Learning young

Learning young

Isaac and Isabella McGlone have grown up on the land. 

On the family farm in the rolling hills of Alcomie, the siblings share in the day-to-day of running a property. 

It is here that over the years, Isaac has developed an interest in crop farming. Simple stuff, he says, like turnips and potatoes. 

Of course, then there’s the machinery, of which he’s taken a particular liking to tractors. 

“Ever since I was young I’ve been riding motorbikes. I’d follow behind and shut the gates,” says the 14-year-old. 

“Then I got older and started driving tractors. I’ve gotten more and more involved.” 

Isabella, on the other hand, takes comfort in the company of her animals. 

There’s a horse, goat, rabbit, dog, cockatoo, plenty of chickens, calves and lambs to be fed. Not forgetting the aquarium of fish indoors. 

Recently the siblings have taken on a more hands-on approach to the management of the property. 

The primarily beef business runs around 1000 acres across four farms. One with a spring feeding into Muckeye Creek and another runs into Deep Creek then Lake Mikany – Smithton’s water supply. 

Through the Cows out of Creeks program, the McGlone siblings have worked to fence-off these waterways from livestock. 

The DairyTas and state government initiative offers up to $5000 for off-stream watering systems such as troughs, pumps, pipes, water tanks and fencing to ensure cows don’t walk through waterways. In the latest round, TasWater provided funding for the McGlones to install fencing and water troughs. 

What once was four water troughs supplying 700 acres, is now subdivided into five-acre lots as many as 25 troughs and fencing right along the creeks. 

The river’s edge is now lined with shelter belts and rejuvenating from where stock used to cross. 

While the siblings have lived on the farm their whole lives, this is the first major project the pair have taken on themselves. 

“It all starts upstream,” says Isaac. 

“What we do here will affect our neighbour down the road and flow downstream to contaminate Lake Mikany.” 

He adds the project is helping productivity too, by fencing-off the streams they are no longer wasting resources rescuing cattle from muddy creeks. 

Isaac and Isabella will continue to drive the project as part of an ongoing management plan for the property. 

Alcomie’s Isaac, 14, and Isabella McGlone, 10, have been in charge of the Cows out of Creeks project on the family farm, where they are learning new skills such as fencing. Picture: Ashleigh Force.