Objective Achieved


Yesterday I posted a rant on our facebook page about the mental suffering of grazers and all farmers alike in this terrible drought we are enduring at this time. To illustrate my point, I used a photo of my gorgeous kelpie blue dog cross, Lolli. She was and is suffering from an unknown illness, one that looked like it would take her very life-and still could. This morning she is much improved though, and hopefully she continues to do so, after extremely valuable advice received from Breaker. She even finished her milk this morning, and smacked her lips with a little more life in her eyes.

My point in yesterdays post is that you really cannot know the amount of hardship, and the terrible choices that must be made on a farm in drought unless you have physically been there yourself, and made those choices.

its almost impossible to explain with words the trauma of a decision where your choices are bad, very bad and just plain awful. But one thing I learnt, (the only useful thing I have learnt) from animal activists websites and facebook pages, while I was trying to fight the anti-farmer movement, is this- take a picture, give suffering a face, and people can empathise.

I saw many photos of cattle, maybe a single brahman steer, lovely and quiet looking, they gave it a name, one I know they decided to call ‘Jacob’ and then told a story about how he was brutalized and cruelly murdered in some overseas abbotoir.Β  Then they point the finger at Australian farmers and say ‘its all their fault’Β  This is not the point of my post today, but its very easy to see how people get so upset about Live Export with such a visual motivator.

So yesterday my motivator was the image of my own wonderful dog suffering, and people have responded! The response has been greater than imagined, although after the response we got from the picture of Bustas empty collar should have given me some sort of clue, seen by over 90,000 people, liked and shared so many times! I wish I could tell our mate how many people have grieved for him.. It would blow his humble doggy mind.


I have turned down many many offers for financial support, people who want to pay the vet fee to save my little dog, and I so appreciate every single one of them! I am not turning them down out of pride, or some misguided sense of martyrdom.. I say no, because I am only one person, only one insignificant farmers daughter in a country filled with people more needy, the grazier who is so broke he cannot afford to buy hay to keep his 5 year old daughters pony from starving. The sheep farmer who has to make a choice to buy more drench for his dying sheep, or putting food in his childrens mouths for one more week.

The man who with $100 left to his name, must decide if he will buy one more bale of hay for his favorite cows, or a carton of bullets to put them all down. Its no wonder so many of these hurting broken men turn the rifle on themselves after the grisly job is done.


If all I can do is share the photos of the things which break our hearts every single day, then see these pictures. A baby lamb named Choppa pulled from a bog hole, the only survivor out of 7 sheep, and 15 kangaroos, Choppa died after 3 days of love and care in the houseyard.


A calf called Geoff, pulled from a dam, where he was stuck beside the dead body of his mother, and named after a wonderful man, born malnourised, he looked more like an 80 year old POW than the 2 week old baby he was. We fought for him so hard, only to lose him 3 weeks later.


An old cow, struggles to stand, she was a much loved old girl, one of our special ‘MJ’ cows.. One day she stood up, the next I helped her up, the day after my little brother dragged her body away. My brother is 19. Why should he have to face that sort of thing, when others his age are partying and living life to the fullest? Other boys are travelling, having fun, getting first jobs and going to uni. My brother is a man beyond his years, he has seen more and suffered more than most men twice his age.

My sister is 21, girls her age are going to the beach and debating whether or not to wear that dress. My sister, doesn’t care what she wears, so long as she doesn’t have to see another animal in distress today.

If seeing these images hurt you, or make you feel sad, only imagine what it does to the minds and emotions of the men and women who see them in real life every day, those who fight to change the inevitable, those who work against all odds, to save a life, or to help an animal who is suffering.

Its difficult enough every day, but to do it with debt, or no money like so many graziers are trying to do right now? impossible. My fathers voice when our pet cow comes to him for food in the paddock, and he rubs her neck and apologises to her softly, ‘I’m so sorry girl, I cannot feed you today’


There is emotional damage occurring in the bush today, and if you can spare a moment, spend a moment.

Buy locally grown, support Aussie beef, Aussie lamb, pay an extra dollar for something direct from the grower.

