Smaller Holdings Regenerative Agriculture Day

Darren Doherty, an expert in Keyline® land and rain management, will be in Charters Towers next month to present a free Field Day, this time aimed at landholders managing small blocks.

Darren, who has made a career of refining landshaping practices originally formulated in the 1940s by PA Yeomans, will present the Field Day on 17 March at Clancella Downs 20kms south of Charters Towers.

NQ Dry Tropics Regional Landcare Facilitator Peter Arthofer said Darren’s achievements in making a short annual rain event replenish the land all year was legendary.

The Field Day will be supported by funding through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Keylining is a method of redirecting and storing run-off rainfall so it is available throughout the dry season.

He points to Carisbrooke Station, near Winton, as a classic example.

The keylining on that property – small hillocks and drains carefully positioned to work together – has meant it has had water available all year round, no matter how dry the season.

Carisbrooke has not run out of water in more than 20 years.

Peter said the principles of keylining were useful to landholders, regardless of the size of their property.

“Once you understand the principles of working with the existing landscape, you will quickly see the small changes you could make to your own property to enjoy the benefits of a short wet season all year round,” he said.

The “Smaller Holdings Regenerative Agriculture Day” will be hosted by NQ Dry Tropics in partnership with the Dalrymple Landcare Committee, and the Charters Towers Regional Council.

Participants will learn about regenerative agriculture, managing water, infrastructure, geography, farm planning, and pest and weed control.

Darren will talk about a number of case studies that demonstrate rebooting and regenerating production landscapes.

Darren has helped more than 3000 farming enterprises to implement regenerative practices.

He developed the Regrarians® Platform to provide a checklist, ensuring everything was covered according to the landholder’s context – climate, geography, water, access, forestry, buildings, fencing, soils, economy and energy.

His presentation will be followed by a farm walk led by Darren with host Kylie Stretton.

The Field Day was originally inspired by Kylie and DLC Co-ordinator Helene Aubault.

There will also be an opportunity to learn about weeds.

CTRC Land Protection Ranger Ashley Blokland will lead a weed ID walk and offer advice on identifying and controlling weeds.

The Strettons are keen to learn how the platform can be used to further enhance their regenerative approach.

“We are interested to learn about the water-spreading Keyline approach that Darren teaches, and also find out about marketing approaches, and innovative farming approaches Darren has picked up from his extensive travel,” Kylie said.

​Kylie and husband Shane​ raise​ ​beef​ ​cattle​ ​and​ produce ​eggs laid by pasture​-raised​ hens on their small property, using​ ​regenerative​ ​approaches.

They also run a livestock agency “Northern Livestock Services”.

Kylie​ ​is​ ​a passionate advocate for farming and rural communities, particularly around issues such as telecommunications, rural education and building a profitable, and sustainable beef industry.

Places are limited. Register now by contacting Peter phone (0488 675 033) or email

He can’t think of a better way to spend St Patrick’s Day.

Directions: Clancella Downs is approx 20km south of Charters Towers. Head south on the Gregory Highway, after 12.6km turn left onto Rocky Creek Rd. The property is another 3km.

8:30am-9am: Coffee available for a 9am start
9am-12pm: Darren Doherty presentation
12pm-1pm: Lunch sponsored by Charters Towers Regional Council
1-2pm: Kylie Stretton and Darren will lead a farm walk on how their grazing approach considers land condition and pasture diversity. Kylie will share her experiences and show how it works in the paddock.
2pm-4pm: Ashley Blokland, Charters Towers Regional Council Land Protection Ranger will lead a weed ID walk, explain chemical rates, and demonstrate management techniques.

Main Photo:  Participants at a Darren Doherty workshop conducted at Wambiana Station last year