Ensuring Eveleigh Station remains a family business is at the heart of Ross and Jeannie Delacour’s plans for the future.
The 64,500 hectare cattle property at Mount Surprise has been in Mrs Delacour’s family since 1925, and Mr Delacour joined the business 40 years ago.
With 2700 breeders currently running on the block, predominantly Brahmans with some Brangus, Senepol, and Charbray genetics, Mr Delacour said they have been busy mustering sale steers and meatworks cattle.
They are also preparing a mob for the live export market in early August. He said while the family don’t often target the live export market, the tough year had left them with little other choice.
“If there’s a feeder operation, we target that,” he said.
“But this year because it has been pretty dry, it’s a bit hard to find someone to finish them.”
Keeping them on at home to turn into bullocks wasn’t an option either, as Mr Delacour said the country isn’t suited for it.
A lack of available agistment land was also causing concern, with steers currently taking up space in the breeder paddock.
Breeders are fed a mix of 30 per cent urea as well as a mineral blend and recently Mr Delacour has been putting out loose phosphorus lick, but will move towards blocks in the future.
This year, the season turned around at the last minute, bringing some relief to the family.
“It’s been a great season, but it was looking pretty ordinary until rain in March,” Mr Delacour said.
“We were looking at having really low levels of water, but we got 160mm and before that the biggest fall we’d had during the wet was 55mm.”
Water is mainly sourced from bores and dams, with very little natural water on the property.
Mr Delacour said adding more waters was a constant job, alongside more fences, having recently completed 20km of fencing.
Their daughter Emma has returned to the family business, after previously working for Ergon in Charters Towers. Her fiance has also joined her at Eveleigh.
The Delacours have five children, Neville, Brad, Shareen, Emma and Jennay.
Wanting to keep Eveleigh in the family has brought Emma and her fiancé home - Emma previously worked for Ergon in Charters Towers and was in a position where she could come back to Eveleigh permanently.
Other sibling and their partners are still actively involved in the mustering and cattle work at Eveleigh and get back as often as their other commitments and jobs allow.
Eveleigh is still very much a family owned and run enterprise and will be held by the Delacour family for generations to come.
Emma said it was always her plan to return home to work.
“I always wanted to come back,” she said.
“I just love cattle, and I like the lifestyle and being back out here.
“It’s been in the family a long time and I’d like to keep that going.”