And most of all, Thank God for the Aussie producer. They do it tough, they feel forgotten, and misunderstood. But every day I see more people standing up to say ‘hey, we see you, we appreciate you, we support you’

That is something we as farmers thank God for.. That encourages us.




58 thoughts on “Objective Achieved

  1. Hi, Thankyou you for making me aware of how tough some of the farmers & their animals are doing.
    I belong to a group that make a choice to do a good deed this month. So after reading your story ,I have decided my good deeds is to buy some bales of hay.I hope it helps.
    All the best, Regards Dale Barlow.

  2. Thank you for sharing. Your words are so true, so honest and so genuine. As a grazier myself, a graziers wife, a graziers daughter and a mother of two little boys watching the drought around us on our property I can relate to all of your words. Bless you for having the strength to share your story and thank you for making me smile today πŸ™‚

  3. Excellent blog! Farmers work so hard and endure so much hardship to help the rest of us have food to put on the table and too many people just have no idea. I was mortified recently when someone said they had nothing to thank God for because it was the money they earn that buys their food. I thank God every day for the sun coming out and for the rain (the times we are fortunate enough for the optimal amount of rain to fall) and for the hard working farmers who just keep hanging in there toughing it out even when there’s no predicting the following year’s rainfall or when the next threat of a bushfire is coming along. Thank you.

    • Farmers do this because it is what they know, and are good at it….They do it not necessarily do it to feed us all….It is a living, and an unpredictable one, especially in many parts of Australia.

      • You are right Gableend, farmers do know the land, and they are very good at caring for it.
        However if we are not feeding you all who is? where do you get your food from if it did not originally come from a farm of some kind?
        Yes it is a business, but as one raised on the land, on a farm, and in a family, where we stand up with pride, and say we are producing food for our nation.
        We deserve to receive an income for our very hard work, but this does not moot the point, we do what we do which is producing food for our fellow human beings, because as yet, nobody anywhere has come up with a different way of creating food.

  4. I dont know if it b/c I have been up for 3 days and nights fighting fires aound our place, but I cant stop crying after reading this. nice not to feel forgotton.

  5. Most of us are sick and tired of Coles and Woolworths monopolies, of seeing local brands disappear from the shelves and imported foods being placed on sale. It makes it hard to buy local, but I know I always buy Australian wherever I see the label. Continue labelling goods and continue publicising the issue, otherwise the consumers will be just as helpless as the farmers and the big corporations will be the only winners, at the expense of our pockets and our health.

    • How would it be if Coles and woolworths both do dollar for dollar on every Australian product sold in their stores and give to the struggling farmers to buy the bales of hay.

      • sorry, but they wouldn’t do that… there’s a trend that whenever one of their supermarkets opens up, local businesses, selling local produce go broke. This is because they start their supermarket with ridiculously low prices, and then put them up to normal once no competitors are left. If they cared about Australian product or helping the farmers they wouldn’t do this. (I know woolworths is notorious for this- not sure about coles, but probably not much difference). Sad, hey?

  6. Thankyou for writing such an inspiring, truthfull and emotional blog about the plight of our Aussie heroes “the Aussie farmers” who I believe whole heartedly that they are the back bone to the survival of our country and are treated appaulingly by the Government in the lack of aid and assistance and Government bureaucracy that impedes the survival of our country. My heart wept on reading your story and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to each and every farmer. I cannot begin to imagine the constant heartache every farming family member suffers daily during this time. I don’t know what the answer is but I plead to all those farmers to keep going, to be strong, don’t let this beat you, you all are an inspiration to us all & I urge all Australians to think twice about the products they buy, stop, look & read the labels. Ensure that you are saying no to imported food products. Check your produce signs, reject imported fruits & vegetables. Question supermarket staff and companies about where there products come from. Don’t be fooled by “made in AUSTRALIA by local & imported produce” Question what that means. Does it mean the product is made here or is it just packaged here? If each and every shopper can just sepnd a little time making the manufacturers aware that we won’t accept foreign produce on our supermarket shelves you in turn could be saving an “Aussie family” from financial and emotional heart break and also securing jobs for our future Australian children.

