conservation, wildlife habitat and visual amenity would be taken into consideration.
There are many unsung and generally unrecognised heroes that are travelling along an alternative road to more sustainable, resilient future agricultural systems. These trail blazers need recognition and facilitation, in a world otherwise constrained by climate change, expensive fossil fuel and increasing chemical fertilizer and agricultural chemicals and GMO (genetically modified) crops.

Some alternative farming modalities and resources.
Farm scale permaculture
Perennial Cropping, (The Land Institute, Kansas, Research in natural systems agriculture featuring perennial grain polycultures using nature as its measure).
The Carbon Coalition. (Carbon sequestration in soil)
Pasture Cropping.
Biodynamics.
Organic farming
Biomimicry, Nature as Model, Measure and Mentor
Natural Sequence Farming
Munash (Natural and foliar fertilizer supplier, use of fly ash 13pH to modify soil acidity)
Holistic Management
Agroecology ( a term which encompasses these objectives)
Keyline Farming
Aeration of soil (Aerway)
SWEP (independent soil analysis using Albrecht soil balance principles, also soil biology tests)

Some of he Philosophies on which my opinions are based.

The facts of nature cannot in the long run be violated. Penetrating and seeping through everything like water, they will undermine any system that fails to take account of them, and sooner or later they will bring about its downfall. - C. G. Jung

The idea that we live in something called •the environment• is utterly preposterous. The world that environs us, that is around us, is also within us. We are made of it; we eat, drink, and breathe it; it is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.
Wendell Berry

Chief Seattle eloquently expressed these thoughts when he said, " Whatever befalls the earth, befalls all the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."

Mother nature has been sustainable since the dawn of time, but we humans have done untold damage to our biosphere in the last 200 years of the industrial age.
The ultimate irony is that the biosphere can survive the end of humanity, but humanity cannot survive the end of the biosphere.

Ecosystem dynamics are complex and have a degree of unpredictability and often exhibit rapid rates of change and are continually evolving and going through birth, growth, death and renewal at different spatial and temporal scales.

Ethics. All ethics so far evolved, rest on a single premise: that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts.
The Land Ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants and animals, collectively known as the land.
The Land Ethic changes the role of Homo-sapiens from conqueror of the land community to a plain member of the natural system.

Principles of Agroecology
Agroecology is the science of applying ecological concepts and principles to the design, development, and management of sustainable agricultural systems.
Manage Ecological Relationships. We need to re-establish ecological relationships that can occur naturally on the farm instead of reducing and simplifying them.
Manage pests, diseases, and weeds instead of "controlling" them.
Use intercropping and cover cropping Integrate Livestock Enhance beneficial biota. In soils mycorrhizae Rhizobia free-living nitrogen fixers Beneficial insects Provide refugia for beneficials.
Enhance beneficial populations by breed and release programs.
Recycle Nutrients Shift from through flow nutrient management to recycling of nutrients. Return crop residues and manures to soils. When outside inputs are necessary, sustain their benefits by recycling them.
Minimize Disturbance. Use reduced tillage or no-till methods. Use mulches. Use perennials
Adjust to Local Environments. We need to match cropping patterns to the productive potential and physical limitations of the farm landscape. Adapt Biota adapt plants and animals to the ecological conditions of the farm rather than modifying the farm to meet the needs of the crops and animals.
Diversify Landscapes Maintain undisturbed areas as buffer zones. Use contour and strip tillage. Maintain riparian buffer zones. Use rotational grazing.
Biota Intercrop. Rotate crops. Use polyculture. Integrate animals in system. Use multiple species of crops and animals on farm. Use multiple varieties and landraces of crops and animals on farm.
Economics. Avoid dependence on single crops/products. Use alternative markets. Organic markets. Community Supported Agriculture. "Pick your own" marketing. Add value to agricultural products. Process foods before selling them. Find alternative incomes. Agrotourism Avoid dependence on external subsidies. Use multiple crops to diversify seasonal timing of production over the year.
Empower People. Ensure that local people control their development process. Use indigenous knowledge Promote multi-directional transfer of knowledge, as opposed to "top-down" knowledge transfer. Teach experts and farmers to share knowledge, not "impose" it. Engage in people-centric development. Increase farmer participation. link farmers with consumers. Strengthen communities. Encourage local partnerships between people and development groups.Ensure intergenerational fairness. Guarantee agricultural labor. Ensure equitable labor relations for farm workers. Teach principles of agroecology & sustainability.

Human impact on natural systems.
The process of altering the pyramid for human occupation releases the stored energy, delivering an exuberant but unsustainable burst of both wild and domestic, plants and animals. These releases of stored energy tend to cloud the reality that we are mortgaging our immediate future and risking the ability of the earth to sustain life as we know it.
To summarise
•Land is not merely soil, so stop treating it like dirt.
•Native birds and animals were designed to keep the energy circuit open, exotic imports my not do this as effectively if at all.
•Man made changes are of a different order than evolutionary changes, and have effects more comprehensive than intended or foreseen.
•We must broker a modus vivendi, a working arrangement between the conflicting interests of human beings and "nature" to engage in a practical.

