The Wagga Wagga district is enjoying a handy season at the moment as we come into August.
It's decision time for producers who are fortunate enough to have grazing crops to decide whether to lock up for grain or hay or continue to graze.
The next month's rain will be crucial to how the season will pan out. Early this week some areas of southern NSW did get some rain and this will certainly help.
The lamb market at Wagga was slighty cheaper last week as processors decide to cut back on kill numbers and wait for new season supplies of lambs to come forward, but there's certainly no complaints on this end.
Cattle producers that have been able and willing to feed their stock to this point are now being rewarded for their efforts.
Cows have recorded a massive rise in the past few weeks to now be making between 280 and 305 cents a kilogram for the best heavy types.
I went to a mental health fundraiser last Friday at Wagga raising money for the Black Dog Institute.
The 1999 Rugby World Cup winning Wallaby prop and Bungendore grazier Richard Harry spoke at the event not only about how important it is to talk to your mates and make sure they are okay, but he also offered some great advice on what it takes to achieve success.
Many individuals come together and form a team to complete a task and each individual has to be willing to "stick their head in a tough situation" for their mate.
This made me think of the people, organisations and team work involved every week in the livestock industry at the forefront and behind the scenes.
Farmers and their families work tireless hours on farm to feed and look after the stock.
Shearing teams work day in day out to harvest wool and present sheep and lambs for market.
Transporters often go to great efforts to put loads together to travel big distances in order to get stock to the right market.
Agents and saleyard staff work through the night to draft and pen stock for sale at the saleyards.
Meat companies organise their staff, stock numbers, buyers, not to mention the sale of the meat domestically and overseas.
We also rely on organisations such as Meat and Livestock Australia , Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association, and the Local Land Services for overseeing our biosecurity and markets.
There are many more involved, but all of these different parties who all strive with a common goal in mind.
Some may think profit, but I see that its passion for the industry and the lifestyle they live.
Just like a great rugby team representing the people of Australia, the hard knocks people in rural areas take and the extra hit up they do isn't for the money, it's for the spirit of Australia.
That spirit is alive and well in the bush, maybe our wallabies need to visit some of the drought affected communities to relinquish the desire to stand up, go again, even when it seems everything is against the odds.
I'll sign out with a quote I like from rugby league coach Jack Gibson's book:
"Many men have become great because they have been able to rise above defeat.
"If you should achieve any kind of success and develop superior qualities as a man, chances are it will be because of the manner in which you meet the defeat that will come to you, just as it will come to all men."
Never give up!
- Alex Croker is a director of H. Francis and Company, Wagga Wagga, and a member of Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association (ALPA).