PROFITABLE, ECOLOGICAL MANAGEMENT OF NATIVE GRASSLANDS
The name Stipa is not an acronym, but actually the name of a common variety of grass now called Austrostipa. One of the most common grasses of this genus is speargrass.
Stipa is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in 1997 by concerned landholders. It focuses on the practical aspects of native grasses and their use in farming.
Stipa Native Grasses Association is very much 'by the people, for the people', educating landholders and property managers about the value of native grasses and the management needed to maintain them. Stipa is run by a volunteer committee of landholders and industry specialists who contribute their expertise to the organisation. It is administered by a Chief Executive Officer, administrative support and various project officers.
Stipa is a progressive group of producers, agency folk and enviros working to conserve native grasslands in Australia using innovative management practices and a collaborative approach. I spoke recently at their annual conference in New South Wales and was impressed with the comraderie and dialogue between elderly ranch families and environmental interests and by the willingness of young pastoralists to put stewardship ahead of short term profits.
Sheldon Atwood, Carrus Land Systems
International speaker at 2007 National Native Grasses Conference Mudgee NSW