Yorklea cattle farmer Glen Pfeffer talks about how farming life continues under lockdown. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK
Yorklea cattle farmer Glen Pfeffer talks about how farming life continues under lockdown. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK

What virus? Farming life carries on

FOR the 800 Brahman cattle at Yorklea, life in the paddock remains much as it was before the coronavirus lockdown.

Their owner Glen Pfeffer said social isolation hadn't "caused a great deal of change."

READ: What women say about life in isolation

For 18 months the region has suffered drought, fire and flood and the virus is another issue for farmers to deal with.

"We're fairly lucky, social isolation is not a major problem," Mr Pfeffer said.

Despite parcel post being slow, there was no trouble getting agricultural equipment and most rural produce stores like Norco deliver to us, he said.

READ: Eight country children talk about life on the home front

The biggest change has been the way farmers sell cattle.

With restrictions on saleyards, many of the older farmers miss the social interaction of the sales, Mr Pfeffer.

The Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange in Casino has been running online cattle sales but Mr Pfeffer isn't a fan.

"The technology isn't good enough," he said. "They're all still learning."

Mr Pfeffer is instead selling cattle straight out of the paddock.

"People come in and look at the females," he said.

With border restrictions in Queensland, buyers from that state had decreased.

When Sydney's Royal Easter Show and other country shows were cancelled due to the lockdown, Mr Pfeffer said it was the first time in 55 years, he'd missed an Easter Show.

He used to go to town three times a week, now reduced to once a week for shopping.

He uses social media to talk to other farmers and said because he was in the cattle industry and "we need meat," life on the cattle property continues much the same as before.

Still, life in the broader community won't go back to what it was, he said.

"Our way of life has changed."

 

 

For the 800 head of Brahman cattle at Yorklea life continues as before during the lockdown. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK
For the 800 head of Brahman cattle at Yorklea life continues as before during the lockdown. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK


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