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The Bush Store & Stories of Living on an Australia Station

Stories From The Bush – Our Stories are from our community of Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business, stories of Australian’s who work and live in Rural and Regional Australia.

The Bush Store owned and run by Tricia Agar and stories of what it’s like living and working on a huge Australian outback station.

A Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business, Business Owner’s Story

 

Today we chat with Tricia who lives on a massive Queensland station and runs a Business called The Bush Store and a Facebook group called Bush Kids.

This transcript was made by Rev.com – if you’d like to try it yourself click here: try.rev.com/3mmN2z

Transcript:

Jenn Donovan:

Why, hey there, and welcome to the fifth episode of the stories from the Bush podcast. I’m your host, Jenn Donovan, marketer, keynote speaker, social media Australianist, and rural girl. Pretty much obsessed with everything to do with rural Australian, small businesses.

Jenn Donovan:

I’m a farmer’s wife. I live in the Riverina of New South Wales with three children who are almost fully grown and ready to go out into the world. And I’m so passionate about sharing these stories of business and life in rural Australia on this podcast.

Jenn Donovan:

My business partners and I, Sarah Britz and Lauren Hateley, shout out to you, amazing ladies, are the co-founders of Spend With Us-Buy From a Bush Business. If you want to hear more about our story, how a clinical psychologist, a web designer, and a marketer came together to create this movement, then head back to our intro episode and hear how us three rural girls got together to make a big difference in rural and regional Australia. Or of course you can check out the About section on our website.

Jenn Donovan:

This episode is of course, brought to you by our Marketplace, which is Spend With Us-Buy from A Bush Business, which you can find@wwwdotspendwithus.com.au. And it’s an online marketplace for rural and regional small businesses supporting almost a 1000 small business business owners on the marketplace. But also we have a Facebook group called Buy From A Bush Business, which is supporting 100s of 1000s of small business owners.

Jenn Donovan:

And I think at the time of recording this, there was about 307,000 members in that group. We are like the mayors of our own little city. So obviously we love supporting rural and regional Australian small businesses. And this podcast is just another way of us sharing our love for that. We’d love you to check us out on our marketplace and support rural and regional Australian, small businesses. Even if you just recommending one to a friend.

Jenn Donovan:

Stories I’ve heard, emails I’ve received, messages I’ve read, are all heartwarming and devastating and amazing. But they all have this common thread of resilience and community. It’s these characteristics that have led you to hearing a series of 10 stories on season one of this podcast, stories of amazing business owners, doing amazing things, stories of friendship, mateship, diversification, and of course, resilience and community.

Jenn Donovan:

With all my heart I hope you are enjoying listening to these stories as much as I loved interviewing each one of these Australian rural business people. Today on episode five, I have Tricia Agar. She has a retail business called The Bush Store, runs a Facebook group called the Bush Kids and lives on an 89,000 acre station in South West Queensland.

Jenn Donovan:

Tricia is everything you want in a lady of the land, realistic, enthusiastic and oh so passionate. You will definitely hear her passion as you listen to this interview. Passion for the land, for the Bush, for her family, for her friends and for the survival of our significant agriculture industry. Tricia travels over 250 kilometers, just do the grocery shopping and has lived on this station for over 20 years with only six of them being in “good years”. That’s resilience at its best right there. I know that you are going to love Tricia’s story. So with that in mind, sit back, grab yourself a drink and listen to episode five.

Jenn Donovan:

Welcome Tricia to the podcast. I’m really excited to have you on today to talk about The Bush Store, but also the big station that you live on. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live?

Tricia Agar:

Certainly Jenn. Thank you so much for having me with you today. It’s a really great honor. Well, Jenn, we are an 89,000 acre sheep and cattle property, which is line of sight, directly about 11 hours West of Brisbane. So if you draw a line West of Brisbane and they intersect with Cairns, in the North of Moranbah, you’ll find Wyandra.

Tricia Agar:

So we’re in what’s called the Southwest Queensland. So we’re not that far from the New South Wales border, about three hours. So we’re down on the bottom part of the state, but fairly well out into the isolated rural area.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. Right. So where’s your nearest big town?

