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The Drought Resilience Podcast
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The Drought Resilience Podcast

Author: Annabelle Homer

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The Drought Resilience Podcast features sheep producers across parts of South Australia who’ve battled consecutive years of drought between 2018-2021. In each interview you will get an insight into how they navigated their businesses and families through the financial and mental hardships of drought. You’ll hear from a husband and wife, a father and son, and two young farmers from Orroroo, Eudunda and Keyneton.This podcast is supported by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and National Landcare Program.
7 Episodes
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"Having sheep off the property, that's what runs the place and has run the place forever, and you try doing a water run and there's no sheep out there...looking at empty paddocks, it's an eerie feeling. You can't see an end, it's a dark tunnel."  Luke Frahn"One of the things that drought takes away from you is the power of choice. There were times we couldn't go to School of the Air events because we literally couldn't afford the accommodation or the time away from work." Frances FrahnIn this episode, you’ll meet husband and wife Luke and Frances Frahn from Holowiliena Station, 40 kilometres east of Hawker in the upper north of South Australia.  Frances grew up on Holowiliena, a sheep station that's been run by her family for over a century.  She’s 5th generation, taking over from her parents Jann and Richard Warwick.Holowiliena is steeped in rich pastoral history, and it's this history that got Frances and Luke through one of the toughest droughts, by transforming it into an outback tourism experience. The Frahn’s story details the devastation of drought through the years of 2018 through to 2021, what it did to the environment, to livestock, to one’s livelihood and state of mind.Even though it was one of the toughest periods of their lives, they’ve come out the other end with renewed enthusiasm for managing the land and better equipped to tackle future droughts. This podcast is supported by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board as part of the Living Flinders initiative, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.Links:Northern and Yorke Landscape Board: https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/nySA Arid Lands Landscape Board: https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/saal/projects-and-partners/projects/building-pastoral-sustainability-program National Landcare Program: https://www.dcceew.gov.au/environment/land/landcareHolowiliena Station: https://www.holowilienastation.com/Talking Livestock: https://au.linkedin.com/in/deb-scammell-7839b06a
"I've never seen dust storms like that before. Even older fellas than my Dad, like 80-year-old fellas were saying, I've never seen it like this before. This is the worst drought and continual year-after-year drought."  Reuben SollyIn this episode, you’ll meet brother and sister team Amey and Reuben Solly from Yednalue Station, 16 kilometres east of Cradock in the far north of South Australia. Along with their parents, Darren and Debra, they run 8000 head of sheep across Yednalue and other leased properties and operate a livestock transport business.Like many families in that part of the world, the Solly’s suffered consecutive dry years since 2018.Amey and Reuben say the transport businesses, cashing in on high goat prices, and the kindess from other farming families got them through one of the toughest periods of their lives.This podcast is supported by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board as part of the Living Flinders initiative, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.Links: Northern and Yorke Landscape Board: https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/nySA Arid Lands Landscape Board: https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/saal/projects-and-partners/projects/building-pastoral-sustainability-programNational Landcare Program:  https://www.dcceew.gov.au/environment/land/landcareTalking Livestock: https://au.linkedin.com/in/deb-scammell-7839b06a
“I’m not complaining about where I am and I’m not complaining necessarily about having dry periods, it’s just a matter of dealing with them.” Jim Kuerschner“It’s certainly been the worst period of my farming career. I found it challenging to know what the right decision to make is and the nagging doubt that anything will ever go back to normal again.” Sam KuerschnerIn this episode you get different perspectives of drought from two farming generations.Father and son Jim and Sam Kuerschner run a sheep and cropping operation at Blackrock near Orroroo in the state’s upper north.Jim has farmed the generational property all of his life and he says this has been the toughest drought he’s ever experienced.Despite it being the worst drought in their living memory, strategies like containment feeding were implemented to help them maintain most of their sheep flock.It’s an interesting look into how different generations practically and mentally approach drought and the coping mechanisms they use to get through it.This podcast is supported by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and National Landcare Program.Links:Northern and Yorke Landscape Board - https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/nyLandcare: https://landcareaustralia.org.au/Future Drought Fund - https://www.awe.gov.au/agriculture-land/farm-food-drought/drought/future-drought-fundTalking Livestock - https://www.facebook.com/talkinglivestock/    
Orroroo: John Nicholas