  7. i dont know whats wrong with your dog but perhaps you can check the diet…make sure yu are not feeding Purina or anything with grains in it…go no grain food ( home cooked works, with some rice and vegetables)
    Milk thistle will help liver
    Some coconut oil will detoxify and settle the system (with added benefit of no fleas)
    Check out ” is purina killing our dogs” on facebook



  8. Keep up the great blogs Ladies….even though you make me cry every day…my crying is nothing like your crying and heartbreak every moment of the day…wondering whats ahead for the day..whats in the dry dam…whats behind that tree over there…whats at home when we get back..

  9. Australia is an unforgiving and sometimes cruel climate, and sometimes I wonder if areas which have been farmed or grazed for many years should not be used for such purposes…easily said than done, I know. I spent my childhood in one such area, on a grazing property, which has now long since been destocked, due to droughts, the prevailing market, and wild dogs, and it is a joy to see it now in its natural state.Saddly if one has a rural property in Australia, this is a cycle that is ever present….and not unexpected. You are fortunate to have spent your youth in such conditions, though at times not pleasant, and it will stand you in good stead in the future..I know is has myself.My sister has written a book called ” The Glorious Uncertainty”…the term used by our father, about the outback, and the seasons of these areas, which describes a childhood on a sheep station in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia in the 1940’s.
    Rain will come….but so too will devastating drought, and so it is, in the vast majority of rural areas in Australia.

  10. I read your words and relived many years of my youth. My father left the land after the big drought in the 80’s; it was just one drought too many. He couldn’t have waited just 6 more weeks for the rain that replenished the earth, it was just too much for him.
    We all know that the rain will come eventually but while waiting it’s the heartbreak which becomes unbearable for most. My heart and prayers go out to all those on the land that have to go through such sadness everyday. You are the bravest and strongest people I know, you endure such cruel hardships, and it’s your undying passion for the land that keeps you going and the need to produce quality products and for that I thank you. You are what makes Australia.

  11. We would like your permission to publish this blog in our magazines. We are trying to raise some awareness for these struggling families and we would like to publish this along side the ‘buy a bale’ information. Thanks

  12. I am a grazier’s wife and have lived through what you and your family and so many others are dealing with at present. You’d think I’d be a bit tough, but your words moved me to tears as you have eloquently put into words the sentiment of most farmers. We love our animals and would sacrifice anything to see them happy and healthy. Thank you for your powerful words – may they inspire us all to keep plugging away until that wet stuff finally turns up. Every day is a day closer to rain!

  13. It is a shame your lot didn’t think that clearly when you were murdering the Tribal peoples, raping their women and deforesting the lands…..karma is good at making people see things a little differently…

    • Thats an interesting view you have there Gunham… Interesting because I have never raped or killed anyone, nor has my father and nor my grandfather. How many generations are you planning to hold this grudge? Esp since its likely you weren’t alive in the time of my great grandfather [who I never knew but if reports are true, he also never harmed anyone] But you are right, karma, like a lot of things in this life is a bitch.. and I wonder how long it will take you with that attitude to become more intimately associated with it??

    • The sins of the father are not the sins of the son, never make the mistake of blaming someone for the misdeeds of another, because as they say, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

      Jillaroo – your blogpost is beautifully written and is extremely informative, thank you for taking the time to put pen to paper.

    • Not terribly helpful, Gunham. Reconciliation is a two-way thing, and impossible to achieve when either of the parties is hell-bent on keeping score and relishing the pain of the other. No one is trying to deny that unspeakably terrible things happened in the past, no one is trying to minimise the pain of the past, and no one is pretending that a simple “sorry” will undo the horrors of that past. But to get beyond that requires looking forward rather than back. So again, this kind of combative response towards “our lot” is entirely unhelpful.

    • Wow, that is the most appalling comment I’ve come across on the internet for a long time. You’ve basically just told these families they deserve the misfortune they’re experiencing at the moment, because of something someone else of the same race did decades and centuries ago? By that logic, everybody in the world would deserve bad karma. What a spiteful person you must be.

