Pete and Bundle Lawson grew up on farms with a lot of family history behind them. They now run both family properties: Gundillawah in the Mundarlo valley and Trewalla at Book Book.
After finishing their tertiary education they studied Holistic Management in separate courses in 1996 and 2001 and then followed up in 2008 with another course done jointly. This final course reaffirmed that HM was the way they wanted to farm. The core of the 8 Families group was formed from the 2008 course. Pete and Bundle believe it is through the support of the group’s members that they have had the confidence to strive for their production and lifestyle goals.
Pete says “We have three young children, two girls and a boy, and love teaching them about HM and why we do what we do. We want our properties to become increasingly healthy and productive, so our children can enjoy the challenge of taking them on if they desire.”
Both properties have unique and beautiful features. Trewalla is predominantly Grassy Box Woodland while Gundillwah ranges from alluvial creek flats to heavily timbered, native country, spectacular views and a diversity of animals and plants.
Bundle“We love trying to improve these landscapes in a sustainable way, and enjoy seeing all the other changes that come with that, especially the increased birdlife. We also love watching the kids learn and discover new things about farming, natural ecosystems and themselves.”
Pete “ The greatest physical changes have been the increase in groundcover and gradual increase in plant species and diversity from annuals to perennials. But our attitudes to farming have also changed. We are now pretty happy that we are striving for our own goals, not beholden to someone else’s opinions or, what is seen as a more conventional way of thinking”
The Lawsons produce what they believe to be happy, healthy and productive livestock in a quiet, stress-free manner. This follows through to their bank sheet – keeping costs as simple and low as possible – questioning every expense to see if it really fits with their goals.
Pete‘HM training helps you focus on keeping life simple, not just wishing it could be. That means low cost and low stress for people and animals. It doesn’t mean we don’t work hard but we can certainly enjoy it more, confident that we’re doing it sustainably and ‘in the right way’ to reach our goals.”
Bundle “Which means we can take time to watch newborn calves and lambs with their quiet, contented mothers grazing abundant, healthy pastures….and then move them with help from the kids. Sounds idyllic, and we think it is!”
Pete “To us HM seems the only way we can move towards our aim of producing high quality, healthy food and fibre in a sustainable, profitable manner whilst regenerating and improving the resource base, ie land that we use. It just makes sense…, to us at least!!