Rain proves best ‘antidepressant’ for Central QLD farmers
THREE years ago Mark Bogle made the decision to move with his family from the town to a life on the land.
He now runs the 10,500 acre cattle property, Mayfield at Dingo as a first generation farmer.
It's been a tough path for the father of three as the cattle industry was firstly rocked by the cattle export ban and then drought.
Before Christmas Mark was close to de-stocking, there wasn't much "tucker" about and he was worried what the future held.
Just a couple of months later and you couldn't wipe the smile off Mark's face yesterday, even if his trip to Emerald for the cattle sale turned out to be fruitless.
The recent rains, which have brought so much joy to farmers across the region, caused Mark to arrive late.
It's clearly just a minor setback for a man now "in the right place, at the right time".
"It's been a marvellous blessing," said Mark, who also runs a business in Emerald.
"We've had more rain in the past month than what we got all of last year.
"To get here I had to come through water that came up over the bonnet of my Land Cruiser."
By the time he arrived, the sales were wrapping up.
Mark had been keen to add to his stock.
"It's all over now, but there were some unbelievable prices about," he said.
"It's good for the breeders out there."
The industry has been enjoying record prices of late. Mark said he'd only recently returned from Charters Towers where he'd averaged $4000 for the bulls he sold there, his first ever sale for Sky Brahmans.
He said opening up live export opportunities was a game changer.
"In the supermarket game, it's a two-horse race between Coles and Woolies," Mark said.
"It had been a bit like that for us with no competition except between Teys and JBS.
"Getting Port Alma would be great...there's a major future in live exports."
Mark took a shot at the former Labor Government's handling of exports.
He said times had been tough not just for him but everyone caught up in the drought.
"I'm a city boy who headed out west," Mark said.
"We didn't have that much rain last year...we didn't have that much tucker before Christmas, but we weren't as bad as what it was for those out west.
"It was very dry, but there is nothing better than rain, there is no better anti-depressant in the bush.
"I was on the quad-bike this morning ploughing through mud," he said with a broad grin spreading across his face.
He said with mining's decline, the region needed a strong agriculture sector.
He said he now had enough rain in his property's dams to last a couple of years.
"I want to make my future in this industry...it's people focused."