ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A local grazier has today felt himself slip from his usual stoic old self in to a hot-headed sheep handler that he barely recognises.

Mr Forbes Yeoval, of “World’s End” via Betoota, told The Advocate in the front bar of the Friendship Inn this afternoon that possibly due to a number of external factors providing him stress and worry, he began to handle is maligned crossbreds with a heavy hand.

“Fucking things,” he said.

“Fucking feed them up all winter and the market shits itself. I can’t even give the fucken things away. Not worth the fuel taking them to market, not worth a bullet, either. Fucking things. I wish they were all merinos.”

The usually phlegmatic 65-year-old primary producer once oozed the embodiment of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. Taking over the property under duress after his father’s premature demise, Forbes has faced many challenges in his time as Emperor of World’s End. From wars against the Australian Tax Office, his neighbours, National Parks, his own children. He’s fought droughts and plagues of locusts. Argued with a litany of 25-year-old “agribusiness specialists” at the bank. Survived the wool crash. Had hail smash a canola crop the one year he couldn’t stretch to insure it. Anything that can go wrong in the world of primary production in our part of the country, it has happened at some point to Mr Yeoval.

Each of these challenges has been met with pensive pause and a rational thought. Quick to anger but never violent.

“I found myself punch sheep today, don’t think I’ve ever done that. Not since I was a young fella, anyway. Not even in the wool crash. It burned my heart to shoot as many as I did. I can still see the hill we cut into with the dozer and the yards we put up. We just shot em and chucked them in the cutting. Terrible,” he continued.

“Today, you know, fighting sheep with your hands is silly. They don’t feel it, you know, it’s like an old man punching a bloke with half a dozen wooly jumpers on. Silly. Like that Caligula declaring war on the sea, it is. Foolish,”

“Fucken not easy, it is.”

More to come.


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