Got a copy here from Jemima at “Cubbaroo Station” in North Queensland! This is my first newsletter so bear with me as I’ve been absent from the keyboard for a while now. This month’s update is going to give you all a slight insight into my life when I’m not at home with my favourite co-workers feeding big fat black bullocks for you to all enjoy!
I finished school in 2019 and it had always been a bit of a dream of mine to simply ‘go North’. Little did I know what that really meant or how to achieve it. After spending a lot of time on the internet googling different big cattle companies like Stanbroke and Paraway (when I really should have been focusing on finishing year 12!), I was confused as to how I would choose or where would be the best place to go. I knew I wanted to work on a station where I could learn as much as I could, so I could bring new or different ways of doing things back home. After getting many different opinions about the many places worth working for, a family friend at home gave me the number of another family which had a few cattle stations in the Cloncurry area. To cut the long story short, I ended up going to work for the Hacons at “Cubbaroo” (80km north of Cloncurry) in February 2020 and I’m back again in March 2021, so it can’t have been too bad!
I’ll attempt to give you a little run down on the day to day of chasing someone else’s cattle around!
At Cubbaroo, the Hacons run red and grey Brahman cows as well as a small mob of crossbred Charbray cows. If there is one thing I can say I’ve learnt in the last year, is that working with Brahmans up here is like working in fast forward compared to our steady Angus cows!
Cubbaroo also has a Brahman stud which a lot of people in the North use as one of their major bull breeders. This part of the work has been very interesting for me as we watch the male calves closely all the way from the day they are born to the day they are sold. We continually monitor and observe them to pick out any slight defect and cull these to make steers. We have to make sure the bulls that are bred and sold are the best possible genetics as other businesses need to be guaranteed they are buying the best!
The first stage of culling the not physically sound bulls is branding, where they are cut to become steers. Reasons for this could be bad body shape, straight back legs or twisted noses. The bulls are also chosen depending on their temperament, which we monitor every time they are handled. As well as being a physically good looking, quiet bull, I have also learnt about the importance of doing other tests such as measuring scrotal size and semen testing. The semen testing is definitely not one of my favourite jobs but it’s very important to make sure the bulls are actually fertile and have the best chance at reproducing good strong calves.
So pretty much we spend about half our time mustering and in the yards with the cattle and the other half of our time doing projects over the station like fencing and machinery work. Sustainability is also a really big focus for us. Last year I learnt to drive a scraper and spent many days in it building banks to stop erosion issues in some of the grass paddocks. It was a hot and dusty experience! We are really happy to report that this work on erosion control has worked.
I also do a lot more welding since working at Cubbaroo which I think Dad will be very happy about because I just don't think that’s a skill that really “stuck” with me at home. (Quite literally!
I’d like to thank Dad though for making me walk endless kilometres along stinking hot fence lines building all types of fences from a very early age, so I can say I was an old hand at fencing when I arrived up here!
It’s definitely not for the weak hearted, but the 10-12 hour days are all worth it when you hear the crack of a gold can at the end of the day!
I truly love working at Cubbaroo because it is a similar family environment to home. Family matters to me. I have a second Mum to look out for me and a second Dad to teach me so many things I will use for the rest of my life. I’ve even learnt from the “Do as I say not as I do!”, just like at home. And the two people who also lived and worked with me here last year, (Sam and Chops) are for sure going to be hanging around for the rest of my life!
I will finish this year at Cubbaroo and most likely head home and get back into the routine of feedlotting and working with black cattle, which will no longer require getting chased up rails by Brahman cows but it's a close second for me!
Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed hearing a little bit about why I’m not at home feeding cattle this year. I just love living and working on the land and there is no place I would rather be.
I could go on and on about what I’ve been doing, but riding a 2 wheel motorbike over some of the roughest country ever is getting easier for me than sitting down and getting the thoughts out of my head and onto a word document! That is ahead of me next year!
Hope you’ve all had a great month and thanks for taking an interest in why we do what we do!
We appreciate anyone purchasing our beef as you can guaranteed that you are directly supporting a Queensland ag family who love the land.
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