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TAS Country : April 14th 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011 Tasmanian Country 11 FARM FEATURE WOODBURN VARIETY: Sheep are part of the historic mix of farming. Most of the business in the early days focused on lamb and beef production and potatoes. MARKET-BOUND: Steers being fattened at 316ha Woodburn on the North-West Coast. We have been very lucky to live here and it's something we all appreciate. I never get tired of looking at these views.' Continued Page 12 ''That was the way we got them off the island in those days and I don't remember losing any or any of them getting hurt,'' Mr Bushby said. ''We'd have about 120 to move, so it took a while to get them on board, and we were restricted by the weather of course.'' Once on the ship, the cattle were transported to the wharf at Burnie, where they were unloaded and driven along the coast road to Woodburn. ''There was no road transport of stock in those days, they were all driven along the roads,'' Mr Busby said. ''Of course, we didn't have the traffic to contend with back then. ''The only thing we had to look out for was the steam-driven train because the cattle had never seen anything like that.'' Over the years, Woodburn has been expanded with the purchase of neighbouring properties. When Mr Busby's parents bought their first 40ha, it was not in the immaculate, weed-free state it is in today. ''It was an absolute mess when they first bought it, covered in blackberries and every other weed you can think of,'' Mr Busby said. ''It's really been a lifetime of work getting it to how it is today, and it never stops. ''You've got to keep working at it.'' Most of the family's business in the early days focused on fat lamb and beef production and potatoes. They also grew flax on the lower paddocks, which was sent to a local factory and used to make rope for parachutes. The homestead was built using timber cut off the property and stones collected from the nearby shore line. Rabbits were a major problem during the 1930s and Mr Busby said it needed an aggressive approach to control them. ''We'd have professional trappers come in every year for about six weeks and they would easily be able to get two or three thousand rabbits, which is a lot off the one property,'' he said. ''There used to be warrens in the paddocks as big as this house.'' As a young bloke keen to see a bit more of the country, Mr Busby set off to the mainland in the late 1940s and spent several years working as a stockman and drover on large properties through New South Wales and Queensland and right up into the Northern Territory. There he sent three years working in a droving team on the well-known Brunette Downs. The huge property, which Mr Busby says at that stage was about 4800 square miles, was a unique place to work. It was here that Mr Busby developed an appreciation for good stock horses. ''They had 500 broodmares on the property and they would bring in very good stallions to put over them,'' he said. ''The horses they had there were the best.'' Out on the runs, without access to many cattle yards, Mr Busby said the horses were essential for holding and cutting out cattle in the open.
April 7th 2011
April 21st 2011