Friday, March 24, 2017

Thunder Down Under: The world’s biggest cattle ranch

But it’s called a “cattle station” in Australia

By Vic Midyett

The Williams [Family] Cattle Company’s cattle station in Australia has become the largest in the world. The company’s purchase of another enormous cattle station doubled their holdings, which are now a whopping 45,000 sq. kilometers (27,962 sq. miles) – larger than the country of Israel, and over seven times the size of the King Ranch in Texas, which is “only” 1,289 sq. miles.
    The media speculate that the purchase price (not publicized) was over $16M – without stock and equipment. The bidding process was closed and secret; all the family would say was that the bid was well over the market price of the land.
    While the several homesteads comprising the property are extremely isolated, they have satellite TV, Internet, and HAM radio. Kids do their schooling by way of radio and visual Internet. Water is supplied by wells, and electricity by large diesel-powered generators.
    In case any readers are interested, the company is looking for workers to serve as stock men and women – on horseback, ATVs, and motorcycles – and in other areas as well. All your food, accommodation, etc., is supplied. If I were 40 years younger, I would jump at it.

    They have several road graders that do nothing but continuously grade the numerous roads. These solitary men (any women?) carry their own food, water, fuel, tools – everything – and return to the homestead only every couple of months. Farm trucks deliver supplies so all they do is keep the roads as flat as possible. They move “down the road” every day and camp – they move, that is, in dry weather, for in rainy weather the fine-dust roads turn to boggy, slippery slush. Trucks sometimes get bogged down for several days. Talk about time for self-contemplation and developing the ability to get along with yourself!
    An employee would save good money, as there is nowhere to spend it anyway – without driving for a day.

    The mustering is done by helicopter. Below is a video example.

    It’s a very dangerous job, with many crashes every year. I predict that in the near future they will use drones.

    Transport rigs have three trailers, and each trailer has two decks, on each of which about 19 cows are normally loaded. That's 114 cows per rig when market day comes.

Copyright © 2017 by Vic Midyett

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