  14. I’m another Farmer’s daughter and farmers partner and a true soft touch when it comes to animals. But that is why at the age of 23 I’m making the hard choice to get my gun license. It breaks my heart to see any animal suffering and I am the kind of person who will do whatever I can to save any creature, but not all can be saved and there is not always a bloke around to pull the trigger when its needed. This is not something I want to do, and God knows I’ll cry when it comes time to carry through, but i also feel for those othe men, and women, in the same predicament. We carry a large enough burden on our shoulders when we make these tough decisions, sometimes those voices of blame from “conservationists” and “activists” are enough to push to a farmer over the edge. Next time they say their words I hope they think of the pain they are inflicting on families when they push the next farmer over the edge. It could be my brothers, my parents, our neighbours, my partner. Thankyou for spreading the word and I hope your article is reaching those who need it most.

    • I agree Ellie,
      its a difficult enough battle, then to have an uninformed individual making harsh judgements about how we care for our land is very difficult. The people who seek to undermine our rights and our ability to do what we do are very destructive indeed..
      The destruction of stock or wild animals is a terrible choice, but coming from another soft touch girl, I support your brave decision! Its so so hard, and I hate it every time.. But I would rather end the suffering of an animal than turn a blind eye like too many others..
      Thanks for dropping by, and I hope to hear from you again..
      (if your follow our facebook page, please drop us a private msg, I would like very much to talk to you from one country girl to another) πŸ˜‰

  15. Dear Charlotte, I found this post quite randomly (a friend of mine liked it on Facebook and I clicked to see what it was all about). Thank you for sheding a light on something I had NO IDEA about! We take everything for granted and don’t think how tough some people can have it. In my little mind, I associated farmers with big profitable lands, a tough mind and a heart of stone when it comes to animals. Wrong cliches, I know now… I know you won’t accept any help for your dog and you clearly and beautifully explained why in your post. Would you happen to know, by any chance, how we, mere individuals, in addition to buy locally grown meat directly from the producer, can help, even very temporarily, even with just smalls act of kindness? Can we donate bales of hay? Do you need anything else? Are there any charitable association that help you, farmers, when drought struck? If so, who are they and how can we contribute? If you have any idea, please let me know. In the meantime, I will be praying for some rain and some greener days. Thanks again for opening my mind.

  16. I am still crying…..so sad…for so many reasons…… sad isnt it that the govt won’t step in and help – Im an ex farmers wife from the wheatbelt and I know its a tough life !! Whats wrong with your dog ? I ask because mine was sick and the vets couldnt work out what was wrong – I solved the puzzle myself in the end – bu googling and talking to people. It was the food I was giving him in the end. ring or email me if you want some info veronica.cole1@gmail.com or 0417 972 903

  17. Pingback: Objective Achieved | Pamea's Blog

  18. Please ..is there any way we can send financial support to these beautiful people. I have grown up on a farm and know very well of the hardships farmers face.

  19. Personally, I think you nailed it in your first sentence. I think we ‘rant’ because we feel like real dialogue isn’t really available, that our voices aren’t heard so we boil over and rant instead, at which point many people just switch off. All we’re left with is some people ranting (because they’re passionate enough to) and other people turning their heads (because a lot of people ranting gets you down). I’ve done both. The question here is how we end up with such polarised opinions on things that are usually far more complex, and where there’s probably more common ground. Who lets and how does that happen (genuine, not rhetorical questions there, btw)? Thanks for your blog.

