Windermere, Murringo, NSW

Property size
1,500 ha

Farming enterprises
beef, pork and lamb; on-farm butchery; direct marketing with a regional food focus

Annual rainfall
625 mm

Threatened species
Superb Parrot, Pink-tailed Worm-lizard, Flame Robin, Scarlet Robin and possibly Squirrel Glider

Sam and Claire Johnson, Windermere

Murringo, NSW

Sam and Claire own ‘Windermere’ which is a 1,500 ha farm located near Murringo east of Young. Their son Sid helps them run the farm. A feature of the farm is the grazing management, based on regenerative grazing principles, with three key points of difference to most other producers: (i) they produce beef, pork and lamb, in area dominated by cattle and sheep production, (ii) their business is integrated, including an on-farm butchery that involves direct-marketing to consumers, and (iii) they have adopted holistic grazing management.

Sam, Claire and Sid all work on the farm and employ staff to help with the frequent (often daily) grazing rotation and butchering. Through very careful management, the Johnsons have been able to increase the carrying capacity of their land at the same time as increasing perennial grasses in their pastures.

Sam and Claire have been active members in various holistic/regenerative grazing groups and have hosted events on their farm before. They are currently engaged in the development of a cooperative structure called Land to Market Australia which will provide certification for regenerative graziers. This scheme is exploring the use of indicators relating to soil condition and landscape function analysis. Windermere will be one of the first 100 properties involved in a trial collecting baseline measurements.

In addition to hosting field events on their property, Sam and Claire will act as champions for Sustainable Farms, in particular farming sustainably in Box Gum grassy woodland using holistic grazing practices, and advocating for land management outcomes in box gum grassy woodland between graziers and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

Video: Sam and Claire own ‘Windermere’ which is a 1,500 ha farm located near Murringo east of Young.

"We are gradually growing more native grasses than we ever did. We don’t specifically focus on any particular species but [on] the functioning of the landscape.... We try to improve the condition of the surface of the soil. We can’t control the amount of rainfall we get, but we can really control how effective what we do get is." – Sam Johnson

Natural Asset Management Practices

Windermere has implemented shelterbelts, riparian restoration, management and enhancement of native and mixed native pastures and management of wooded pastures. In particular, it provides a good example of riparian restoration, management and enhancement of native and mixed native pastures and management of wooded pastures. Many of the improvements to the natural assets on the farm have been achieved largely through their grazing management.

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