Commercial Droughtmaster producers Leon and Ree Price and their family are well-known around Roma for consistently producing even lines of heavy steers at their property north west of Wallumbilla.
The Price family purchased “Mount Hope” in 1955 and recently Leon and Ree have added to the acreage by acquiring a couple of neighbouring holdings as they became available enabling them to expand their operations to close to 34,000 acres.
The family run the aggregate primarily as a breeding block with the fattening process assisted by seasonal oats and leucaena.
Mount Hope is situated on undulating land which encompasses diverse terrain ranging from softwood scrub country through to forest type country.
“We have approximately 1200 acres of cultivation which is sown to oats, and at present we have access to associated CSG water which is irrigating 180 acres of leucaena.
Regrowth control is ongoing with the ultimate goal of improving soil and pastures,” Ree said.
Leon’s parents Trevor and Muriel commenced operations at Mount Hope using Hereford as their base herd and later added Afrikander and Belmont Red genetics.
“We introduced Droughties close to 30 years ago, and we’ve found them to be very resilient; they don’t mind walking for water, and they produce well regardless of weather,” she said.
“They suit the variable country we have, the cows are big framed so they don’t have any trouble calving, and the calves generally tend to hit the ground running.”
She said their quiet docile nature is also a crucial trait to have in their cattle as they’re a “family-run operation”.
“Over the years the selling program has changed from offering weaners to presenting the steers for sale at the Roma Saleyards to the feed on market. A combination of improved pastures and oats assist in getting them ready for market.”
She said depending on the state of the season, Mount Hope comfortably runs 2000 head of cattle including 1000 breeders.
“We’d be lucky to have any breeders more than 10 years old here at the moment, we’ve destocked quite a bit due to the dry. But it’s also one of our farming practices that we never overstock.”
She said all the cows at Mount Hope are homegrown, only the bulls are purchased externally to help improve the genetic diversity of their herd.
“We usually go to the Droughtmaster National Sale and pick up new bulls there so we constantly have fresh bloodlines in the herd.”
The Prices took home eight bulls at the DN.Sale this year, which Ree said are all “going well”.
“We let them acclimatise for a while, but we put them in with the females earlier this month.”
She said when they attend stud sales they look for bulls that are “true to type”.
“We chase those qualities that make Droughties unique.”
Prices Have Cancer Support Fundraising Target in Sight
In the last eight years the Price family has become equally well-known for supporting families touched by cancer, with their annual Get Pinkt Family Fun Day receiving consistently strong support from the local community and beyond.
Ree said the idea for the day came about after a brainstorming session between friends who participated together in the local Relay for Life.
“We thought we’d create our own fundraising event and that’s how we came up with the Get Pinkt idea,” she said.
“When we started out our aim was to raise $100,000 or run it for ten years whichever came first and it looks like we will reach our goal next year as we’re only $8,000 shy of our target.”
“We are a very small farming community so we are really amazed at these figures.
She said the other amazing thing is the number of visitors that have jumped on board to help make the weekend one of the iconic events in the Wallumbilla area.
The final event will take place on April 14, 2018. Along with the usual fun and games for all members of the family, Kids Zone, Man Creche (Boutique Bar)! BBQ and market stalls, the entertainment line up will include the Whisky Mountain Boys.
She said it has been “very rewarding” to be able to be involved in the event.
“Cancer is an insidious disease which does not discriminate. We have been able to direct the proceeds to help people locally as well as the organisations which are involved in research and the care of our people when attending treatment - The Queensland Cancer Council, Mater Miracles foundation.”
Never a pair to sit still, Ree and Leon are about to embark on a new venture which combines their beloved Mount Hope, family, and their great ability to make people feel welcome, with The Barn at Mount Hope now available for hire for events eg weddings, parties, corporate functions etc. set in their beautiful rural homestead gardens.
Ree said Droughtmaster Society Members and other breeders are invited to attend the Get Pinkt Family Fun Day on Saturday, April 14, 2018. And campers are welcome if you would like to make a weekend of it!
To find out how you can support the 2018 Get Pinkt Family Fun Day please call Leon and Ree Price on 0428 634933 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.