Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Life on a Farm and the Ever After??

Living on a farm certainly presents some unique challenges at times. One of these is retirement and planning for it. I have been following the media lately about the upcoming budget. With the rumoured changes to the age pension eligibility to be hiked up to 70 years of age in 2029, I have calculated I will be in the group who will probably cop the phasing in of the new age requirements. We would probably not be eligible for it anyway. The question is what do we do with the farm? As part of the preparation for some big decisions ahead of us I have attended a Farm Succession Workshop with Isobel Knight from Proagtive  and she was extremely enlightening to workshop with. I have also listened to her DVD again and noted a few more things which I had forgotten about.
I have also done a free 4 week introductory unit with Open2study called Entrepeneurship and the Family Business which was quite good at explaining why only 30% of family businesses survive past 2 generations.
To see an example of that we have to look no further than ourselves where we were supposed to be part of a family business but in reality we weren't.My In laws wanted financial control to continue when they were no longer alive. My husband was promised a lot, experienced a lot, saw the goal posts continually shifted and encountered extremely poor communication skills coming from the older generation. He finally made a decision to leave when he realised the truth of what was happening.
 He has now become the entrepeneur and is quite good at it. Before that he was just an intrepeneur banging his head against the proverbial brick wall.
Succession planning is vitally important for farm families if there is someone wanting to take over the farm. I think farming families in Australia will struggle in the coming years if this issue, along with all the other profit eroding issues aren't addressed.
We are in the situation where we have a younger family member wanting to follow in our footsteps, and we certainly do not want them to suffer like we did.

On a different topic, the Sydney Royal Easter Show has finished and the woodchopping events finalised. Bryan once again placed second in the World Treefelling Championship on Good Friday, this year he was cheered on by Team Wagner.  They had an eventful day seeing the Royals whizz past in their car, and managed to do lots of touristy things in the few days they were in Sydney.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"The Trouts " amid the News

What kind of title is this? You're probably asking. Remember what the Ivanhoe House  looks like, I have estimated the age to be around 100 years. I have been trying to find out as much about its history as I can with only a small degree of success.
 Yesterday, I took the dogs into the vet for their annual injections and the Ivanhoe story took a complete change of track.

Here is the roofing iron on the Ivanhoe veranda. I have pointed out to you before that there is no Australia printed on it, making this iron made in England before Lysaght Australia was formed.
Old tin roof at Ivanhoe
 Here is the newer tin roof in the shed built with Australian Made Lysaght Orb roofing. This gives some clues as to how old the shed is, built in the early 1960's.

 Look closely and you can read the name N.N.Trout.
Well it just so happened that Mrs Trout was at the vets yesterday getting her pet dog pampered. They have moved back into the area after selling Ivanhoe 50 + years ago and moving to Central Queensland. Imagine my surprise when the lady who I was having a casual conversation about dogs with, turned out to be a previous owner of our house and property. I made sure I left with her phone number and actually met Mr Trout out in the car park. He is pretty frail and has dim memories of Ivanhoe. Mrs Trout has promised me some photos and I'm quite certain some good stories about the house when they come to visit after Easter.
 We had some timely rain 4 weeks ago now and this was the grass 5 days after the first total of 30 mls. Shows you how "dead " the grass was. 2 weeks after the first lot we got a second fall of 100mls so we may now have enough pasture growth to help the cattle through the next few  months.

The great grandchildren visited their favourite great grandma, and claimed their "gates". They sure do grow up fast. Their great aunt and uncle finally met Emmerson, and they themselves can hardly wait to be grandparents in June this year. Great excitement coming up again for the family.                                           

 I have actually been sewing a New York Beauty UFO from about 10 years ago. I have 36 blocks and still playing around with them. I have to actually sew the black corners on the blocks yet.

Not sure how they will finally get arranged yet, but this was 3 variations that I managed to photograph.
Hopefully I can find some spare time while the woodchoppers are away at Sydney Show to continue working on these UFO's. It is Bundaberg Quilt Exhibition year and I must get something finished for it.
I'm still excited though about meeting Mr and Mrs Trout. I wonder if they can tell me if dances were really held in our lounge room as current folklore says.Judging by the pitmarks in the floor boards I would say so.
Will keep you informed.