Tricia Agar:

Okay. Well Wyandra, where I live West of, it is only 26 kilometers away, but there’s only about 45 people that live in there. So our shopping area is either go North to Charleville, which is for me 126 kilometers or South to Cunnamulla, which is another 126 kilometers. So to go and do the groceries, it’s 252 kilometers as a round trip. And I usually do that once a week or every 10 days or sometimes two weeks. Depends on what’s going on.

Tricia Agar:

So we’ve been here for 20 years, and probably 14 of the last 20 years have been extremely dry. So we’ve had six years of good average rainfall and they were brilliant, we loved them. And then we’ve had times where it’s been just so extraordinarily dry that we’ve had to push over the fodder tree, called the mulga tree, and use that in order to keep our sheep and cattle going when we haven’t had any grass whatsoever. In fact grass, we haven’t seen any that here prior to this current rain event we’ve had, for years. We’re just about to get what it looks like.

Tricia Agar:

But our country being what it is, as long as we’ve got saligna we can keep ourselves going. Or use this tree called the mulga tree. It’s like a standing haystack basically. So, you push it over and the cattle and sheep, goats, whatever, will eat the leaves. And then it just regenerates. You can never beat a mulga tree. So it’ll just come back up on its own accord, it’ll come back thicker. So the mulga just replaces itself, thicker. So thick, that really thick and dense mulga forest, that nothing can grow on the ground underneath it. Nothing. It’s there, it’s like your floor.

Tricia Agar:

And so it becomes like a monoculture. And so in a really dense mulga forest, you don’t even have the birds. They’re not even there because there’s nothing there for them.

Jenn Donovan:

Wow.

Tricia Agar:

A few ants, a few lizards, that sort of thing. So the mulga tree is one of those trees that absolutely need to be managed. And people have to have an active management plan enabled to keep on top of them, otherwise your place will become worthless, just full of mulga and nothing else. And you can’t do anything with it. And the problem is [crosstalk 00:07:04]. Sorry?

Jenn Donovan:

Do they just grow along river lands or do they grow…

Tricia Agar:

No. More of a semi-arid area. Mulga, it covers a huge swathe of your semi-arid, country types, it grows out in Northern territory. You’ll find some over in WA, there’ll be certain mulga types. It grows down in New South Wales. It’s a very prevalent tree. It’s everywhere. There’s various varieties of it.

Jenn Donovan:

I’ll have to Google it and see what it looks like.

Tricia Agar:

Yeah. Well, it just saved countless, I would not know how many millions upon millions of animals over the years. And because we so used to it, we know how to utilize it, then it just becomes an ongrowing tool, really for us, part of our business management plan.

Jenn Donovan:

That you’re a sheep and cattle property. So how many sheep and cattle would you normally run? And how many are you actually running now, given that we have had such a serious drought for a long time?

Tricia Agar:

Well, our cattle numbers are drastically reduced. We’re probably back to about 300 cows and our sheep numbers, they should be around at the 5,500 to 6,000 mark. They’re back at 2,500. So we’ve really had a massive decrease in what we are running. And so therefore going forward, you’ve then got the shortfall haven’t you? Then you can’t do much and you know that. You’ve got a shortfall about the income coming in and still being able to manage and run your place.

Tricia Agar:

So, it’s had a massive impact and it’s also put us into the fodder market, into the hay market. So we’ve had to buy huge amounts of hay just to keep our sheep and cattle going, because we were so severely restricted out of the mulga, and they did it to us in the middle of all of this drought.

Tricia Agar:

So in March last year, suddenly changed the laws. And what you were doing one day was right, the next day you couldn’t do it anymore. So then you had all these numbers of sheep and cattle, and then you’ve suddenly got sheep in paddocks, and they’re in a poor condition, you’ve got to find your water sources. So there was all sorts of things that happened. And what that did to us was push us into the fodder market. So we spend 100s of 1000s of dollars to try and keep our sheep and cattle going.

Jenn Donovan:

You sent me a little brief, of course, before we started this. So it’s just not you and your husband, you actually have other family members that are working the farm with you as well.

Tricia Agar:

Yes, we have three daughters. So they range from 24 to 18. So currently we’ve had two of our daughters working here. One left high school a year or so ago. And then another one Zara she’s been here for several years with us and Isabella was here as well, working full time.

