JOE AND SUE WEIR
Farmers in the Southern Riverina have been trying to make positive environmental changes on their properties for some time now, but can’t do so without water. Without access to productive water, our farmers may not have enough income to put food on the table let alone spend large sums of money on the environmental projects that they would love to be able to achieve. See Joe and Sue’s story below:
Our names are Joe and Sue Weir. We purchased our property in the Southern Riverina at Blighty in 2005 with our 5 children. We wanted to invest our lives into this farming community and start our business “Bimbella Beef”.
In the 10 years we have been here, we have completed a surveyed farm plan, full farm water recycle system, and spent around $300,000 in upgrading our irrigation structures and paddocks to improve water efficiency. This also included a generous wildlife and native plant corridor through our property to promote native animals and birdlife.
All of our capital investment brings no financial return without available irrigation water. Our cattle and sheep need pasture, and our pasture needs water.
We raise cattle, which we then get butchered and sell directly to the customer (delivered to the customer’s door!). We have invested in a system that produce stop quality beef. On average a beast weighing 180-220kg produces 8 roasts, 8x corn beef roasts, 150 steaks!!, 30 stewing pieces, mince steak 20kg, and sausages 15kg. When water isn’t available to grow feed for our cattle, we need to cut our herd size by 70%. This is just our story, multiply this across the district and the reduction on the supermarket shelf is felt by everyone.
The first two photos compare a paddock with and without water, while the last photo is one of Sue’s favourite pictures of the property.
Our farmers need water to make positive environmental changes. Help us let the MDBA know that we want to work with them, with some cooperation and collaboration, both our environmental and farming communities can thrive together!