Young producer secures future in farming with a First Start Loan
Secluded among the mulga, Ed, a fifth-generation producer, runs a goat and beef enterprise on his parent’s property, ‘Ravenscourt’.
After being forced out of the sheep industry due to drought and the prevalence of wild dogs, the Wade’s made the decision to diversify into goats.
“We always believed in having a dual enterprise whether that was cattle and sheep or cattle and something else. In the dry years, we realised our country probably wasn’t always going to be suited to purely cattle, so we looked at what options we had,” Ed said.
“As the goat industry grew and developed, we decided that was the avenue we’d go into.”
Ed used a First Start Loan from the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) to complement his family’s succession planning by improving the sustainability of the enterprise through water, fencing, and shed infrastructure.
“The First Start Loan has helped fund on-farm development projects that allow us to run the goats and cattle more efficiently,” he said.
“The exclusion fencing has helped with reducing the impact of wild dogs on the livestock, building a dam has improved our water supply for when we are faced with the next drought and the shed will allow us to stock hay and protect it from the weather.”
Regional Area Manager for the Maranoa and South West Terry Pulsford was able to help Ed with his initial enquiry and support him through the application process.
“We approached Terry our local QRIDA Regional Area Manager, and I found the process extremely simple. It was refreshing to get someone who understood what we were talking about and was able to support us in the application.”
Looking to the future, Ed hopes to continue with his exclusion fencing plans using the funds from his initial investment.
“Since we’ve done the initial exclusion fencing, we’re looking to expand further with more fencing which we will fund through the initial investment. With how the market is today [November 2022], it has essentially allowed us to plan into the future with a broad income stream,” he said.
First Start Loans provide up to $2 million for aspiring young producers to buy their first block of land, buy into the family farm or achieve stand alone viability.
Visit the First Start Loan page for more information.