Saturday, May 25, 2013


I have mentally debated about sharing these photos, and the link, but then decided to use the tools at my disposal, being this blog. In this modern era of social media, we country dwellers have new tools to bring our story directly to YOUR screens and into your homes.

This isn't my story, but it could be. This story is some 400kms to the west of me, where things are very much worse.
984297-colwell-station(the first thing that my husband and I noticed, aside from the cow, was the trough in the background, that our business supplied to this property. Not really photo we'd like to keep as an advertisement is it)

This cow was just too weak to go any longer, and "went down" at the trough after coming in for a drink. Despite efforts to stand her up, it was pointless. The manager had to put her down (read shoot) as he has done to many before her.
984312-colwell-station I urge you to go HERE - - its not very long, not a lot of heavy reading, but a few poignant words that illustrate the harsh reality of the perfect storm we have before us: lack of markets (suspension of live export) leading to an oversupply of cattle on properties that would have been long gone had they a place to go, and no wet season. What makes it feel so very much worse is the fact that in part that it was man made, and nearly two years in the making. Rain of course, and a wet season would have cured a few ills but sooner or later something was going to happen - and its happening now.

We love what we do, and where we live, but at times its certainly not easy. The good times are good...but the bad times are very very bad. But I think what I find most upsetting, is the wave of anti agriculture movement and lack of desire to understand or feel empathy - or at least that what it seems when I read the paper or social media. I can't do much, but I can here share the harsh realities. Its beyond financial (even though each and every one of us must and has to operate as a business, and our business is raising beef cattle) - it's soul destroying.

Anyhow, stepping down off the soapbox, and continuing on with my washing and paying the bills, and occasional forays out into my own paddocks when needed, on with every day life, just like you are. Thanks for reading.


  1. Thank you for sharing the story. Love hearing about the people 'on the land' - it's good to see and hear about the good and the bad; we all need to be made aware. Keep up the good work!

  2. So sad Sharon. We're all feeling for you in the north and west and understand the 'horror' of what many must be currently facing. There is no worse job than putting down an animal, that first photo is so touching.
    It's certainly going to be a long year for you all. As you said, though the weather is out of our control, there were other contributing factors that have brought this situation to a head. Hopefully the change of Qld government, and soon federal, will help bring about a healing with Indonesia. The whole beef industry is still feeling the affects of that one knee-jerk reaction, now moreso than ever.
    Here's to brighter days ahead.

  3. These images are devastating Sharon and it is distressing to see animals unable to get to water. The effects on those who care for them must be profound.

    Government decisions are having far reaching effects - the closure of Ford Australia will all but wipe out Victoria's second largest city. I think city and rural people are both really feeling the pinch right now.

  4. Thank you for sharing. So many people are not seeing the full picture. And our Government has a hell of a lot of answering to be done after so many shitty bureaucratic decisions made in offices in the cities. Thoughts with all of you up there.
    Here Here, Fiona - here's to some brighter days ahead for the backbone of Australia.

  5. Well said farmers we have all experienced the putting down of an animal and it is gut wrenching and unpleasant but it is the most humane thing to do in that situation. Here's to common sense and a no nonsense approach by our leaders in making better balanced decisions....all of them!

  6. I am glad you shared ... I think it is comprehensible to so many how 'bad' things are at the moment for the rural sector and for the cattle industry. Things were going to happen as you said with time and maybe not having drought as well would make it better (only slightly) but things have come to a head and the industry is in a bad place. If the government and people of Australia still want Australian beef or an Australian beef industry something needs to be done and done now. I really feel for those having to face the prospect of putting down cattle or settling for prices that are so much lower than what they should be in the sale yards for cattle that made it there but may not be in a condition to go much further due to lack of feed and rain in areas. Drought is something all farmers deal with and usually make it through especially with good planning and practice but the pressure on the market at the moment with the excess cattle that should have been destined for an overseas market ... more than likely Indonesia ... has made a bad situation worse. I think everyone knew it was coming after the live trade issue on t.v that shocked so many into taking steps that shouldn't have been taken especially as the full story (both sides) was never reveled.
    Those photos are a haunting reminder of what is happening and can happen when times are bad whether it is from political decisions or the weather. I hope NO ONE takes these pictures the wrong way as they are a part of life on the land and a part no person wants to see happen. Unfortunately sometimes it is the only way to be kind and that is what it is ... a kindness and one that devastates every land holder, that breaks their heart, seeing something they have worked so hard for crumbling, suffering, dieing.
    Sorry for the speal but like you and many others it touches me and is a world I am familiar with and happening to those I know. I am praying for rain or good seasons to follow.

  7. Sharon I admire any person/family who works on the land....I think it is a tough gig and as you say there are good times and bad times and a lot of the bad times you have not a lot of control over it. If only the rain in the city could be channeled to the places it is needed. I take my hat off to you and your family and all those farmers out there living and working on the land. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  8. I too have been in this situation and I have a tear in my eye for those experiencing it now. Every person who supported the ban on live export should take some responsibilty for these photos.

    "when sick at heart, around us, we see the cattle die" (Dorothea Mackellar)

  9. It is indeed shocking and very saddening to see these pictures and read about the terrible situation both animals and humans are facing. So much in the world is shrinking, dying, collapsing in many different ways. We truly need a new paradigm. Thinking of,you,


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