Merchandise and a social media presence are keeping the Deshon Goat Depot on the front hoof in a declining goat market.

Story + Photos Mandy McKeesick

In high spirits, Nick Deshon parades around a set of stockyards west of Lightning Ridge in northern NSW, drafting goats and giving orders to his team. He sports a pair of white Canterbury rugby shorts and a bright green hoodie, both emblazoned with the words ‘Horns Up’. His sons Harry and Tom wear faded work shirts embroidered with the business name, his brother Siggo (Simon) a green fishing shirt. A goat-embellished pannikin swings from a gate post and similarly decorated stubby holders gather in a corner. Today Nick is wearing boots, sans socks, but other days will see him in double-plugger thongs, also green, also goat-adorned.

This is the slightly madcap world of the Deshon Goat Depot. The Deshons have been beating around the district for 5 generations, and for 3 have lived on Llanillo, a cropping and grazing property between Lightning Ridge and Cumborah. It was here that Nick and Siggo grew up with their parents and 3 brothers. Nick has retained and expanded the family farm with his wife Cath and sons Tom, 22, Harry, 21, and Jack, 18. “Cath – the war and finance officer – works as a teacher in Walgett, and I’m happy to leave the grazing and cropping to the boys and concentrate on goats,” Nick says. “It’s a bit part-time, a bit of fun and more entertaining than the rest of farming.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #153

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2024