A First Start Loan the ‘perfect’ option for building the Backus’ beef business

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Growing up working alongside her father in the beef industry, Louisa Backus knew she wanted to create the same lifestyle for her children one day.

Cameron Backus

When the opportunity for her and her husband, Cameron, arose to purchase half of her parent’s Central Queensland property they explored multiple financial lenders but knew a QRIDA First Start Loan was the right option for them.

“This place belonged to my parents and in 2010 we organised the purchase of the property,” Louisa said.

“Originally the property was 20,000 acres so there was a subdivision that went in with the succession and Cameron and I purchased half of the property, 10,000 acres.”

Cameron and Louisa looked at various financial options to purchase their half of Nardoo Cattle Company but QRIDA’s First Start Loan was the most attractive.

“This was our first rural enterprise, we were newlyweds and it was the most perfect one [loan] for us at the time,” Louisa said.

Cameron said receiving the loan was a great help in starting their own primary production enterprise at an affordable rate.

“Every succession is different, we’ve been very fortunate that ours really didn’t have many hurdles,” he said.

“We worked well with Louisa’s parents before they retired and then, when it was time for them to leave the place, they really helped us in planning out our financials and working out how much to pay for the place.

“It’s been a massive leg up for us being able to do that. We were really struggling to make the figures add up until we came across the First Start Loan,” he said.

Having a reliable and friendly face to turn to when they had questions was an important part of their journey with QRIDA.

“Working with QRIDA has been amazingly easy, with our local Regional Area Manager Bradley Whittington in Emerald it’s made it so easy for us,” Cameron said.

“Brad knows the rural industry, he knows us, he comes out and visits, so we never really worry about him not being there.

“In the 11 years that we’ve been on this property Brad has been the same Brad from day one.”

Since purchasing Nardoo, Cameron and Louisa have carried out development work to increase the efficiency of their operation.

“The paddocks were too big for our enterprise so together with the Fitzroy Basin Association we’ve done a lot of riparian fencing to fence off waterways,” Louisa said.

Reducing paddock sizes to a more manageable scale and fencing in laneways to the cattle yards has also formed part of their development work on the property.

The Backus’ passion for the beef industry extends to their three children and Cameron and Louisa enjoy having them around on the farm to help run their cattle enterprise. 

“My whole life has been in the cattle industry and working with Dad here. I was excited to create that lifestyle for my kids,” Louisa said.

“They’ve had such an amazing childhood being involved in the place and helping us in the yards. We’ve been really lucky that we’re able to do it as a family, we don’t use any staff, it’s just the five of us and we get the job done.”

To find out how a First Start Loan could help you acquire your first primary production enterprise, visit our First Start Loan page.

Client story
Primary producer

Last updated: 07 November 2022