Listen: Ian Lyons in conversation with Stephen O’Doherty.
Retired pastoralist Ian Lyons, from Molong in Central West NSW, has been on the land most of his life and he has seen droughts, floods and disease before. He is also a Christian Pastor and has learnt an important mantra from his dual roles.
The most important thing to remember, he says, is that you shouldn’t “make your farm an idol” and remember to put your Christian values and beliefs at the forefront of life.
Cattle bellowing for feed
Ian Lyons talked to Open House about the life of a farmer during drought “It can be very depressing. You go out the door every day and you see the same thing. You know, the bare paddocks and the cattle bellowing for feed and the sheep chasing every truck that goes through looking for a hand out – a feed sort of thing” he says
“You see a bit of dust, you know, going across the paddocks. It can be very depressing, unless you’ve got a hope that’s beyond the farm, it can get you down. As Christians we do have a hope that is beyond the farm. So it gives us hope and we believe that God’s in control and he will look after us.” Ian Lyons says.
People sympathetic and generous
The concern of people in the cities is appreciated by those in the bush says Ian.
“Really people are very sympathetic generally, and very, very generous. It is not to the forefront of their thinking every day. It’s only when there is a lot of publicity about it they start to think about it.”
A series of dry years
He agrees that although there are bursts of media and public interest a drought is not a sudden event.
“We’ve had about, I think, 22 months of dry weather. So it’s been going for a fair while. It’s been a series of dry years which was broken by a wet year in 2016.” he explained.
Difficult to make hay
“But the number of years before that we had a fair bit of dry weather. Out of the last five springs we’ve had only one good spring with makes it very difficult to make hay. The government says make hay which is a good idea. But unless you have a good spring and some good growth it’s very difficult to make hay.
“The most hay we’ve made apart from 20016 was just out of failed crops. You realise it’s not going to come to a good harvest so you cut your losses by cutting them. But it’s not particularly good hay.” says Ian.
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