Pastoral Company Websites & cattle station jobs

Recently I was asked about cattle station websites. There are only three reasons why a cattle station or pastoral company will have a website:

1. To attract new investment & keep current investors informed, if it’s a public company.

2. To attract new staff and to boost morale amongst existing staff.

3. To help boost the profile of the cattle station and market it, particularly to an urban audience, when it is for sale.

The first reason is an old reason and all the largest publicly owned pastoral companies have had websites for years, for investor-related reasons. But the later two reasons are relatively new. Now increasing numbers of cattle stations are designing a website with information clearly spelt out to attract the attention of prospective employees. It’s a competitive market, a large pastoral company needs to fill a lot of positions each year, and without a website they’ll struggle to find employees – it’s too easy to fill in an online form on a competitor’s website.

There are no other reasons why a cattle station business would bother with the expense of running a website. If the cattle station has any other business activity associated with it, such as a farm stay business, then obviously a website will be designed to attract farm stay visitors. But this website purpose is related to farm stay business activity/a tourism venture, not cattle station business activity. None of the very biggest cattle stations take paying guests. Some large ones do, but generally these are situated in more marginal country where they struggle to earn a good living just from running cattle. Otherwise, they wouldn’t bother with visitors. It is mostly family-owned small to medium sized farms that branch out into a tourism side-venture.

There are many cattle station owners that don’t have a website because they don’t want publicity (or expense) , and until they are certain the benefits outweigh the publicity, they won’t be motivated to create one. There are cattle station and farm websites that are detailed and personal but a number that provide little or no information in some particular areas, such as ownership details.

Tipperary, owned by Alan Myers QC, is the latest large pastoral company to launch a website. The Tipperary Group of Stations website is fairly typical – it lists the stations run as a conglomeration – Tipperary, Douglas, Elizabeth, Litchfield and Fish River; senior staff, including manager David Warriner; and employment information and links to job application forms. Being only new, presumably more information will be added in the near future.

Tipperary is a beautiful property and the buildings are absolutely magnificent – including the flashest sheds I’ve ever seen on a cattle station (huge and solidly built, with well draining cement floors). I was fortunate enough to visit when the zoo animals were still in residence. Seeing the zoo keeper take off on his bright red gyro, to do a lap of the hippos etc, was a particularly memorable sight; as was seeing the brother of Chainsaw (a renowned rodeo bull) parked with a tiny pony in the massive horse complex. Developer Warren Anderson certainly created a unique environment.

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