Written by – Kylie Savidge, Owner, Southampton Station.
What will happen when it rains? Who knows how far away we are from drought breaking rain? What will be left of our lifetime’s hard work? A multimillion dollar question.
When it rains, dams will fill, creeks, rivers, and water courses will flow again. It will take a few months for the grasses to grow and months more after that before cattle will be in saleable condition. Cattle will have to come home from agistment, calves will need marking, a bang tail muster will be needed to count what is left (Bang tailing involves cutting off part of the hair on the end of a beasts tail so when you see them in the paddock you know that they have been processed and counted, this doesn’t hurt them. It is just like getting a haircut). It will be months before any financial income is made, months and years before the debt is paid off for the drought of 2013.
I worry now about my father and his health, I worry I am not doing enough. I worry about my kids and what the heck we will do at Christmas time as money is tight and yes though they understand that we can’t afford much in the way of presents it is still a worry.
I worry how we are going to make ends meet and pay the bills that come in. To bring in a few extra dollars we sell feral goats if we happen to catch a few and Brian shoots kangaroos on a professional basis one night a fortnight, which is all we can fit in time wise.
I worry about Jack away at school who rings or texts me every day to see how I am and to hear about what is happening on Southampton.
This is a kid who dragged a cow out of a dam and shot her so I didn’t have to do it. I told him he didn’t need to do that, I could. His reply, “But Mum, it makes you cry and I don’t like to see you cry.”
I worry about Ben and Meghan because I have no time to spend with them on the weekends or on holidays. I have no time to go riding with Meg for fun. I can’t take Ben pig chasing. I barely keep my eyes open long enough to read them bedtime stories. During the week we have time together, mostly doing homework or cooking and now that swimming has started we spend time at the pool. But none of that is really fun stuff.
I have a husband who worries like hell about me.
So for now we will keep on keeping on and praying that this drought will break soon.
Will we be ok? Yes I believe we will but it is a tough road to travel. I am lucky to have a house in town with green grass and no water worries; I am sure that it helps keep you sane. We are also lucky in having the friends that we do and the support that they give.
All we need is rain.
The reason I am hosting this week at Central Station is because of a rant that I had on a social media site. I wrote my rant as I was cranky about how we, as primary producers, are perceived by the majority of people outside of our industry, never expecting to be contacted, congratulated on my rant and offered a hosting spot.
I hope that I have given some insight and a level of understanding to those who wonder what the hell we do or to those who would knock us. What I have written about this week isn’t just our story, it is the story of so many others. Thank you for reading .