Wimmera Farmer presents a monthly feature that profiles young people in agriculture and looks at what drove them to a life on the land
FAMILY farms are common in the Wimmera, but for the Bourchiers at Jilpanger, working alongside their loved ones has a much bigger meaning.
Husband and wife team Tom and Lucinda Bourchier not only live together, but work together on the farm each day.
Tom, 27, and Lucinda, 25, work on Tom’s mother Lyn’s farm at Jilpanger along with his brother Jack.
The pair also own another property at Goroke.
”We help mum and Jack on their farm and they help us on ours,” Tom said.
Between the two properties the family grows crops, mainly wheat, canola and hay and they also run sheep and cattle.
For both Tom and Lucinda, farming was always on the cards – but they took different paths to get there.
Tom grew up on the farm with his mother and brother.
“It was always in my blood,” he said.
“I never had any aspiration to do anything else but farming.”
Tom studied a Certificate IV in Agriculture at Longerenong College.
“That was a great way to meet new friends,” he said.
“From there I went straight onto the farm.”
Tom said he was drawn to farming because of the hours and the lifestyle of the job.
“You get to see your achievements through what put in the ground,” he said.
“If you look after it right, it turns into dollars at the end of the year.”
Lucinda’s parents are farmers at Goroke, so she also grew up on the land.
However, she studied hairdressing and worked at a salon in Horsham, before returning to the farm.
“I studied hairdressing straight after finishing school and worked until I decided to come onto the farm full time when we got married a couple of years ago.”
The couple married in March 2015.
“Tom grew up in Horsham and I grew up in Goroke,” Lucinda said.
She said moving to full-time farm work was an easy decision.
“I enjoy working with Tom and it was nice coming from something different like hairdressing,” she said.
“Farming is rewarding and it’s great to work so closely with your family.
“Seeing the results you get from sowing or lambing is always a good feeling.
“You only get results from year to year so you only have one chance to change something every 12 months.
“It’s good to see those results and learn from them.”
For Tom, working alongside his wife is equally rewarding.
“It’s great having Lucinda on the farm – she does most of the sowing and header work, and then she comes inside and cooks me tea,” he said.
“However when you have an argument in the paddock, it follows you home.”
Tom and Lucinda bought land at Goroke about two years ago and hope to grow their own farm in the future.
Tom said the farm was mainly used for cropping.
“We’re into controlled traffic and trying to make the soil as healthy as possible and improve it as much as we can,” he said.
Tom said it was difficult to find great agriculture land for sale in the Wimmera.
“We are still paying off debts from it, but we hope to expand it and start building our own business,” he said.