A partnership with an Australian towel manufacturer has allowed the Rogan family to become premium cotton producers on their southern Queensland farm.
Story By Dana Gluzde
Glenn Rogan struts back from a nearby donga past the 14 chickens that were born yesterday, which scurry to shelter under the protective wings of their mother. He slips off his boots next to his son, Edward, who is busy cracking nuts from the macadamia tree. There’s a glimpse of a cotton paddock just beyond the edge of the yard.
Glenn has just come back from a succession-planning meeting for the family’s farm “Benelong”, south of St George, Qld, where he produces both premium and standard cotton in partnership with his parents Graeme and Robyn.
Family, cotton and horses are Glenn’s all-consuming passions. His love of horses stems back to childhood, when the family had a long, arduous move to the property from “Cumborah” between Walgett and Brewarrina, NSW. They drove 125 head of cattle and 4000 head of sheep in two separate mobs up to St George over three months.
“We didn’t truck them up for two reasons,” Graeme says. “First, it would have cost a lot of money, and second we had nowhere to head them to at the time, only a little 600-acre [243-hectare] paddock that wasn’t even fenced. So we thought we’d have them on the road for three months and they’ll grow some more wool and we’ll have a bit more money in our pockets.”
He was confident his children – aged four, seven, eight and nine at the time – were “all experienced with stock” and equipped to handle the job. “I’ve got very fond memories of bringing the stock up – we were on horses every day – and having to bathe in the galvanized tubs,” Glenn says. “All the chooks and ducks came up with us in the back of the trailer. [It was] fun getting them all in there. Dad used to go ahead and build the yards for each night, and we’d bring up all the stock. I remember doing correspondence, as well as the fun stuff like chasing rabbits into logs, cutting them out and then we’d have them for dinner. I remember that droving trip as if it had taken three years. That much fun couldn’t possibly have only lasted three months!”
This story excerpt is from Issue #82
Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2012