Full steam ahead for the Fulwood family

05 Feb, 2018 04:00 AM
Em Fulwood (left), holding daughter Sylvie (1) and her husband Ty with their second daughter Eugenie (3 months) in front of the maintenance truck as they get everything ready for the year ahead on their Southern Brook property.
Em Fulwood (left), holding daughter Sylvie (1) and her husband Ty with their second daughter Eugenie (3 months) in front of the maintenance truck as they get everything ready for the year ahead on their Southern Brook property.

THE family holiday is over as Ty Fulwood prepares for a busy year ahead at Mt Noddy Farms, Southern Brook

Ty and his wife Em used their break to have some family time after the stressful months of harvest.

With late nights and long days Ty didn’t get to see much of his young daughters, Sylvie and Eugenie, unless they came out to the paddock with Em.

“Eugenie was born in the middle of October last year so I had Ty to help me for 10 days before he started harvest,” Em said.

“Sylvie was born at the end of September in 2016 so I only had Ty for three weeks then as well,” she said.

This year will be a full-on one for the family with renovations to their house and they have taken on a lease of 1214 hectares, with 4600ha now run in total.

With 1550ha in Northam, and just over half of the farm in the Tammin/Quairading area, Ty, his father Ray, full time worker Aaron and Em’s father Steve find themselves busy all year.

“The plan this year is to get things done on time,’’ Ty said.

“Last year and in previous years we have bitten off a lot with deep ripping and spading.

“We are going to give it a rest this year so we can handle putting a crop in on time.”

Ty is tidying things up post harvest, and working his way into the 2018 season with seed cleaners coming out this week.

Ty said he only just got back from holidays but he is already writing a list of things he needs to do.

“Fixing fan belts, fixing field bins, meeting with the agronomist are just a few things that will be happening,” he said.

“Get the seed done, get the fertiliser delivered then go on holidays again,” he joked.

Other things on the list include setting up the new tractor on the seeding rig, trying to get the summer spraying done and to get the headers in the shed with all the maintenance taken care of before March.

Ty said he would love to deep rip again this year but will only consider it if they have got everything else organised.

“If we didn’t take on the lease we would be ripping now, but we try to prioritise and not spend too much,” he said.

Two weeks ago they received up to 85 millimetres of rain which was a nice amount of sub-soil moisture for their cropping-only farm.

Ty said this year’s program will be about 30 per cent barley, 40pc wheat and 30pc break crops including canola, which makes life a bit easier.

Ty didn’t go straight into farming, after school he studied a science and chiropractic degree before completing his masters in commerce.

He moved to Sydney, where he worked in a bank for a few years.

“At 30 I thought it would be a pretty good opportunity to come home and be part of the family business and live a pretty good life,” he said.

After six years Ty still remains on the farm, although he is accompanied by a wife and his two daughters.

Ty said Ray had been there a few years without kids and thinks he was shocked when Ty said he was returning, but now seems to be having a lot of fun with the family around.

Ray moved to the Southern Brook property in 1978, relocating from Cunderdin where the Fulwoods started farming more than 105 years ago.

“The original farm is about 105 to 110-years-old, although when there are a few people in the family who want to farm, everyone goes in different directions and this is where we ended up,” Ty said.

The Tammin block was bought by Ty and his father the year after Ty moved back onto the farm, which he said in hindsight was a bit crazy.

Around the time they bought the farm Ty met Em and they started dating.

The pair went to primary school together and reconnected after all those years.

“I went to primary school here in Northam, then I went away to boarding school and after that I went to nursing school,” Em said.

She worked in Perth for 10 years at Sir Charles Gairdner and Hollywood hopsitals before going north.

After managing the cancer service in the Pilbara, Em moved back to Northam where she continues to work with cancer services, when not on maternity leave.

“I do the same thing down here and the cancer service here is expanding rapidly in the Wheatbelt,” she said.

Both Ty and Em are keeping their hands full with children and more land leading them into the 2018 season.



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