5: From little things big things grow with 6th generation farmer Michael Taylor

On Ground Cover today, Kerry is joined by Michael Taylor, a sixth generation wool producer from Kentucky, on the Northern Tablelands of NSW. Michael’s family were one of the original settlers of the New England region. His parents, John and Vicky Taylor, discovered the real causes of the New England die back problem. The family tradition of experimentation and continuous learning is certainly instilled in Michael’s approach to farming.
Michael is our Agroforestry champion; diversifying his farm practices to create greater resilience for future generations. While also running a Merino sheep enterprise of the highest ethical standard.
In this episode we hear about:
  • the lessons the Taylors learned through experiencing major droughts over 3 generations
  • over clearing and over grazing and it’s impact on die back
  • how Michael has diversified farm practices with timber and agroforestry
  • the importance of shelter in creating a functioning ecosystem
  • the impact of aesthetics on their property
More about Michael Taylor:
Michael is the Managing Partner at Taylors Run mixed agricultural business, a family run Merino sheep and wool enterprise started in 1839. He has also taken on the further development of the agroforestry enterprise adding value for future generations. Both of these roles in the farm management include the responsibility of being a land custodian and steward in a competitive commercial environment. Continuous improvement of water use efficiency and regenerative farming practices provide a good education and demonstration site for other landholders.
His involvement in the wool industry extends to two grower groups endeavouring to close the gap between producers and end users of Merino wool in apparel. Tablelands Merino is a regional group of only superfine Merino growers offering wool with guaranteed next-to-skin comfort. He is also a founding member and Director of Australian Ethical Merino Growers Co-operative.
In his previous role as Director with Southern New England Landcare he contributed to an organisation that provides support to landholders in the region wishing to embark on better Natural Resource Management (NRM) projects. He is still involved as a peer mentor in the Agri-woodlands Group, helping landholders with their tree management projects.
Michael studied Civil Engineering through RMIT, and worked with Hyder Consulting and Baulderstone-Hornibrook in Melbourne after completing his degree. Michael feels that Engineering has provided a strong base bringing another angle of professionalism into his current roles.
Specialties include: civil engineering (roads and water), farm and small business management, wool and sheep classing, sheep breeding, cattle breeding, farm forestry management (siliviculture, harvesting and sawn timber processing), professional photography, medium scale graphic design and publishing.

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