Conclusion
Farmers produce and manage agricultural primary industry, many for little if any profit, can we rely on corporate business to feed and clothe us?
Rural skills, understanding and empathy with natural systems are vital for our ability to feed ourselves into a less certain future.
If family farmers terms of trade don't improve they can't survive, who then will steward the land and produce food and fibre?
These farmers are an invaluable resource who need to be valued, adequately rewarded and facilitated through necessary change.
Food security and natural resource management, to a large degree depend on our farmers.
Lastly, we all have something to lose, a biosphere that supports life as we know it, so let's tread lightly on the earth.
Bill Hill
"If you speak the truth, have a foot in the stirrup."
Turkish Proverb
See "The Circle of Life," by White Cloud on this website in the section "A view from the Hill"
(This piece was submitted in support of a much more detailed submission put in by Serenity Hill)
Gems
"The secret to remaining light hearted and happy in a world that faces so many challenges is my wisdom. I put my energy into the things I can change and make my life a source of positivity, living the changes I want for the world."
"You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result" - Gandhi
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius --- and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. -Einstein
Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment. - R. Buckminster Fuller
Happiness
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. Denis Waitley:
Serenity's input at the 2020 Summit recognised.
Just wanted to bring your attention to the "Future Directions for Rural Industries and Communities" section of the initial report from the 2020 Summit:
The development of strategies for fostering food security and the future sustainability and productivity of remote, rural and regional Australia has been the focus of summit discussions and made it into the top ideas:
A government unit should be established to consider national and global food security, looking at the context, drivers and emerging trends and new policy options.
(the importance of these two words cannot be overestimated in the current climate of discussions re. global food security as Australia's opportunity to increase ag exports at any cost . . )
So congratulations to Serenity on a successful mission (evidence of her personal contribution is on the videos), you made a very worthwhile contribution to the sustainability group!
It is worth noting that apparently there was much more opposition to the proposed 'eyes north' approach than has made it into this initial report!
(Footnote) Perhaps we may have to deal with the present quandary in the Murray Darling Basin, the food bowl of Australia and fix up our collective mistakes before we stuff up the relatively untouched pristine rivers of northern Australia. After all it has only taken us 100 years to turn a living system into a salty drain and much of that without the technology we presently have at our disposal.
For a moment may I suggest that we contemplate the country as our mother and ask, "Could I treat my mother like that."
If we believe we could, we deserve to become orphans very soon.
Reflections of a proud father.
Serenity Hill's Story thru her father's eyes
Serenity Jane Hill arrived about midday, on June 18th, 1977. I remember we had had a lot of rain overnight. It used to rain more then, BC, before children.
I had been reading a Readers Digest abridged story about a girl of Quaker heritage who was rediscovering her roots called, "I take thee Serenity" and it had a profound effect on me. Serenity (tranquillity, composure) was something I craved in my life and is what I wished for our beautiful first-born child. I also believed that she would have a competitive advantage in being remembered because of her "unusual" name.
Debbie had initially resisted my insistence on Serenity as her first name, however as soon as she was born, the name seemed right and so Serenity Jane made her entrance into the big wide world. Many people commented on our little girl's name but almost everyone who has interacted with her remembers an engaging, friendly, determined, focused, competent and committed human being who, in Ghandi's words, seeks to "be the change you wish to see in the world."
From a young age Serenity showed common sense and an uncanny sense of personal direction. She loved to learn and was always doing stuff. Even as a little girl she was thoughtful and considerate. A toy wheelbarrow was used to gather small twigs and sticks for the combustion stove. Debbie still delights in telling the story of the little bunch of dry kindling wood she would find in the wood box, left by Serenity, after her almost daily self appointed task was completed, quietly and without fuss.
Our kids have always helped out on the farm and the annual shearing was no exception. Serenity's task from an early age was to sweep the board and pickup the bellies. She would become quite vocal if the rousy was tardy in picking up the fleece and didn't allow her sufficient time to sweep the floor properly. It was quite a humbling experience to be told by a little girl to hurry up and get the wool out of the way so she could do her job properly. My respect for her work ethic was forged in those early days and has grown with her commitment to make a difference.
Serenity has always been a scallywag with a wonderful sense of humour and with her little brother Bobby, was always on for an adventure. Sometimes it was weeks or even years after that one of them would let the cat out of the bag about one of their escapades.
Serenity's Grandma Hill was an important influence on shaping Serenity's early
opinions and future direction. Grandma did stuff that was fun and inclusive and Serenity got that it was fun to be a human being, not just a human doing.
Serenity always excelled at school, but it was not until VCE at Benalla College, where she and several friends lobbied for the opportunity to do Philosophy, by distance education, through Monash University, that she impressed upon me her determination to forge her own path. A path less travelled, a more challenging and personally engaging path, one that breaks new ground, with new thinking about old wisdom.
Philosophy is thinking about thinking and Serenity is thinking about doing and presenting those ideas in a manner and style that engages others in possibility.
Serenity has been fortunate in the mentors that have seen her possibility and encouraged her on her trail of personal development. After completing her undergraduate degree in Public Policy at Melbourne University. She worked in various Public Service positions (most recently in Climate Change Adaption for the DSE), rising quickly through the ranks while continuing her studies.
She holds a Master of Environmental Management (Melb Uni) and is currently enrolled in her PhD at Melbourne University supported by the CRC for Future Farm Industries ("Landholder adaptation to climate and other complex change and what this means for the resilience of the food system).
Serenity took a year off to see some of the world, have fun, work and take stock of her life. She travelled in Central America, Cuba, Eastern Europe and Africa with a specific interest in sustainable food systems. Her inclusion in Prime minister Rudd's 2020 summit is testament to the regard in which she is held by her peers.
Her brothers, Robert and Jonothan and Debbie and I acknowledge with love and respect, the contribution that Serenity has made and wish her well as she continues on her road less travelled, seeking to become someone who does things that helps create a more supportive and sustainable society.
(Photo of Serenity taken in Africa 2005)
Bill Hill
Warrenbayne
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
Some ask why, I ask why not, some ask who can and I answer we can all make a difference.
No one has the all the answers, but we all have the ability to ask questions.
Maybe our most important task is to learn to ask the right questions!

 

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