Tricia Agar:

So what happened is, without the support of our daughters on our place and especially through all this dry time, really, we would have been very stuck, just my husband and I to keep things running. For instance, my husband came off a motorbike and hit his head. So he knocked himself out and then he wouldn’t go to the doctor of course, and he’d severely hurt his shoulder.

Tricia Agar:

So he couldn’t raise his arm, couldn’t use it at all. And he’d already hurt the other shoulder about six months prior. So he only had limited use to that one. And he’s knocked out, and he was pushing scrubs. So he’s in a dozer and he’s knocking over this tree, the mulga tree. He was about over an hour from our house down to the paddock he had to go to. And he was camping out every second night.

Tricia Agar:

And because he knocked himself out and I thought, well, I’d better go with him. So I then started to go with him every second night. So we’d camp out on our stretcher beds in a swag and a fire, just out in the bush. You didn’t worry about tents or anything like that. You just out under the stars, our canopy. And so I did that with him for, it must’ve been over two months, every second night for two months. Just because I knew he couldn’t be left.

Tricia Agar:

Because, he still had to drive this dozer with this terrible injury. And he couldn’t mix the lick, which is comes in 25 kilogram bags. And then I had to mixed salt with that. And I had to put them out every day. So I was mixing all this lick and carting that, which is fine, I was an able body, I could do it. But he couldn’t do it. So I had to go with him for those two months. And so we were showering in a bit of a gully and we’d run a hose off a pipe going to a trough, and you’d stand on a pallet.

Jenn Donovan:

What great marriage building entertainment you’ve had.

Tricia Agar:

Actually, I wasn’t a camper but I came to like it. Under the most beautiful stars, it’s just so glorious. You put your potato in al foil, throw it on the fire and take bit of steak down, a bit salad with, and we’d have that for dinner at night, and then you’d flop in your bed and he’d be up before daylight, of to this dozer and feeding these cattle.

Tricia Agar:

And eventually we’d make our way home. And meanwhile, the two girls at home Skye who was 18 and Zara who was 21, they would have all the animals to feed here. And they we’re feeding out something like six great big bales. It’s the big, 8′ x 3′ bales of hay, 650 to 700 kilogram bales a day. Our top blocks about 54,000 acres. So they would have to go out to the stock, pull out all this hay, and it was so hot. We’re talking February, we’re talking, March, we’re talking shocking heat.

Tricia Agar:

And they just had to keep going and do this every day, every day. And we couldn’t have done it. I couldn’t have gone with him and kept these animals at the top block going. So they become very vital to you. And they’re bush girls, so they’ll put up with it. You don’t get a day off, you just keep going. What’s Christmas day? Well Christmas Day sometimes, unfortunately… Last Christmas day, you’ve got to get up at 3:00 and go put out poly pipe out. So I love Christmas day, I don’t do that normally.

Jenn Donovan:

Oh my goodness, the stories. So I guess besides your massive sheep and cattle station, you do have a little sideline, which is how we have connected through a Buy From a Bush Business group. So can you tell us a little bit about your little side business that you actually have, which is more of a retail business?

Tricia Agar:

Yes. So it’s called The Bush Store and I started that along with two of my sisters back in 2017, the middle end of 2017. And my sisters are also bush women. So we’re the three bush sisters.

Jenn Donovan:

And so what was the inspiration behind it? Why did you decide to do that in 2007, did you say?

Tricia Agar:

’17.

Jenn Donovan:

’17. So you’re in a pretty heavy drought still, then?

Tricia Agar:

Yes. Well, I have a page on Facebook called Bush Kids and that’s got now over 47,000 people following it. And I was the retailer back when I was 18 and 19 in Charleville before and during the Charleville 1990 floods, and before and after the crash of the wool, when they took the wool FOB price away.

Tricia Agar:

And so I was a retailer when I was very young and I don’t think it ever really left me. And so I convinced these two sisters of mine that we could probably utilize the name of Bush Kids, so turn it into a store and so utilize the whole idea of Bush Kids and brand some things, and maybe we could sell a few items and branded merchandise, that sort of thing.

Jenn Donovan:

So what’s Bush Kids about then? Is it just you telling the story of being in the bush from a children’s point of view?