  20. I shared your link with this moment:I had the enormous pleasure whilst in Bali to talk with some retreat founders who are around my age and we have all been doing health, wellness, and holding the vision of helping others for around 30 years [that’s more than a collective century]. It did good to my soul to be able to share and laugh with them about the speed and strength of the ‘new’ trends [facilitated by the interweb].
    Raw is the old ‘live’ foods, paleo is the old ‘balanced’ diet, ‘green’ was an essential for health and we all knew that, and you drank out of a jar if you were poor, crystal if you had money. One of them didn’t even understand how ‘juicing’ got into the English language and I was teasing him explaining “it’s the stuff that comes out when you squeeze a fruit”.
    I am a purist. That means I will take something to the limit in its purest form. After that, I find my balance – how to incorporate ‘it’ in a less pure form into my life, my values and my world. Purist – not extremist.
    So here’s my thing. I love what I see on fb with trends, health, raw, coconut juice, jars, yoga, sweet young things full of hope for a life made possible by easy access to superfoods and abundant choice. What I would like to know is “who is caring for those who move at Earth time – whose businesses are livelihood are linked to the speed of nature, not the speed of the internet? ”
    Who is transitioning people to this new way of eating? Who is bridging the three divisions ‘old trad way of eating’, ‘uninformed, commoditised, post-war eating’, and the new ‘organic/ live/ super foods/ vegan eating’? What is happening in my own backyard, to my own Australia, to the farms that are suffering devastating losses and hardship due to climate, and fast-shifting trends from the consumer?

    I have recently opened my eyes to animal production and factory farming in Australia [I put myself in lockdown in November and watched videos and researched]. I have more awareness now via Animals Australia’s exposure and mission.

    My responsibility as a Yoga and Wellness Trainer, is to present the whole picture, not just the finished product (pose), or the trend. I don’t know the answers, but I can ask the questions. I can build the awareness and open the hearts that yearn to help and restore order and to problem-solve. And, I can add the weight of age, or wisdom, or experience to my trainees’ journey so that they are grounded and enquiring amongst their peers.
    I don’t know what to do to truly help the farming situation in dry Australia. I do know that animals are suffering and their carers are suffering. I want to free the Orcas in captivity, and yet, there is hardship happening in my own state of Qld – and not due to exploitation or greed. There is a name given to a sustainable and complete solution when it covers all players [someone help me out here……….]

    I’m a city girl who fled to the Pacific Islands and to Paris. I’m a city girl with a growing compassion for country Australia – and no idea what to do with it.

    Check out Jillaroo’s blog link if you are interested to see some young rural Australians doing their thing. Let me know if you have ideas of solutions ‘in an ideal world’.

    Much love and compassion to all animals, and all humans. We are all just doing the best we can with what we have.
    Susan Wanmer
    3 Mountains Coaching

  21. Jillaroo, I have just read your blog. Your words are so beautifully written. I, too am a farmer. Lets hope your words reach those in the cities/towns who just don’t realise what it’s really like on the land. There are so many kids out there who think their milk comes from a fridge! Its a pity we couldn’t get something up and running where city/town families adopt a farming family, not to give financial support but emotional support – a phone call to see how they are going, purchase meat/produce direct from their farming family, come work on the farm during their holidays instead of trips to the beach or overseas, just to get a taste of whats going on in the real world.

  22. I’m thinking of taking your advice and doing more to support farmers, but could you give some advice on just how we do this when we’re shopping, especially at the big supermarkets? Is it better to buy from butchers, or how do we choose the meat, milk, eggs, vegies etc that are most beneficial to Aussie producers??
    I know a lot of other friends and acquaintances who would like to do more, but aren’t really sure that anything they do would really make a difference. I would LOVE to see a blog post on this, and would share it like crazy if you put something together!! πŸ™‚

  23. Very well written blog. Growing up as the younger son of a grazier I too saw the hard times, extended dry, shooting and pitting stock when the Governments Reserve Price Scheme collapsed. I too remember farmers in that era being found in their barns or shearing sheds, it paints a very real and gruesome image, as a young bloke I saw more death and tragedy than anyone else I knew. Too this day I still read the Weekly Times, Stock & Land, The Land etc and still listen to the ABC Radio National. I also talk to the local Livestock agents and keep an active interest in the rural sector. I guess old habits die hard, Ill always be a grazier at heart, its in my blood, I work in an office in town now and everyday I feel suffocated. We need to back our farmers all we can. There is too much suicide within the rual sector, we need to improve assistance services to regional and rural areas. At least give people the chance to talk to someone.

  24. I really admire your blog and putting all the heartache of life in the bush during this horrendous drought and heat. Coming off the land myself I can see so much of what our family coped with and did many years ago. Your stories really bring it home to those who do nor fully realise the extent of it all. I know we have students at the school were I work whose families too are struggling with the drought keeping stock alive and educating their children. My hat goes off to you all.

