It began as a way to remain connected and involved in her family's Droughtmaster business, but now Nikki Cleary and her husband John have converted their property into a large scale bull finishing depot and satellite breeding operation on Avilion, near Greymare, outside Warwick.
The couple run 110 stud Droughtmaster breeders they bought from Nikki's parents Michael and Tracey Flynn, Valera Vale Droughtmasters and join them to their bulls.
Valera Vale Droughtmasters is run over various satellite properties near Boonah, Mt Mort and Beaudesert, as well as the home base between Charleville and Augathella, all feeding into the genetic pool.
But the Cleary's business plan is a little different. They sell all the progeny, both bulls and heifers calves at weaning back to Nikki's parents at market value on the day.
The weaners are then trucked away to a central location so they are given time to grow elsewhere.
Then, at 12 to months of age, 550 young bulls arrive back on the Cleary's doorstep, for the next stage of their lives.
This business model has quickly become a well-established and sustainable enterprise for the pair.
Once the bulls arrive back on Avilion, the Clearys are then contracted by Valera Vale Droughtmasters to prepare and manage all of the bulls for sale.
This involves the humanisation, animal health vaccines and the daily grind of feeding out silage and moving them between their 20 to 30 hectare paddocks where groups of bulls run.
"This is pretty full-on and includes everything from daily feeding to DNA and genomic testing," NIkki said .
"Our main focus is fertility, so at the end of the day, we want the best fertility with the best growth and genetics.
"Each bull must hit their daily gains and then we'll semen test them, so that way we're selecting the best fertility to continue the genetics."
The couple have the farming ability to cut upwards of 1200 tonnes of silage annually for their bull business over their combed 720 hectares of owned and leased country.
Two years ago, the Clearys were run off their feet, quickly outgrowing their existing infrastructure.
"Our set up here was very basic, our bulls barely fit into the crush," Ms Cleary said.
"It was very much a hobby set of cattle yards, which was fine when we had the cows and were doing the weaner trade, but when we moved to the bulls, we needed more room and a better process, and it needed to be more efficient."
Mr Cleary said that it got the point where it was either bang or bust.
"You need to either take the next step because you're verging on the edge of your limit being able to do it properly," he said.
"We really had to make our mind up and go for it and take that extra leap, and that's what we did."
It was with the help of QRIDA's Darling Downs regional area manager Kate Dunk, the couple were able to gather everything they needed to secure a QRIDA Sustainability Loan.
The Clearys used the loan for water improvements including a trough and trenching, additional fencing, installing feed bunkers, upgrading their yards, silo upgrades and to complete necessary electrical work to bring the pneumatic crush into the cattle yard.
They say they still cannot believe how much the upgrades have helped enhance their day-to-day operations.
"In our first year we had 360 bulls here with the old set up, and everything was taking just as long as it does now with 550 bulls," Ms Cleary said.
"We'd still be struggling day to day to what we were doing two years ago - it just wasn't working.
"I think a lot of people don't understand that QRIDA is there to assist you. It's not scary to go through QRIDA, it's just as easy as anywhere else."
"The hardest bit is to take that jump - you just have to jump and it takes a bit of guts - probably the first phone call - but it's pretty easy after that," Mr Cleary said.
As the Clearys look ahead, they plan to finish building their cattle yards and growing their enterprise from strength to strength.
Feeling optimistic about what's to come, they feel comfortable moving forward in their venture knowing they've set themselves up for long-term financial viability.
With three young boys of their own, the Clearys are creating their own family legacy to hopefully pass down to their sons.
Come mid September the Clearys will put 120 of Valera Vale's best bulls on the truck for auction, while the balance will be offered privately in the paddock and sold across northern Australia.
Then, it's a matter of waiting for the next truckload of 550 bulls to pull into the loading ramp and this couple will do it all over again.
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