New avenues for Lindana
Mulgildie farm keeps expanding
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.
FOR THE KIDS: Lindsay and Hana Penney are branching out into new income streams after flooding hit them hard last year.