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My Story My Life by Clare Bolam
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My Story My Life by Clare Bolam

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Clare attends Yanco Agricultural High School. She comes off a property between Tottenham and Tullamore in the centre of NSW. Her family owns 4500 acres in NSW and another 240 000 acres in Southern …

Clare attends Yanco Agricultural High School. She comes off a property between Tottenham and Tullamore in the centre of NSW. Her family owns 4500 acres in NSW and another 240 000 acres in Southern Queensland between Cunnamulla and St George.
This is her story

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  • 1. ‘My Story, my life!’ by Clare Bolam
  • 2. About MeI am currently 15 years old, and attend Yanco Agricultural High School where I will be going into year 11 during 2011.
  • 3. Cunnamulla in relation to Queensland. Our region of NSW where our farms are situatedI come off a property between Tottenham and Tullamore in the centre of NSW. My family owns 4500 acres in NSW around this area and another 240 000 acres in Southern Queensland between Cunnamulla and St George.
  • 4. Our enterprises consists of sheep and cattle in Queensland and sheep as well as cropping in NSW. It hasn’t beenPrevious harvesting in NSW. profitable during the drought to crop but we have previously grown; wheat, barley and oats.
  • 5. School Studies & CoursesDuring the previous three years I have studied the subjects Agriculture and Science. These subjects have widened my knowledge of plant and animal enterprises and the advances through different breeding, growing and selling methods.They have taught me the benefits of choosing cattle breeds to suit the climatic conditions. We focus on breeding Bos Indicus cross cattle to be able to withstand the harsh conditions and drought environment where as Bos Taurus breeds are more suited to cooler, milder conditions. Brahman Steer
  • 6. Livestock and Queensland farm during the drought.These cattle are a Santa Gertrudis/ Brahman cross.
  • 7. Science and Agriculture These subjects have shown me the benefits of biotechnology such as selective breeding which will influence the future practices I will use. Education teaches us about soil structure and pH level and vegetation management. This knowledge helps us accept change and embrace new technology whichMe learning how to cross will help us build sustainablepollinate different varieties agricultural enterprises in theof rice plants during 2010. future.
  • 8. How studies benefit society and me My generation will be responsible for the future of agriculture. Education helps us develop alternative management and farming practices that sustain our environment. Problems such as land degradation, salinity and erosion are being overcomeThe future farmer in and food security assured. Australia.
  • 9. The History of Farming & how its ChangedAgriculture is forever changing. Compared to the past things like drenches, back lining chemicals and lick blocks have improved and helped farmers produce better products more efficiently. EROSIONPractices like crop rotations and directdrilling have been readily supported inrecent years to maintain soil structureand prevent land degradation. Farmersare becoming aware of the benefits ofadequate ground cover andrevegetation in paddocks to preventerosion and land degradation andimprove soil quality.
  • 10. Country near Cunnamullaat the beginning of 2010,after the large rainfallaround Christmas time.These environments aregood examples of the useof ground cover(vegetation), whichreduces and prevents thechances of developing landdegradation via soilerosion.Crossbred ewes andproperty at Tullamore earlyNovember 2010.
  • 11. Farm machinery and enterprise practices have also improved to provide a more efficient way of managing an enterprise.Examples FirstThe move from the first harvester, harvester Modernmade by John Ridley in the 1840’s to harvesterthe large engine operatedharvesters like John Deere or Claas.Practices like calf marking has nowmoved away from original methodslike roping down to calf cradles forgreater efficiency and less handlingwhich means less stress for theanimal.
  • 12. Dams, bore drains, irrigation House dam at NSW property channels, tanks and troughs have helped provide secure water systems for farmers and contribute to a sustainable operation. Being able to store/capture quantities of water is a large advantage for Overall, the changes and farmers as it provides a source developments to past of insurance and security products, practices and during times of drought and land management issues provides one of the main have helped farmers to necessities needed to maintain create efficient and and run an agricultural sustainable operations enterprise. which support our great nation.
  • 13. Our bore in Queensland- a goodexample of a secure water systemduring times of drought.We have recently been convertingto pipe lines, troughs and watertanks instead of bore drains toconserve more water.Dipping sheep at Tullamore early2010. This is a good example of anefficient enterprise operation aspreventing lice and other parasiteshelps improve the wool clip. We dipall new sheep to the property toprevent outbreaks within mobs.
  • 14. Brahman cross cattle breed in Queensland.Our farm enterprises suit the fat lamb, merino wool and young cattle markets. Older female sheep (ewes) and cows are sold when younger breeders are brought. Female lambs and calves are generally kept for breeding while male animals are sold. NSW sheep breed for wool and meat markets.
  • 15. The vegetation on our Queensland properties consists largely of mulga trees (Acacia aneura) which can be eaten by the cattle during dry conditions.
  • 16. Shearing at our NSW property happens in December. Drenching occurs when there is any presence of worms and internal parasites and we crutch to help prevent flystrike andShearing time 2010 at NSW keep the fleece clean for property. shearing. Lamb marking occurs when any of these practices are taking place because we leave our rams in all year round to maximise production.
  • 17. Because the paddocks in our Queensland properties are so large we use a small plane (ultra light) to spot mobs of cattle and direct people on bikes and horses to them. We also use it to check watering points and stock.
  • 18. We have our own truck and cattle crates totransport livestock to and from the saleyards.
  • 19. The calves are marked generally each time we bring a mob of cattle in. Once we have done a few musters we pick out the animals suitable to send to the saleyards.Calf marking early 2011 In the past we have grazed the cattle along stock routes (also known as droving), to fatten them up to sell and keep the condition on them Droving in 2008 whilst in tough times.
  • 20. Dad and I on horseback readyto start the day off mustering at oneof our Queensland properties.
  • 21. My Story- past farming hardshipsThe past droughts have had a great effect on farmers and thecommunity as small businesses and farmers struggled to stayprofitable throughout the tough times.
  • 22. In recent years there has been cases of flash flooding (generally around Christmas time) which has seen manyfarmers lose stock, and suffer damage to fences , houses and sheds. Flood waters over the main road at our property near Tullamore early 2009.
  • 23. Another major problem for us has been locusts. Grasshoppers have stripped crops and grazing pastures leaving nothing behind. We manage this through spraying, although this is not possible if they are Locust Plague already flying. I have found that managing a farm based around efficiencyand sustainability puts the farmer in a better position to dealwith most complications that arise.Climatic factors are unpredictable. Yet I believe if people canprepare for the worst(i.e. secure water system) then they candevelop a sustainable, efficient and well managed enterprise.
  • 24. WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE SPONSORS OF THE 2010 CREAM OF THE CROP COMPETITIONPLATINUM GOLD SILVER BRONZE