Tricia Agar:

Yes. I started that when I was sending my third daughter away to boarding school, she’d been integral in our whole feeding regime back in 2013. She was the only child we’d had at home at that point. We had two other girls away at boarding school. And I was sitting at the kitchen table sewing on name tags and I was feeling a bit, ah goodness me, what are we going to do without her? Because my husband and I at that point were feeding these little lambs. We were doing them with special ration of corn mixed with aglime and loosened hay and feeding them on board drains and all this stuff.

Tricia Agar:

And so that took us hours each afternoon to do. So I’d go and pick Skyesi up from Wyandra School, which is 26 kilometers away. Bring her home. And then Jeff and I would have to then go out, we’d have to mix up this corn and aglime. Skyesi often helped me do it, because Jeff was out in the bush and have to come back. And then we’d load up this U full of great big bales of loosened hay and this aglime and corn mixture. And we’d go away for hours feeding these sheep.

Tricia Agar:

And so she was left at home with all these potty names on the bottle, all these other potty names that went on a bottle, potty calves, horses, cattle everywhere. And she was only 12 and she’d have to fight her way through all of these groups of things. And they’re all at you, because they all want to be fed. And every day for months, she had to sort that out by herself. She was only 12. And she did. I’d call her up on the two-way, I’d say, Skyesi how are you going? Yeah good Mum. And I’d say, did you get all the animals fed? Yes. Have you got something on for dinner? Yes. I’d say, what have you got? Steak and chips.

Tricia Agar:

So that was out there for that many months. And anyway, I’d come home and put a salad with it and away we’d go. And it just got me thinking about how vital bush kids have been, not only to our family, but to every generation of Australian bush families, since Australia was formed as a nation. Really this nation was formed on the back of families, and it was the children that were integral to helping their families even achieve nationhood really.

Tricia Agar:

So I was just thinking about that sewing on name tags. And I thought, I’m going to start a Facebook page. It seems to be easy and so I did. It took off and it resonated, because it wasn’t just my story, I’m not interested in my story so much, it’s telling the story of people, families from around Australia. And so we have a network that even extends overseas.

Tricia Agar:

So we’ve got over 47,000 following that. And so people send in their photographs. It could be a kid playing in mud, it could be all the kids mustering. It could be all sorts of things.

Jenn Donovan:

Wow.

Tricia Agar:

And I share content. And I actually also write for the Rural Weekly usually once a month as a guest columnist. And all sorts of things that go on. And so it’s just one of the sites that you can… It’s family friendly content and we’re trying to bridge the gap.

Tricia Agar:

So a lot of city people connect with it. A lot of people used to be in the Bush now they live in the city, and they just love it because it reminisces about their childhood.

Jenn Donovan:

Yes, I can see that.

Tricia Agar:

And it’s still free. You live the life, you know it’s still free for a bush kid, isn’t it?

Jenn Donovan:

Yep.

Tricia Agar:

You’re still out working, they have to work. There’s no two ways about that, but they still get to do the fun things. Like when it rains, play in the mud or go ride their motorbike, or go off [crosstalk 00:18:40], all sorts.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, that’s right. So out of that was born The Bush Store.

Tricia Agar:

Yes. So out of that was born The Bush Store. And so we started off with branded merchandise and then thought we’d add a few little pretty things in there. [inaudible 00:18:55], or a show or something like that. But being a person who likes a message, I got one of my sisters who is a really clever artist. And so she drew up these really neat little drawing scores. It could be a cow and underneath the cow would say, I love Bush Kids. Or a sheep, I love Bush Kids.

Tricia Agar:

And then we started doing a Farmers Friend bag. So that’d be a farming scene on there and it’d say I’m Farmer’s Friend, that’s how we started off. Now we just say Farmers Friend. And that really resonates with people. Since we’ve been doing the Jute shopping bag, and they’re a really good quality one, they’re printed in Sydney with my sister Bridget’s design. We’ve sold over a 1000 of those, they $15 each.

Jenn Donovan:

Wow.

Tricia Agar:

And they just walk out, they walk out the door. So that’s the sort of thing I’m really passionate about, is messaging. So it’s that good message of agriculture, the good message of the bush, trying to bring back the linkages between city and country, and trying to help people understand that we actually need each other.

