Bucking the outback station trend

x

Creative Commons Creative Commons

This is a Creative Commons story from Brand SA News, a news service providing positive stories about South Australia. Please feel free to use the copy in any form of media (not including any photographs or video unless otherwise stated), including a link back to the Brand SA News site.

Copied to clipboard

By Gretel Sneath

While debate continues about foreign ownership of some of the nation’s agricultural assets, a local station family is quietly creating a new pastoral empire in the South Australian desert.

Three generations of Litchfields have worked Mundowdna and Wilpoorinna Stations on the bottom of the Birdsville Track for the past 50 years, and now, they have more than doubled their existing landholding by purchasing the property next door.

Adam and Kate Litchfield have spent the past few weeks moving their young family across to historic Mount Lyndhurst Station, located 74 kilometres north-east of Leigh Creek along the Strzelecki Track.

Blog770px-IMG_2261

They teach them young on the cattle station

After surviving for years with a diesel-powered generator, they are relishing new ‘luxuries’ like mains electricity.

“I thank my lucky stars every morning when I now wake up and simply flick on a switch,” Adam smiles.

Once a part of the massive Beltana Pastoral Company operated by the Barr Smith family, the 350,000-hectare property shares 980km of boundary fence with the Litchfields’ existing landholdings between Marree and Lyndhurst – but after recent heavy rains, that hasn’t made access any easier.

Blog770px-IMG_2150

Gordon Litchfield and his son Adam

“It’s about 90 minutes’ drive from our old place when it’s dry, but every week it seems to rain and because it’s so wet and damp, you only need four or five millimetres and the roads shut again,” Adam says.

No-one in the family is complaining about all of the water lying around, for it has been five good years of rainfall that made the bold $7 million purchase possible in the first place; prior to that, the area was in severe drought and all stock had to be either sold or agisted.

“The country is looking amazing, and it’s going to be unreal in spring when it warms up a bit and all the wildflowers come out,” Adam says.

Blog770px-IMG_2304

The family’s organic lamb and beef business is thriving in the midst of the favourable weather conditions, with production also expected to double as a result of the latest land acquisition.

The combined properties, which are also run by Adam’s parents, Gordon and Lyn Litchfield, and his uncle Peter Litchfield and wife Janine, will be capable of handling more than 30,000 sheep and 6000 cattle.

Blog770px-IMG_2298

Kate Litchfield

“The stock is trucked to Murray Bridge for processing and export, and organic-certified meat is in really strong demand in places like the United States, so we are getting a premium price which is fantastic as we have a few additional expenses now,” Adam smiles.

Loading
Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit
Google MapsGet Directions

Like this story? Nominate a story from your region.
Click here to nominate >>

These inspiring regional stories made possible by:

Major Partner
Primary Industries and Regions of South Australia (PIRSA)
Program Partners
Programmed
Statewide Super
Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Education Foundation of South Australia
Seniors Card
Foodland
Thoroughbred Racing SA
Loftus IT
Return to Work SA
Uni SA
Dr Jones & Partners
Major Media Partner
ABC Local Radio
Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Facebook SHARE