Carbeen Pastured Produce is a family owned farming business located in Manildra in Central Western NSW. The property is run by Rodger and Katherine Shannon with their two young children Charlie and Willamina. They are the fourth generation of Rodger’s family to farm Carbeen after it was first bought by Rodgers’ Great Grandfather in 1924.
Rodger grew up in Cudal on another farm, about 20km away from the property. After completing an Advanced Diploma in Farm Business Management at Marcus Oldham College and spending a number of years working for others, he was keen to return to the district to implement holistic management and regenerative agricultural principles. Katherine, a speech pathologist, left Sydney after completing her tertiary studies. Farming is not foreign to Katherine as her father is from a farming family in the Clarence Valley.
They currently produce eggs, beef, lamb, wool and chickens on their 549 hectare property. At Carbeen their farming practices are based on holistic farming principles. They are focused on improving the health of their soil. The health of their soil is the key to healthy plants, healthy animals and our ultimate outcome, producing healthy, nourishing foods. They implement regenerative farming techniques and are focused on increasing the diversity of plant and animal on our farm. They do not use 'artificial' fertilisers on the farm. This means that their farming practices are "beyond organic", focusing on enhancing the environment and the greatest level of animal welfare, something that is not required of organic producers.
THEY raise the standard meat chicken Cobb cross birds in their pastured chicken enterprise. They use this breed as it delivers a more consistent sized bird with great efficiency in conversion of feed into meat, which is important to provide customers with a consistent product that is not exorbitantly expensive. Their birds are raised without the use of chemicals or antibiotics. The fresh pasture and sunlight make their birds nutritionally dense in vitamins and minerals. To ensure the welfare of their birds and to guarantee the quality of their meat they only produce birds seasonally when pasture growth is sufficient and the temperature is adequate for bird survival. Chickens are delivered to them as day old chickens. They spend three weeks in the brooder under heat lights in deep bedding litter, until they are fully feathered and can regulate their own body temperature. The chickens are then moved out onto pasture in their mobile coop. The coop is moved onto fresh pasture everyday, so the birds get access to fresh forage.