  25. A brilliant article we all should do more exposure exposure exposure unfortunately our media have lost the plot in reporting what really matters to making a bigger cake for all Australians if farmers could only run their budgets like governments perhaps they would all survive these crippling droughts

  26. Can I please please please buy a bale of hay for your cow? My heart is seriously hurting over this. I know you’ve written above that people have offered you financial aid – I would urge you to consider taking them up on this. You may feel that others are doing it tougher but everyone deserves a hand. It might be a drop in the ocean but surely we can all help.

  27. There are many good farmers in australia….maybe the majority….but there are a lot of farmers who kid themselves that they are doing a good job. Leaving sheep with eye cancers, vulva cancers, prolapses alive to wait till shearing to get the wool off them; sheep with broken legs let go or incorrectly splinted and let go with large mobs to “heal” and end up with gangrene and or flystrike and massive internal trauma. It is not good enough to ride on the catch cry of “australian farmers are the best in the world”…. some indeed are…but sadly…not all.

    • It is also not good enough to assume farmers are being cruel until they prove they aren’t.
      when the media will only portray the producers who are caught being cruel to their stock, and wont show the many more who are humane and caring and loving, it sends an image which is deceptive at best..

      Please assume the best until otherwise proven of every producer, because in perfect honesty, while I am sure there are those people out there who you describe as being negligent to their stock, I do not deny that fact, I can also stand up and say not one single producer in my acquaintance allows that to occur to their stock! (if only for the reason that it ends up costing more money to be negligent than to use proper care procedures!)

      Thankyou for your comment πŸ˜‰

  28. Im not a farmer but I am an Australian. Thankyou for telling it like it is. I would like to see you outside Coles or Woolworths and take your protest to the people. Rally the
    troops and get “People Power” going since the
    government is not
    interested in its own.

    • Thankyou for your support, but sadly, the reason farmers aren’t taking their protest to the people and picketing the streets is because we simply dont have the time, or the money..
      most are far too busy at this time, trying to keep their stock alive to be able to fight for their own rights in this country.
      That is why we need ordinary people like you to read the blogs of farmers and take an active interest so when someone who has got the time, stands outside handing out anti-farming pamphlets you are able and willing to stand up for us..
      We need you, and your support, just as much as you need farmers.. πŸ™‚
      And thats a fact!!

  29. As the daughter of a dairy farmer and also animal lover, I just want to assure you that standing up for animals rights does not mean we are against farmers, actually we agree with you and would like more people to buy direct from the producer, not for it to be sent overseas or a location completely removed from it’s origins. You are obviously a very passionate and hard working farmer and the more people can relate to you as a person and the work/price it takes to produce food and raise livestock the better it would be for all, humans and animals included. My fingers are crossed for rain soon.

    • Yes, false dichtomies drive me nuts (us vs them); they’re not productive and frustrate the solution-finding process and I’m the daughter of a grazier.

  30. Hello, my name is Karen Wood and I am an author. Would it be possible to get in touch with you about using some of your content on this blog? I couldn’t find an email addy for you. My email is karenwood@tpg.com.au I would love to hear from you. Cheers.

  31. Awwww Jillaroo, this one made me cry. I have been following your facebook page for a while now, sharing whatever I can,and have just discovered this blog, and spent this morning neglecting all my chores to read it. I absolutely applaud you in your dignity through your struggle. I love animals, am passionate about them. I don’t know if i could do what you do at all, I’m too much of a sook when I can’t help an animal, this life would kill me. Stay strong out there, many of us would do whatever we could, given the opportunity, to help you, and you definitely have been drumming up support, in bringing awareness and making people think about what has to happen for us to feed our families.

  32. Congratulations for saying it as it is. More people should be doing so. Lets encourage people to buy their fruit and Veg from a local “Farmers market”……..straight from the grower and it is really Fresh…….not defrosted fresh…..fresh from the ground,the trees. Buy meat from the small butcher shop, not the supermarket freezer….it might be cheaper but is not as tasty,not as well cut………..wake up Australia and remember your Australian farmes.

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