Host: Eva Downs Station
Written by Kathy Gabriel – Bore Runner, Eva Downs Station.
Hello and welcome. This is Eva’s first time at hosting Central Station and we all find it rather exciting to be able to share with you all for one week what we as a station get up to, and also what we as a company can get up to as well. Eva Downs is just one station that is currently owned and operated by The Australian Agriculture Company (AACo).
So, I guess a little brief overview of Eva might interest you. We are located in the flattest of flat country – “The Barkly” – known mostly for its flatness and black soil country which is some of the holiest country you’ll ever find (pot holes that is!). Located 300 km north east of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, Eva Downs is considered to be AACo’s most isolated property. We make do on Eva, and like most properties across Australia there is truly never a dull moment.
The Barkly black soil plains.
Eva Downs is jointly run with our neighbouring station, Anthony Lagoon, and between the two of us we cover more than 886,000 hectares.
Working for AACo means many of things. As AACo is Australia’s largest vertically integrated beef cattle producer and marketer – boasting a herd of 500,000 head of cattle – it means that we have more opportunities than you can poke a stick at. Beef is truly our business and AACo takes that on with great pride.
Time to boil up the billy before the year begins.
Like most properties in Northern Australia we have great communities and that’s what makes life on a station so enjoyable for all of us. At the end of the day you work, eat, sleep, and play together all year long. When you have a team on a station that becomes a family, then that’s when we as a station take great pride in ourselves.
For all stations and properties right across Australia, we all do the same things all year with variability from place to place of course. The days can be incredibly long and hard, with dust, cattle, horses, dogs, bikes, helicopters, and planes. Tempers fly at times, but at the end of the day, from sun up to sun down, you hope for days of laughter and great yarn telling, and that comes from great teams with good leaders – something everyone takes very seriously up here.
AA gates to the airstrip on Eva.
As I sit and write this, I think to when you guys will be reading this, and for us here on Eva Downs we will not have started our first round cattle mustering yet. Eva Downs has had a rather good wet season so far and very large parts of the property are still under water. This means it has pushed back some dates for cattle as we can’t access certain yards and paddocks yet.
So what will be happening on Eva while you all read this?
Well all the fun jobs of course!
From fencing, to shoeing, to welding, and mowing. Like on all stations, a job title doesn’t mean you only do that. After such a good wet season it means there will be lots and lots of fencing to do where water has knocked down fences. We try to get around all our fences so we can keep our cattle in relevant drafts (groups) after processing (sorting).
Also, because we had so much rain, flood waters came up and fences got cut so we could move our cattle to high ground and out of trouble. This means there will be lots fencing to fix and plenty of cattle to draft! Along with fencing there will be horses to shoe for the coming musters and lots of new skills to learn for fresh new faces.
Early morning preparations before muster.
I hope that to all of you that read our articles this week, you enjoy what we write and hopefully you might learn a bit too!