Tricia Agar:

And so that’s probably my heart. My passion is just to keep trying to send a good message about agriculture, about the bush and to engage our city cousins, because really we’ve lost them.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. And I think our passions probably lie in exactly the same spot. Which is partly why this podcast exists, is to hear stories of people who live rurally. You’re my first guest that has lived on an enormous farm. It doesn’t matter whether you’re living in a small rural town or whether you’re on a big station, there is that disconnect, which hopefully this podcast might go a little tiny way to bridging that gap. As has the group, the Buy From a Bush Business Group, which of course you have joined and you’re doing some posting in. How have you found that?

Tricia Agar:

Oh, well, I really like it because through the BIP packaging, you’ve given us the autonomy over our posts. And so we’re able to post at the time that we want, with the content that we want. And so I have found it very liberating. And then we can connect with it’s enormous customer base, well relations base, whatever we want to call it really.

Tricia Agar:

And so when I do posting in the Buy From a Bush Business I always try and give a bit of a story about rural industry. And I focus on us because I can provide photos for that and I’ll provide a little story. So recently we’ve been doing crutching, so I’ll put up a post about crutching, even some Timax video, few of the crutches. And then I’ll put along with that, some of our items that we are selling.

Tricia Agar:

So we have a beautiful range of leather handbags made in Sydney, by a Sydney handbag manufacturer. How unusual is that in today’s age?

Jenn Donovan:

Yes.

Tricia Agar:

So that’s one of the items and our Farmers Friends bag, and whatever else I’m trying to promote through the business. And I’m trying to engage people into what’s going on out there in agriculture, as well as show them what I’ve got. So it’s a bit of a twofold thing. And I like the fact that people are able to engage straight back. Underneath in the comments section, they can ask the question, I can answer it, et cetera.

Tricia Agar:

And so I found Buy From a Bush Business to be really liberating and found that some days there’s lots of people engaged and other days there’s not. But that’s okay, that’s just how it rolls. But it’s really been a game changer, the whole Buy From The Bush Campaign, that whole campaign has really changed the face of so many little bush businesses, I believe.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. And it’s one of those things of why didn’t we think of this earlier? Why hasn’t there been this movement of connecting the bush with the city a lot earlier? Or maybe there was, but it just didn’t quite get the traction.

Tricia Agar:

No. It didn’t resonate.

Jenn Donovan:

The whole, buy from the bush. And now I’ve got buy Bush From a Bush Business and there is the Empty Esky and there’s the Spin With Us, and there’s all these movements going on, all really at the end of the day, trying to do the same thing. You’re trying to connect rural Australia with perhaps urban and city Australia.

Tricia Agar:

Yes, absolutely. And it’s been a phenomenal success and I know a lot of small towns have always had this campaign called Buy Local.

Jenn Donovan:

Yes.

Tricia Agar:

Well that hasn’t had the same ring. It really has not resonated with people. And so the Buy From the Bush, it seems to have the ring, it seems to have a little bit of romance attached to it. There’s something that’s going on. People think, yeah, the bush, we want to know what’s going on out there. You hear these terrible stories about drought and flood and fire, and then when you put your own self in it and then they can connect with the person. It suddenly takes it to another level.

Tricia Agar:

And then, they’re on the end of the phone to you, talking about your stuff and [inaudible 00:24:02], tell them about what’s going on and they tell you a bit of their lives. And so then you’re building really a good solid bridge. And then you say, come out, come visit. And so people are, I believe genuinely trying to reconnect back with rural Australia.

Tricia Agar:

And as I was saying to you earlier 35 years ago, there were 340,000 registered primary producers in Australia. And today there’s fewer than 87,000. So on a 35 year span, we have contracted that much, we wouldn’t even be building MCG now. The numbers of people left in primary production. So that includes your fishermen, your bee keeper, your grazier, your farmer.

Tricia Agar:

So we’re in a very much a problematic situation where our rural and regional towns are declining at a rapid rate. People are moving into the cities. So we’ve got less and less people even out in these rural areas now. And then I believe that weakens Australia. I believe that that is very dangerous for Australia. Because once we have a shortfall in the numbers of people living in these rural and regional areas, then we’ve got a situation where our food security could be put in jeopardy. So we really need to look at it, not just from, oh, I need to make a bit of money to help me over this next grocery bill. It’s bigger than that.

