Soaking up smarts for summer from Mr Silage

DEPI's "Mr Silage", Frank Mickan

DEPI’s “Mr Silage”, Frank Mickan

Chomping on a rye grass stalk with rain trickling down his face, Mr Silage gave it a nod of approval: “Still tastes sweet!”.

Mr Silage, as DEPI’s Frank Mickan is colloquially known, is a living legend.

Frank’s technical knowledge of pastures and conservation is unsurpassed but farmers really appreciate Frank for his genuine interest, knack of creating real discussion and, most of all, understanding of what is practical and makes a difference on farm. Frank is the farmer’s friend.

Yesterday’s Forage Planning session led by Frank and his young colleague, Pat, brought a dozen or so farmers out on a miserable day to learn about the selection and sowing of summer crops.

Zoe is not going to be left behind

Zoe is not going to be left behind

There was no sense of being dragged along to another talk-fest. Rather than a succession of Powerpoints, we had a great discussion where farmers learnt from the DEPI gurus, invited private consultants and each other. Real value.

Because Frank knows how to get farmers talking, it’s always relevant. Even Zoe, who’s been attending these types of sessions since preschool (now just during school holidays, of course), gets something out of it.

"See? Three leaves!"

“See? Two-and-a-half leaves!”

It’s a great thrill for Zoe to help assess the pastures on our weekly farm tours and an even greater thrill for her mum to hear her shriek “Canopy closure!”.

Australian dairy needs a whole cadre of Frank Mickans to remain competitive. I only hope that in the rush towards a glamorous new FTA deal, our government remembers the value of home-grown smarts.

FieldDayPanorama

1 Comment

Filed under Farm, Research

One response to “Soaking up smarts for summer from Mr Silage

  1. Do I really have to...

    Having Mr Silage eat the juicy rye grass is probably for a cow the same as my kids eating my chips when we used to go to McDonalds.

    🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply - comments are moderated, so don't worry if your comment doesn't appear straight away, I'm probably just off feeding a child or a cow!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s