Take a look at station life at Woorabinda Pastrol Co
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
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.