Building a beef operation from the ground up with QRIDA

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From new entrants to the beef industry to owners of a profitable cattle operation, Sam and Casey Alsop have trusted just one rural lender with their biggest finance needs over the past decade.

Casey and Sam Alsop

Biloela beef graziers Sam and Casey Alsop will tell you there’s a lot to purchase when it comes to getting started in the cattle industry. First there’s the land and livestock, then fencing, equipment, machinery, and all the other bells and whistles.   

Fortunately, Sam and Casey knew a rural lender that could help them finance everything they needed to build their dream cattle enterprise. 

“We got a First Start Loan from the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) to purchase Sam’s parents’ property about ten years ago,” Casey said.

tanksA few years later, when the husband-and-wife graziers were ready to expand their ultra black cattle and leucaena business, they returned to QRIDA for more financial assistance. 

“We used a QRIDA Sustainability Loan to purchase our other block of land, Apex Downs, and some breeders,” Sam said.

“We also used the loan money for water infrastructure and a lot of fencing projects because this was traditionally a set-stocked property, and we wanted to move into rotational grazing.”

Casey was relieved she could use a Sustainability Loan to finance the water tanks and troughs for her Central Queensland farm business as drought preparedness was front-of-mind. 

“It's definitely getting warmer, and I think your property is your biggest asset as well as the cattle on it,” Casey said.

Sam and Casey’s long-standing relationship with QRIDA began after they heard about QRIDA’s concessional loans online.

“We subscribed to emails from QRIDA, so we’ve stayed in touch with information through there,” Casey said.

“We also follow QRIDA on Facebook and have face-to-face meetings with our Regional Area Manager, John Metelli, at various workshops and field days.”

Casey said her Regional Area Manager had expertise about the local agricultural industry and QRIDA’s financial assistance which gave her the confidence she needed to complete the loan applications. 

“We think it's important to have a good relationship with your Regional Area Manager. John is just easy-going, and easy to talk to in a time of the biggest purchase of your life,” Casey said.

“It's quite stressful, but I think he's really calm, and he knows what he's talking about.”John Metelli and Sam Alsop

John took the time to guide Sam and Casey through QRIDA’s range of financial assistance for primary producers over the phone and then in Biloela, saving the pair a trip to the city. 

“A few years ago, I got a phone call from Sam and Casey, and we spoke about eligibility,” John said.

“After that, we met at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries office in Biloela to talk through some other programs that were available.”

John is proud to have helped the Alsops grow from budding beef graziers to the owners of a successful multi-generational cattle operation throughout their decade-long relationship with QRIDA.

“I'm impressed. Sam and Casey are a young couple with plans to step out there and have a go. That’s what we're trying to do at QRIDA – we’re trying to help people like that,” John said.

Sam and Casey have big goals for the future, and when the time comes to implement more on-farm improvements, they know they can get in touch with their Regional Area Manager to find out what other QRIDA financial assistance could benefit their operation.

“We would love to purchase more land and continue to expand our herd, along with our operations, and just make ourselves full-time primary production,” Casey said.

“We're in the early stages of looking at a carbon project on the property and just seeing what's out there, and what the benefit would be to our land and our production model.” 

To find out how QRIDA's concessional loans could improve your primary production business, visit our First Start Loan or Sustainability Loan pages, or call 1800 623 946. 

You can also chat with QRIDA at Beef Australia 2024 from 5 to 11 May in the Robert Schwarten Pavilion.

Client story

Last updated: 15 April 2024