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TAS Country : November 11th 2010
16 Friday, Novem Feature farm Green Glory, Broadmarsh LIFE'S WORK: Elizabeth and Paul Geard at their Broadmarsh property. Picture: JENNIFER CRAWLEY More tha land THIS Jennifer Crawley Paul and Elizabeth Geard run an award-winning dairy, and are also highly successful racehorse owners THE last time Elizabeth Geard tried her hand at milking, she got covered in cow poo. ''I put the cups between their back legs and it just went all over me,'' Elizabeth said. ''I was a grandmother and I thought 'Grandmothers shouldn't be doing this' and I've never been back.'' Elizabeth cried while husband Paul laughed. She decided enough was enough and says she couldn't be happier, but Paul says he misses it every day. ''Touchy heart, got a bit breathless,'' Paul said. ''I had to stop in the dairy.'' But he still rises at 3am every day -- a lifetime of early-morning rising is hard to shake for the Broadmarsh farmer. Paul, 66, and Elizabeth, 65, have been married for 42 years, have five children (four daughters, one son), 16 grandchildren (eight of each), three winning horses and one that ran at the Melbourne Cup Day meeting at Elwick last week. The Geards, known in farming circles for their prize-winning dairy stud Green Glory Holsteins, are also one of the foremost horseracing families in Tasmania and two of the industry's staunchest supporters. Geard horse Geegees Black Flash beat a Gai Waterhouse-trained horse in the Tasmanian Derby last year. The couple received a letter from Ms Waterhouse congratulating them on their win. ''I thought that was very nice of her,'' Elizabeth said. They have more than 20 horses in work, 100 gallopers and six trotters. The couple are constantly on the move, attending race meetings around the state. Their horse stud name Gee Gee is in keeping with the Green Glory dairy stud started in 1954 by Paul's parents with stud pigs and Jersey cows. The family switched to Friesians, now called Holsteins, in 1955. They supplied Hobart establishments Wrest Point, Hadleys, Highfield, Hollowdene, the Green Gate and the Green Glen with cream. ''My mum used to put the cream in the ute and take it into town and deliver it in two-, four- and six-gallon cans from the original Green Glory farm at Kingston,'' Paul said. The Geards bought the Heritage- listed Broadmarsh property Jordan House 33 years ago. ''I was reading the paper at the Hobart Show on the Saturday and I saw the property Jordan House advertised,'' Paul said. ''I said 'Elizabeth, that's the place for us'.'' Jordan House was originally an inn built in 1835 as a stopover point between Hobart and the Central Highlands and the Derwent Valley. The Geards have bought neighbouring properties over the years and own 3238ha at Broadmarsh and 810ha at Tea Tree. The Geard name is synonymous with the Hobart Show. Paul retired this year as president of the Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania after 50 years' involvement with the show. The Green Glory stud was the only dairy stud exhibitor at the 2010 Hobart Show as cattle exhibitors dwindled. ''Back in the mid 1960s there were 123 Friesian cows from 12 exhibitors in the Hobart Show,'' Paul said. ''Even the prison farm used to show cattle.'' He said many smaller shows had closed down around Australia and it was a sign of the times. ''There's still a few diehards around like me who love showing,'' Paul said. ''It's been a part of their life, it's been a huge part of our life.'' For many years, the Geard family ''holiday'' was to go to the Launceston Show for a week. ''That was the only holiday we had during the year,'' Elizabeth said. ''Once the judging was over we enjoyed ourselves and we enjoyed the other people.'' Retirement has not dampened the former president's love of the show. He was there every day of show week this year, and he remains chairman of the dairy and stud beef committees. A two-litre bottle of milk with a photo of Elizabeth and Paul on the label was presented by National Foods to the couple after 50 years' continuous service. ''We did miss one day's milking in Kingston in the 1967 fires,'' Paul said. The couple say they fared a lot better than neighbours who lost everything, and the next day Paul welded a piece of pipe from the tractor on to the milking machine and ran the tractor engine to continue milking. NUTS AND BOLTS Green Glory farm comprises just over 4000ha at Broadmarsh and Tea Tree. The Geards own 7000 sheep, 2000 crossbreds and 5000 wool sheep. They run 600 Angus beef cattle and sell 60 to 80 Holstein bulls a year. The Geards milk between 250 and 270 cows 365 days a year. They currently race 24 horses and own six trotters and 100 gallopers.
November 4th 2010
November 18th 2010