Tricia Agar:

And so we have to become more… Even logistically thinking, what can we do to help push these politicians to make the environment in rural and regional Australia attractive enough that people can actually do industry again, do business again. And so it comes back to the political sphere where we have to have politicians in place that actually do the will of the people and not just do the will of the UN or the will of whoever is pulling their strings and paying… We’re paying their wages. But they don’t seem to be working for us. They appear to be working against us in a lot of instances.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. And I think as this group has, and as a lot of other online people have, we’re really building that community. And I think like you say, you put up a post, it’s not all about your products, but it’s about educating. And I guess most of the comments, or some of the comments are all going to be about building that community for you.

Jenn Donovan:

They’re about what you’re helping them educate them about, not just about your products. And that’s the thing I love about this group the most, and the whole movement is the whole community thing.

Tricia Agar:

Yes. It’s vital. Once, most people had a country cousin.

Jenn Donovan:

Yes.

Tricia Agar:

That was, we’re going out to the farm for the school holidays. We go there every day out to a granddad, to grandma or we going out to visit our cousins. It’s great, we love it, we go every holidays. And now it’s, we don’t even know where the milk comes from. And then we’ve got a problem with our… We could go on and on Jenn.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. Like you say, Tricia, we could talk about this all day. So what’s next with the big station? You’ve had a little bit of rain. So we’re recording this at the end of February 2020, for those who aren’t listening in real time. So what’s next with the station itself? Where do you see it heading?

Tricia Agar:

So last year we had probably a 100 to 125 millimeters of rain for the whole year. So this year so far, we’ve probably in spots have had that same amount of rain already this year.

Jenn Donovan:

Wow.

Tricia Agar:

So we’re so far advanced. It’s just incredible, we’re really…

Jenn Donovan:

You’ve got green grass somewhere.

Tricia Agar:

Well that’s right. We’ve got green vegetation. So it’s, yes, thank you God. Answered the prayers, I’ll tell you. And then so what we’re doing now is our calves have joined our ewes again, our out numbers have [inaudible 00:28:07] dramatically. We are just at the process at the moment of crutching. So that’s good to tidy the sheep up before shearing, which is in May. So that’s the sort of things that are happening here at the moment.

Jenn Donovan:

So you’ve had a good start to the year?

Tricia Agar:

Yeah. So there’s still lots of fencing to do. We have fences washed over. Big fences to keep the wild dogs out of a sheep blocks, they were knocked over. So that took weeks and weeks and they still haven’t stood them all back up. So there’s lots of work to go on.

Tricia Agar:

And when it’s been dry for so long, you actually stop all your maintenance work. And it’s more about just being in survival mode. And unfortunately you can get so far behind. And your fencing programs, your yard building programs, water implementation programs, you can get so far behind, even on your trying to get your takes all right, because you just been in survival mode. So it’s so exciting not to be in survival mode.

Tricia Agar:

And now we’re in the regeneration mode. But it’s always a cashflow issue when you being in drought for a long time. And truly there is no government tangible help out there. So you’re on your own. And so it’s trying to keep going, even though the season has improved dramatically, you’ve still got those pressures of, well now we don’t have many staff, but we’ve got all these bills, all these commitments. And so we still got to be able to make them. But look, with green grass around, yippee, you can make anything work.

Jenn Donovan:

It’s much better for the soul. What about The Bush Store? What’s next with The Bush Store? Where do you see that heading?

Tricia Agar:

Well two of my girls who’ve been partners with me since my two sisters finished, one’s going to Wyoming for five, six months. And the other one is going to go to a big cattle place, North up on Currie. So it means that Tricia all of a sudden is trying to run the store by herself. But then thankfully my eldest daughter’s come home. So I’m now roping her in so she can help me. She’s got a little baby, so it’s going to be a little bit interesting.

Tricia Agar:

Because we pop up at shows and events, you can’t just go by one. It’s got to be several of you to make that happen. So it’s recalibrating the whole business really because we’re going to be down a couple of people, but we’ll manage. I’ll even try rope my husband in, I don’t know.

