Cattle-loving brothers won't let drought hold them back
RISING early to take their beloved cattle out to pick at sparse shoots of grass on the side of a dusty road is the morning ritual Lachie and Riley Bacon have bonded over since drought took hold of their parents' Freestone property.
"It's pretty sad. Usually this time of year we have feed growing as high as my hip," Lachlan said.
For 11-year-old Riley, the biggest shock has been seeing how expensive the hobby becomes when the price of feed goes up and up each week.
"It's hard. Everyone is going through hard times," he said.
But the harsh reality of a dry climate has not deterred the Freestone brothers from their passion.
When they are not at school or doing homework, their time is spent feeding and grooming a small herd of prize-winning Hereford cattle.
Since Lachie was crowned most successful exhibitor at the Allora Show on Saturday, you could assume he is in it for the glory.
But it's a love of animals that really drives the 14-year-old cattleman to put in all the hard work.
"They are exactly like dogs," he said. "They are so friendly. They let you have a scratch."
With two beasts claiming champion titles in the stud cattle section at the Allora Show, Riley said the event was a good place to get your name out as a breeder.
The hard-working brothers can both see a future for themselves in the farming industry.
"I love it. Every day just seeing the cows and doing a fair bit with them feels good," Riley said.