New av­enues for Lin­dana

Mulgildie farm keeps ex­pand­ing

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE RURAL - Jack Lawrie Jack.Lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

ONE of the chal­lenges of farm­ing is learn­ing to how to bal­ance mul­ti­ple av­enues of rev­enue at once, a les­son Mulgildie farm­ers Lind­say and Hana Pen­ney have taken to heart.

Pri­mar­ily lucerne farm­ers, the Lin­dana Bazadais Stud own­ers have started ex­pand­ing into the meat mar­ket after find­ing their in­come hob­bled by flood­ing in pre­vi­ous years.

Cur­rently, busi­ness is pick­ing up, but Lind­say Pen­ney said it had been touch-and-go for them.

“We had the flood in Fe­bru­ary this year and that took us six to eight months to re­cover from,” Mr Pen­ney said.

“Prob­a­bly 80% of our in­come comes from hay, so as soon as the flood hits we lose our crops and don’t have an in­come.”

With hay as the main source of in­come, Lind­say and Hana had to work other jobs to keep afloat.

This lasted un­til roughly the end of Septem­ber, where thanks to climb­ing de­mand for hay, they found them­selves able to spread out into new av­enues with their cat­tle op­er­a­tion.

Bund­aberg restau­rant In­dulge has started tri­alling meat sup­plied by the Pen­neys, and a butcher shop has also ex­pressed in­ter­est.

Last month they sent In­dulge half a beast of Bazadais beef for use in their meals.

“It’ll flood again one day, but next one we hope our cat­tle side of the op­er­a­tion is big enough that we can keep go­ing on that,” Mr Pen­ney said.

“When we first came out here, we had only the hay and just lost ev­ery­thing in the floods,” Hana said.

In ad­di­tion to the cat­tle, there is a small line in stud horses and plans to branch into grain this year.

Though Mr Pen­ney claims it’s more of a hobby com­pared to the lucerne, last year the horses brought in more than $20,000.

With three lit­tle ones to feed, it’s be­come more im­por­tant than ever to keep food on the ta­ble.

With climb­ing costs in elec­tric­ity and con­stant ir­ri­ga­tion costs, it can be a tight ship.

The Pen­neys have three kids, which adds chal­lenges to run­ning a farm, but also mo­ti­va­tion.

“We’ve got a six-year-old, a three-year-old and an 18-month-old,” Hana said.

“Keep­ing ev­ery­thing go­ing busi­ness-wise as well as look­ing after the kids keeps us on our toes.”

Lind­say added that for all the dif­fi­cul­ties, the kids are who they do it for.

“You might have a bad day, where noth­ing’s gone to plan, but when you come home and they’re there laugh­ing, smil­ing, jump­ing around scream­ing... that’s what makes it worth do­ing,” Mr Pen­ney said.

PHOTO: JACK LAWRIE

FOR THE KIDS: Lind­say and Hana Pen­ney are branch­ing out into new in­come streams after flood­ing hit them hard last year.

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