Pee Dee Pastoral Co
If there’s one place that epitomises the Macleay Valley’s rich agricultural history, it’s Pee Dee Station.
Andrew O’Sullivan is a fourth-generation beef farmer who runs the 4000 acre property near Bellbrook with his wife Bernadette and three children, Patrick, Tess and Thomas.
Peedee Pastoral Co produces beef cattle, which are sold directly to the market. They currently own approximately 500 breeders and 12 bulls, and pride themselves on the way they handle their cattle – producing consistently high quality animals.
“It’s all in the way you handle them,” says Bernadette. “If you scream at them or mistreat them, they will be stressed, which affects their quality. We talk to the calves and handle them every day, twice a day, so they’re used to having people around.”
The O’Sullivan’s were living in Tamworth when they decided to return to the Macleay Valley to help Andrew’s aging uncle manage the farm.
“We thought we’d give it a go for a couple of years and if it didn’t work out, we could always go back to plan A,” says Bernadette.
“That was six years ago – we’re here for life now! It’s great for our kids to have such a strong connection to the land and the place where their family has lived for generations. We love it.”
After the initial shock of relocating to a rural area, the family fell in love with the property, which includes 10km of Macleay river frontage in the pristine hinterland.
“There are hard times, but the lifestyle is pretty great,” says Bernadette. “When the kids are hungry they can pick oranges form our trees. These are the parts of farm life we love.”
Bernadette and Andrew are proud to be continuing the legacy of Andrew’s legendary grandfather, Paddy O’Sullivan, who received an OAM for his services to the Australian beef industry.
“Most people around here have a story to tell about Pee Dee farm and Paddy,” says Bernadette. “It feels really special to be part of a family farm – it requires so much trust and negotiation, but it’s worth it.”