The Hopkins have a focus on protecting existing natural assets. Substantial amounts of planting and revegetation has been undertaken to protect and enhance these assets. The property has established shelterbelts, riparian restoration and management, enhanced farm dam and remnant enhancement and management. In particular Allawah provides excellent examples of enhancing existing remnant vegetation of fencing restoration and management of riparian areas.
John and Nicole Hopkins, Allawah
John and Nicole Hopkins run a Simmental Stud on ‘Allawah’, a 1,040 ha grazing and dryland cropping property near Illabo, east of Junee, which also produces lambs, wool and dryland cereal and oilseed crops. John and Nicole Hopkins are a typical farming family of the region. They both work full time on the farm and employ casual staff.
John is on the State and National Council for the Simmental breed. He champions the concepts implemented on Allawah through these forums, and particularly when people come to see their livestock, as well as through their involvement with Landcare and their connections to neighbouring farms.
The Hopkins have battled devastating fires on two separate occasions. After the second fire, instead of re-fencing in the same places as his father had done, they changed where the fences were located. They have since planted extensive areas of native trees and shrubs on Allawah, fencing off corridors and allowing waterways to regenerate John and Nicole are active Landcare members and have hosted a number of field days with Landcare in the past, including workshops for training LLS staff, and trialling rabbit control methods. John also has participated in some short film clips on sustainability with the ANU and Landcare, and is actively involved in supporting policy proposals developed through Sustainable Farms.
“I was moving stock the other day and I came across a flock of zebra finches. Ten years ago we didn’t see any. When you never used to see them and you’ve got a flock of about seventy of them and they’re flitting around on the ground in front of you, well that’s a bit of fun. If you just observe what’s going on around you, it’s quite extraordinary what you’ll see.” – John Hopkins
Natural Asset Management Practices
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