Take a look at sta­tion life at Woora­binda Pas­trol Co

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - ZHANAE CON­WAY-DODD Zhanae.con­way-dodd@apn.com.au

RAN­DALL Bloom­field Jnr started out as a sta­tion hand with the Woora­binda Pas­toral Com­pany when he was just 17 years old.

Now with two chil­dren of his own, he’s been ap­pointed sta­tion man­ager at Zimia Creek, 78km from Woora­binda.

Zimia Creek is one of six sta­tions the pas­toral com­pany owns across the cen­tral Queens­land re­gion.

This cov­ers the Woora­binda, Bauhinia Downs, Dingo and Duaringa area.

Six thou­sand head of cat­tle are run across the prop­er­ties, with 4800ha farmed.

Plans to ex­pand the com­pany will add 1200ha in the near fu­ture.

Al­though the com­pany is go­ing strong, it has faced a rough 2017 due to roller-coaster sea­sons.

Woora­binda Pas­toral Com­pany gen­eral man­ager Dave Hughes and his staff were faced with flood­ing rains and ex­treme dry patches.

The floods from Cy­clone Deb­bie drowned their crop­ping op­er­a­tion.

“It took away all of the sum­mer crop in­come, which is nor­mally our bud­geted run­ning cost and re­plant­ing money,” Mr Hughes said

Af­ter the crop dam­age, the com­pany turned to sell­ing more cat­tle to make up for lost funds.

Mr Hughes said luck­ily for them, the cat­tle mar­ket was go­ing strong and they re­ceived a good re­turn on their cat­tle.

A month af­ter the flood came through, Mr Hughes said they re­ceived 200mm of rain, but since then there had been vir­tu­ally noth­ing.

“It is dry and in the last few weeks we’ve had Septem­ber wind, which has re­ally dried the land out,” he said.

“On the south­ern side (of Woora­binda), we’ve had the op­po­site, frost has knocked things about.

“But be­cause we’ve got our stock­ing rate reasonably right, we still have con­di­tion on our cat­tle.”

Mr Bloom­field said even

though times could get tough, he wouldn’t work or live any­where else.

The young sta­tion man­ager has been with the Woora­binda Pas­toral Com­pany for 10 years but learned the essentials of work­ing on the land long be­fore that.

“My in­ter­est in sta­tion life first started when I be­gan fol­low­ing around my un­cle. With him I started rid­ing horses,” Mr Bloom­field said.

Af­ter years of fol­low­ing in his un­cle’s foot­steps, Mr Bloom­field de­cided to try his hand at full-time sta­tion work at 17.

“I love the work I do, which is why I’m still here to­day. Be­ing out on a prop­erty is just peace­ful,” he said.

While in his role as sta­tion hand, Mr Bloom­field de­cided to start his own small-scale fenc­ing crew.

This gave him the right man­age­ment skills to step up into his cur­rent role.

“I did 40km of fenc­ing and since I’ve done that I’ve stepped up and be­come a man­ager,” he said.

“Now I do fenc­ing, yard build­ing and mus­ter­ing. I can do nearly ev­ery­thing out on the prop­erty.”

Even though Mr Bloom­field, his part­ner and his chil­dren call Zimia Creek home, they still get the chance to travel into town.

“I come into Woora­binda ev­ery Mon­day and Fri­day be­cause I’ve got two other fel­las work­ing for me and they are lo­cals,” Mr Bloom­field said.

“So I pick them up and take them down (to the prop­erty) and they stay there dur­ing the week.

“I bring them back when we’re fin­ished and it’s great be­cause you get to say hello to your friends in town and then go back home.”

Mr Bloom­field has been man­ag­ing Zimia Creek since the start of the year and hopes to con­tinue man­ag­ing in 2018.

He said his chil­dren were al­ready fol­low­ing in his foot­steps and lov­ing sta­tion life.

❝ I did 40km of fenc­ing and since I’ve done that I’ve stepped up and be­come a man­ager. — Ran­dall Bloom­field Jnr

PHO­TOS: AL­LAN REINIKKA

GRAZIER: Dave Hughes is the gen­eral man­ager of Wooribinda Pas­toral Com­pany.

Sta­tion man­ager Ran­dall Bloom­field Jnr with his kids.

An­gus Bloom­field and Barry Bloom­field Snr, Woora­binda lo­cals, also work for the pas­toral com­pany which op­er­ates across cen­tral Queens­land.

Stel­tone Britcher and Meeketa Bloom­field are two of the many fe­male em­ploy­ees who work for the Woora­binda Pas­toral Com­pany.

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