In the early days ‘Cooma’ was a sheep farm until a severe drought in 1965 saw Stuart’s parents sell off 10,000 head of sheep in favour of a more drought-resilient source of income. From there the family produced wheat and beef until switching to cotton production as its main cash crop in 1982.
1982 was also the year that Stuart’s second daughter, Dimity, was born. Now working alongside Stuart and her brother-in-law, Josh Brown, in the day-to-day operations of the farm, Dimity says, “BOQ have opened doors that have helped to move our business forward more in the past three years than the previous 15.”
As part of their strategy to grow and develop their land for irrigation and cotton farming, the family acquired a number of neighbouring properties and now has approximately 1,200 hectares of irrigated land and 2,800 hectares of dryland farming for growing crops including wheat, chickpeas, oats, barley, soybeans and stock feed.
According to Dimity, although the soil quality of the property is exceptionally high, it wasn’t until the Boydell family started banking with BOQ that they were able to fully utilise the land.
“From our first meeting with BOQ they have trusted that we know our business, that they are willing to back us and that they are in it for the long haul. They took us on during dry times and the drought has only got worse since then, but they have stuck with us – even just mentally, that’s really important to farmers,” Dimity said.