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Balance key to country life

BUSY: Palgrove co-owner Prue Bondfield loves having both the business headquarters and family home at their Dalveen property.
BUSY: Palgrove co-owner Prue Bondfield loves having both the business headquarters and family home at their Dalveen property. Hayden Smith

SHE has co-operated a successful cattle breeding and genetics business for 25 years now, but Prue Bondfield will always treasure her city upbringing.

Since 1989, Mrs Bondfield and husband David have been owner/operators of Dalveen-based Palgrove, an industry leader in the research and production of cattle genetics for clients in Australia and overseas.

Although, it's fair to say that as a former corporate lawyer in Brisbane, Mrs Bondfield's career took a surprise turn.

A Dalveen B&S Ball proved the game changer for Mrs Bondfield, which is exactly where she met David after travelling down on a bus from Brisbane with friends.

"A friend said that we had to come here and check it out, so we climbed into the bus and down we all went," Mrs Bondfield remembered.

She soon moved to the region, and the pair took over the Palgrove Charolais stud, which had been founded by David's parents Peter and Valerie in 1970.

Determined for success in her new career, Mrs Bondfield hit the books in search of a way to get up to speed in a completely unfamiliar industry.

"I thought I needed to learn about farming and what we were doing," she said.

"I've done a number of courses to help fill in the gaps, I'd rather learn theory and then put the practical on top of it."

But the skills obtained through her stint in law have made this ongoing learning process much easier.

"The interesting thing is how you use the discipline and research skills," Mrs Bondfield said.

"That background has really helped strategically, you know where to find stuff out."

Mr and Mrs Bondfield are now make the perfect team, both of whom know their roles in the management of the business.

"I couldn't do David's job and he knows he couldn't do mine," Mrs Bondfield said.

Mrs Bondfield is thankful for what she has gained from life in both the city and the country, saying that both lifestyles offered something unique and valuable.

"It's really nice to balance both of them out," she said.

"There's a certain integrity that comes with country people, and I still contact people in Brisbane for fresh ideas and perspectives on business."

With her three children now living in Brisbane and Sydney, Mrs Bondfield cherishes every moment the family has together at their 600 hectare property 'Strathgarve' - the place they call home.

"Every time you drive home from Brisbane, you just feel so good," she said.

"There's a lovely, peaceful feel to the place."

When a rare spell of free time presents itself, Mrs Bondfield enjoys family holidays and hiking expeditions with friends in scenic New Zealand.

"Our whole world is travel - three of four times a week we are somewhere else for work," Mrs Bondfield said.

"But when we travel we try and have a night extra somewhere."

Topics:  palgrove