Securing a bright future for the next generation

Kylie and Phillip George, Clarence Valley NSW

Cattle breeders, Kylie and Phillip George, are passionate about supporting the next generation of farmers to secure a bright future for Australian agriculture.

“We’re really passionate about young farmers coming through because the average age of a farmer now is 60, which is not young,” Kylie said.

Kylie and Phillip own and run Towallum Station, a cattle breeding enterprise in the Clarence Valley, 43 kilometres south of Grafton. They join Angus and Brangus cows to Yulgilbar Santa Gertrudis and Angus bulls and keep the progeny to sell on as feeder weight cattle.

They moved to the Clarence Valley, in the Northern Rivers region, to take advantage of the area’s typically high rainfall, ideal cattle growing conditions and proximity to different markets.

“The cattle grow very well,” Phillip said.

“It’s a good place to live and it’s a good place to raise cattle.”

The recent drop in rainfall has put a strain on Towallum Station’s productivity.

“Normally it rains here on the Northern Rivers, but over the last 12 to 18 months it has been a challenging time,” Phillip said.

The Georges turned to the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) for a Farm Investment loan to help grow their business and increase output to their supply chain partner.

A photo of Kylie and Phil George on the farm

“It’s not really about us anymore, it’s about the next generation of people coming through, and our children. Hopefully they’ll benefit from what we’ve been able to secure through this loan.”

“I could see the benefits with the lower interest rate and the money we could save to reinvest into our property,” Kylie said.

“It does take a while between doing the application and when we did get granted, but it is definitely worth it. I do believe it is faster now as well.”

The loan process prompted the Georges to take a closer look at the needs of their supply chain partner.

“By looking at that, we could channel the stock they were looking for, what they were hoping to grow, what the overseas buyers were wanting,” Kylie said.

The Georges recommended anyone thinking about applying for the loan talk to their accountant or a Rural Financial Counsellor.

“Anybody that can apply for it, or wants to apply for it, it’s worth looking at and worth doing,” Kylie said.

The savings on interest between their existing bank loan and the RIC loan has made a substantial difference to the future of Towallum Station.

“It’s helped us buy better bulls, put more pasture in and fertilise our country more, which is going to end up giving us more production down the line,” Phillip said.

“Anybody out there that’s after something to help them along, this is what they need to do. Even though it might be a bit harder to get through at the start, it’s well and truly worth it," Phillip said.

A photo of Kylie and Phil George leaning on a fence

The Georges are hoping for a 25 percent increase in output to their supply chain partner within two years.

“The future for us here at Towallum Station, it makes it much brighter,” Phillip said.