THIRTEEN years ago Julie Mayne packed up her two young children and left her family’s 20,200 hectare Tambo property to take over their newly purchased Dulacca land set to be used as drought relief.
With the limited experience she had gathered on her parent’s property, Ms Mayne took over her first farm and became the manager, owner, operator, handy man and contractor all in one day.
She built her own one-woman cattle yards and fenced the property with laneways and strategically positioned troughs to make it easier for her to muster.
She does everything alone except brand, which children Ike and Chance help with.
After moving to the 1214 hectare property Coolamon, Ms Mayne initially began trading cattle but four years ago she shifted her focus to establishing a breeder herd with Santa genetics, which her family had in Tambo.
She now has 300 breeders and sells her weaner cattle to the Roma store sale. At Tuesday’s sale her 23 steers sold for 359c/kg at 308kg to return $1109/hd while 33 heifers sold for 345c/kg at 259kg to return $895/hd.
Ms Mayne said women didn’t get enough thanks for what they did on the land.
“Even if they do have a partner they still do amazing stuff,” she said.
“They do the finances, get up do the kids, organise everything, and they are really the glue that keeps everything rolling and the support network.”
But the one thing Ms Mayne hasn’t been able to control is the rain and after another dismal start to the season she is reassessing and will begin destocking if the dry times persist.
Coolamon’s annual rainfall is about 600 mm but it received 275 mm last year.
She said Cyclone Debbie had provided 50 mm.
“There have been some really good years since I’ve been here and it grows amazing grass, this country, but it’s just been really patchy everywhere,” she said.
“We need a really good general wet season to get a bit of confidence back in.”
Female farming genes run strong in Ms Mayne’s blood with her mother also heavily involved on the family’s Tambo property before her retirement to Rockhampton.
“She was just one of those really great women that got up before everyone else and cooked for everyone else and went mustering all day with the men and then got home and washed and set alarms to put the sprinklers on so she could still have a garden and go again,” Ms Mayne said.
“I used to look at her and think, oh my gosh I’m never doing that.
“She worries that I go to town in my work clothes. You’ve still got to pretend like you do nothing, sip coffee and read magazines.”