Farmer to Farmer

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - FRONT PAGE -

Q: How long have you been a farmer and what have/do you farm?

Our fam­ily has owned the orig­i­nal Dayles­ford farm prop­erty since 1965. So I have al­ways had things to do on the land from an early age.

We ran a few cat­tle, grew pota­toes and had sheep to shear along­side our then other busi­ness pur­suits; I be­came a full time farmer from 1986. The first cat­tle we had on our farm back in the 1960s were An­gus, but at that time our fam­ily was fo­cus­ing its at­ten­tion on run­ning “Kook­aburra Gas”, an in­de­pen­dent pe­tro­leum busi­ness.

In 1986 we sold our busi­ness and de­cided to get se­ri­ous about rear­ing cat­tle.

We as­sessed the var­i­ous cat­tle breeds on of­fer, and de­cided we still could not go past An­gus for breed­ing seed­stock.

We now run An­gus beef cat­tle, trad­ing as High Spa An­gus Stud, on 1500 acres split across three main prop­er­ties in the Dayles­ford and Mount Franklin dis­trict.

Our breed­ing ob­jec­tive is to breed func­tional An­gus cat­tle with a bal­ance of growth, fer­til­ity and car­case qual­ity, backed with strong per­for­mance records.

Q: Tell us about your fam­ily.

My par­ents Jack­son and Netta Mobbs - both now de­ceased - raised my­self, my brother Wayne and my sis­ter Mary in Dayles­ford with a strong work ethic; strong and loyal fam­ily val­ues with a love of na­ture, an­i­mals and the land.

We all worked to­gether for many years.

Now Wayne and I run High Spa An­gus Stud, along with our wives Theresa and Rose - and with able as­sis­tance from my son Kevin and his son Shan­non.

In a close fam­ily busi­ness we all have spe­cific roles and work to our strengths but we are flex­i­ble and can pitch in wher­ever re­quired - it works well.

Most of us are keen Essendon sup­port­ers and we fol­low them through good times and bad.

Q: Best ad­vice you ever re­ceived?

The best ad­vice I have ever re­ceived has come from the women in my life, my mother, sis­ter, wife and now my daugh­ters-in-law and my grand­daugh­ters - that you can never get back time not spent with your fam­ily; so it is im­por­tant to strike a healthy work/life bal­ance.

Q: De­scribe your per­fect day.

My per­fect day, whether it is wet, fine or even snow­ing, be­gins by do­ing some­thing like tak­ing out a bale of hay to the cows and calves.

Out in the pad­docks there is just me and the an­i­mals as I roll out the hay, talk to the “girls”, and check out which calves are show­ing prom­ise as fu­ture stud fe­males or bulls.

It might make me smile even more if the Bombers have had a win that week­end.

Q: Best in­vest­ment you ever made?

One of the best in­vest­ments we made in our en­deav­our to breed a great herd and to of­fer to the in­dus­try su­per per­form­ing bulls was to be­come a full mem­ber of An­gus Aus­tralia, and to be a par­tic­i­pant in An­gus Group Breed­plan.

This has en­abled us to use es­ti­mated breed­ing val­ues (EBVs) as a tool, along­side vis­ual as­sess­ment to breed the best an­i­mals pos­si­ble.

EBVs can also in­form us what bulls are best suited to join first calv­ing heifers, and they as­sist us to help clients se­lect out bulls that are par­tic­u­larly suited to their end mar­kets.

Q: Worst in­vest­ment you ever made?

One of our worst in­vest­ments ever was to buy some bull se­men which, when used on our herd, threw back to a heav­ier an­i­mal way back in the pedi­gree and it cre­ated all sorts of dif­fi­cul­ties with the heifer herd we had to him.

The worst of it was, go­ing on his EBVs, this bull should have posed no such prob­lems and although we have heard about the odd farmer who also ex­pe­ri­enced what we did, most that we know of had no ma­jor hard­ships.

So as an in­vest­ment it was one that we went into in good faith and we would prob­a­bly do so again on the in­for­ma­tion at hand, but it was no fun pulling his ab­nor­mally heavy calves from the suf­fer­ing heifers at the time.

Q: Best mem­ory?

My sons may not agree with this but one of my best farm mem­o­ries is when the whole fam­ily, my par­ents, my wife and all the boys when they were young, pos­si­bly with some of their young cousins as well, went out on a “work­ing bee” to clean up a par­tic­u­lar pad­dock of sticks or stones.

The heads would be bent for hours and the old adage “many hands make light work” paid off.

There was a bit of groan­ing but usu­ally a lot of chat­ter and ban­ter as well and at the end of the day we all went home tired but sat­is­fied.

Q: How can we get in con­tact with you – what’s your web­site?

We have a reg­u­larly up­dated web­site www.high­spa.com.au and there are con­tact op­tions on that site.

FAM­ILY FO­CUS: The Mobbs fam­ily have farmed their land since the 1960s, and to­day High Spa An­gus is run as a fam­ily en­ter­prise – with three gen­er­a­tions all em­ployed on the farm.

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