Orroroo: John Nicholas

2022-04-1420:37

You’ve got your financial bank, you’ve got your moisture bank, and then you’ve got your grass bank. If you don’t have your moisture and grass bank, there won’t be any bank…or the bank will be chasing us.” John NicholasIn this episode you’ll meet 34-year-old John Nicholas from Orroroo, who owns a 7000 hectare mixed farming operation in the upper north of South Australia.Like many farmers in the area, he’s battled five years of below average conditions from 2017 to 2021.John’s been farming for 10 years and has big plans, but the drought has made it difficult to move forward. However, he’s still optimistic and during the next 20 minutes you’ll hear about his adventures with breeding Dorpers, moving back to Merino sheep and his plans to crack into the EU market.This program is supported by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and National Landcare Program.Links:Northern and Yorke Landscape Board - https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/nyLandcare: https://landcareaustralia.org.au/Future Drought Fund - https://www.awe.gov.au/agriculture-land/farm-food-drought/drought/future-drought-fundTalking Livestock - https://www.facebook.com/talkinglivestock/ 
Eudunda: Paul Schutz

Eudunda: Paul Schutz

2022-04-0725:45

“Further east of here there were Mallee trees dying. When you’ve got Mallee trees dying, you know it’s damn dry.” Paul SchutzPaul Schutz is a sheep producer from Point Pass near Eudunda in South Australia’s mid north.His family leases and owns 4000 hectares of mixed cropping country from Neales Flat to the south and Booborowie to the north.He’s one of six siblings; Paul and his three brothers help manage the properties with their father while also seeking off-farm work to pay the bills.The past four years have been the driest his family has ever experienced, but off-farm income, leasing property and containment feeding has got them through so far.This program is supported by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and National Landcare Program.Links:Northern and Yorke Landscape Board - https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/nyFuture Drought Fund - https://www.awe.gov.au/agriculture-land/farm-food-drought/drought/future-drought-fundTalking Livestock - https://www.facebook.com/talkinglivestock/
Introducing..... The Drought Resilience Podcast.This podcast gives you an insight into the lives of four sheep producers who live around Orroroo, Keyneton and Eudunda who've battled through consecutive years of drought – some say the worst in living memory.This podcast was instigated by Deb Scammell, who runs a livestock nutrition consulting business, Talking Livestock. Through dealing with these clients, she has seen first hand the struggles they have faced professionally and mentally since 2018. Listen to this preview and get a taste of what this podcast is all about with Deb Scammell. Talking Livestock: https://www.facebook.com/talkinglivestock/This podcast is supported by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and National Landcare Program.
‘We didn’t think we’d have to face it, it’ll rain by the first of June, that’s fine, it’ll rain…but last year it didn’t. There’s no back up plan if you don’t have water.” Georgie Keynes.Meet husband and wife team Georgie Keynes and Toby Rosenzweig who manage Keyneton Station, at Keyneton in South Australia’s Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges.Georgie is the sixth generation to run this historic sheep grazing property in partnership with her parents, Joe and Sally Keynes.Unfortunately, the area has suffered consecutive dry years since 2018, around the time Georgie and Toby started to solely manage the property.Dams went dry, water pipes were put in and sheep went into containment lots.In this episode, Georgie and Toby reflect on some of their toughest years and share what they’ve done to get through the worst drought in living memory. This program is supported by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and National Landcare Program. Links:Northern and Yorke Landscape Board - https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/nyFuture Drought Fund - https://www.awe.gov.au/agriculture-land/farm-food-drought/drought/future-drought-fundTalking Livestock - https://www.facebook.com/talkinglivestock/
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