Wirrinya's Monica Langfield is farming for the love of the land

Monica Langfield can't imagine doing anything other than farming.
Monica Langfield can't imagine doing anything other than farming.

Ten years ago Monica Langfield had an office with a view of Canada’s Rocky Mountains.

Now she opens her eyes in the morning and looks over the crops growing on her Wirrinya property.

Dry winters and frosts notwithstanding, she reckons that’s pretty good.

“I love my spot in the world,” she said on Friday, when the Advocate caught up with her to talk about farming in the lead-up to National Agriculture Day.

And she can’t imagine life any other way.

“It’s got to be in my blood,” she smiled. 

“I bought my first mob of sheep when I was eight.

"I saved the money from anything, picking snails out of the garden, bagging up manure and selling it on the side of the road.”

While Monica dreamed of running her own farm, she hadn’t thought she’d get a start on the family property near Cowra.

She studied Ag Commerce, earning honours in financial management and working in financial planning during those years.

The job was good ... but being in an office all day was not.

Monica had fallen in love with Canada during a farm exchange after school, so looked for opportunities there.

At 23 she became the general manager of Canada's largest feedlot, overseeing 100,000 head across 10,000 acres of land with three sites.

From her office, she looked over the spectacular Rocky Mountains.

Then, while visiting, her dad asked whether she was still interested in running her own farm.

“It was a tough decision,” she acknowledged. “I loved Canada.”

This year marks seven years since she made the decision to take up the property at Wirrinya, 50km from Forbes, and there are days when the reality of being a sole trader hits hard.

“It’s seven years since I’ve had a regular income,” she points out.

Last year, the Wirrinya property copped a hail storm right before harvest.

This year the rain just didn’t come – and then the frosts bit hard.

But there are benefits.

“Every day is different,” Monica said.

“Spraying, sowing, harvest, machinery repairs, repairing fences … there's a lot of maintenance.

“I'm back and forth between here and the property at Cowra, I help dad with the sheep work.”

And while Monica loves the quiet space of her farm, she's also fast become heavily involved in the Wirrinya community.

She's now president of the Wirrinya Progress Association, which just gained funding for and erected a new fence around the local tennis courts, and the Wirrinya Silo Committee.