Juggling motherhood, farming and stud cattle

Chris and Elisa Fox from Cooinda Santa Gertrudis stud near Proston.
Chris and Elisa Fox from Cooinda Santa Gertrudis stud near Proston.

GROWING up in Queensland's brahman country, Elisa Fox has fond memories of a childhood on the land.

It wasn't until moving south for university and meeting her husband she discovered santa gertrudis cattle.

"I left the station in the gulf and moved south to go to Gatton College," she said.

"Chris and I met in the first week and we've been joined at the hip ever since.

"It's a little embarrassing to admit, but I really only knew of brahman cattle and you saw the odd hereford throwback in North Queensland."

Chris and Elisa now run Cooinda Santa Gertrudis stud from their property just outside Proston.

Chris' parents Tom and Coralie Fox purchased their first santa gertrudis bulls in 1966. The Fox family are celebrating 50 years in santas this year.

Across the road from the in-laws, Elisa and Chris run 400 stud and commercial santa breeders and associated dry cattle on around 10,000 acres. With four children in tow, Mitchell (10), Hayley (8), Liam (4) and Patrick (2), Elisa said life on the land was "nuts." Elisa isn't one to shy away from hard work and spends her days working the property alongside her husband.

"For a long time I tried to do it all," she said.

"I'd often have the kids propped up in the tractor beside me.

"Patrick with a bottle of milk... would end up vomiting in the tractor," she joked.

"But there came a point when I realised I couldn't do it all and we decided to get a nanny to help with the kids. Now when I get inside I don't have to worry about cleaning the kitchen before I start cooking dinner, or keeping up with the washing.

"It's made me a better mother and a better farmer now I'm not so exhausted all the time."

The couple grow forage sorghum for silage and oats to feed the bulls. Each year they aim to have around 70 bulls ready for sale. In a first for Cooinda Santa Gertrudis their sale will be held on property. The complex is "almost" ready to go.

"There's lots of reasons we decide to move the sale to our property," Elisa said.

"We started discussing it last year when we were in the process of dismantling portable panels and carting them home.

"It takes a lot of pressure off us and the bulls. They are a lot more comfortable being in their own yards."

Previous top prices for Cooinda include $16,500 at a multi-vendor sale and $10,000 at their own. The Cooinda Santa Gertrudis sale will be held on September 17 kicking off at noon.

For more information call 07 4168 9343.

Topics:  farming gympie life proston rural santa gertrudis

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