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A day in the life of...

Chris and Sarah Hines - livestock producers in Victoria

Raising a family is hectic at the best of times, especially for a family of six; but add in 1,200 head of cattle, 3,000 ewes, 800 acres of crop and 3,500 acres of your mother-in-law’s land to manage – and you’ve got one heck of a schedule to keep.

That’s the challenge for Chris and Sarah Hines in Victoria. If you received our annual magazine this month you would have read about the Hines, one of Australia’s busy farming families, juggling business and farm responsibilities along with family and community commitments.

With four children: Emma (17), Tom (15), Sophie (13) and Felicity (9) – the Hines have organisation down to a fine art form.

From shearing, crutching and cultivating to tennis, footy and netball training, here’s what the Hines family gets up to...

Life at the Hines property during lambing and calf marking season


Mornings

 

6.30am – Wake up call for everyone, except those who are already out of bed tending to specific jobs on the farm.

7.00 – Sarah makes lunches and rushes around to help the kids get ready and off to school. She often drives them to the end of the gate for school pick up.

7.30 – The bus collects all four kids up at their roadside front gate – a luxury Sarah knows isn’t afforded to most farming families.

8.00 – Chris and Sarah put on their business hats and head out to meet staff or contractors at the stables. Most mornings Chris and Sarah get the day under way by talking to the real boss, Sarah’s Mum.

Throughout a typical day

 
While the kids are at school, Chris and Sarah can be found managing any and all of the following activities: arranging and managing feed, ordering supplies and directing contractors; repairs and maintenance of fencing and facilities;
Seasonal activities can include shearing, crutching, cultivating, drenching, dagging and cattle A.I. program activities.
Though it’s not the most fun, no producer can avoid office work – although for some it’s more of a mobile office.
Mondays and Fridays Chris and Sarah make the rounds checking paddocks, water and stock and stock feeding – making silage for young stock or hay for cows

Weekday afternoons

 

4.00pm – The kids arrive home and first thing’s first – homework. Only after that can they participate in any after school activities like sport training or Crossfit classes, which they attend at “Em’s Shed,” a neighbour’s shed down the road.
Often the kids, who love the freedom of farm life, will spend the last of the day’s light helping out as needed.

Weekends

 
The weekends are dedicated to family time and the Hines only tend to essential farm work, like checking stock that are lambing or calving. They like to relax by having a family BBQ or catching up with other family members, who thankfully are just down the road. They also spend a lot of time transporting the kids’ to and from sport in town (40 kms away) as weekends are the main competition days.