Tricia Agar:

So as for going forward, we try and sell our message. So we do our t-shirts. We do little mugs. We do our Farmers Friend bags. We sell our beautiful leather handbags. So going forward, we just try and involve according to how we can best send the message effectively into the community. Plus also support Australian made where we can. That to me is very vital. So if we can support earing makers and clutch handbag, fashion handbag makers. What we can do, take some of the prettiness out there into the marketplace. And so that’s what we were about as well. It’s going to be fun as well.

Jenn Donovan:

Yep. Perfect. If someone wants to get in contact or have a look at the products that you’ve got on The Bush Store, or also in Bush Kids, where can they find those, how do they best get in contact?

Tricia Agar:

So the Bush Store is www.bushstore.net.au. And Bush Kids, well that’s Facebook page. I also have a webpage for that. We actually do a fundraiser for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and we do that via a calendar. And so we sell that calendar. We’ve done four calendars over four years. I’m just trying to work it out and how much we raised. Over $35,000.

Jenn Donovan:

Wow.

Tricia Agar:

And we choose a division each year. So the first year would be Queensland. The second year we did the Northern Territory, South Australia. Third year, we did Western Australia. And this year we’ve just sent off $12,000 to the New South Wales division of the RFDS.

Tricia Agar:

So that’s drawn from all around Australia, it’s Australia wide competition, and it comes down through all sorts of layers. And so that’s a really big, busy thing that we do. It takes up several months of my life.

Jenn Donovan:

[crosstalk 00:32:46]. You are an absolute example of if you want something done, ask a busy woman.

Tricia Agar:

Oh, well, it’s just that the Royal Flying Doctor is so near and dear to our hearts. He’s the Reverend John Flynn, 92 years ago started the Royal Flying Doctor Service. He was a Padre that went out on a camel into the far-flung remote areas of Australia, and could see a need for families.

Tricia Agar:

So he was a man who was all about building families in Australia. And he did that. He had a vision from God about how to do it, and he never let the vision go. And 92 years later, we’ve got this incredible Royal Flying Doctor Service. We’ve got, the School of The Air. There’s so many things that he did.

Tricia Agar:

And so we’re so thankful to be able to partner with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and help give back. That’s what every Australian, every one who ventures out into rural regional Australia, they could need Royal Flying Doctor Service at some point. And that’s what we love to support.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. That’s beautiful. And I’m sure they are so excited and thankful for everything that you do every year for them. Tricia it’s been a great conversation. I have absolutely loved this. I love your passion for the land, I love your passion for community. And I’ve just can’t thank you enough for taking the time out of your day, your very busy day, to come and have a bit of a chat on the podcast.

Tricia Agar:

Thank you so much, Jenn. And I’d like to congratulate you also for taking so much time, your energy, your passion, your commitment to even doing this Buy From a Bush Business, doing your podcast. You’re shining a light where there hasn’t been much of a light. And you’re giving voice to people out in the rural and regional areas. And it’s formed a platform that people can actually showcase their wares and also their stories.

Tricia Agar:

And so Jenn, congratulations must go back to you and your fellow admins for doing this. You do it out of the goodness of your heart. So thank you so much, Jenn. We really appreciate you and all the admins for everything that you’re doing to support bush businesses.

Jenn Donovan:

Tricia, that’s lovely. Thank you so very much. And I’ll definitely pass that on to my other little helpers that are brilliant as well. All right, Tricia thank you so much again for coming on and no doubt we will talk again soon.

Tricia Agar:

That’s lovely. Thank you, Jenn.

Jenn Donovan:

How was that? I hope you enjoyed Tricia’s story. Supporting rural communities is just so important. Without agriculture in Australia so much of what we know now in 2020 would simply cease to exist. Thank you so much for listening to season one, episode five. Please join me for episode six, where I will be chatting to another fabulous rural business owner.

Jenn Donovan:

If you haven’t checked out our marketplace, Spend With Us, then head to www.spendwithus.com.au. Head there and support rural and regional Australian small businesses. Don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast by hitting the subscribe button and we’d love a rating and a review if you’re listening on Apple podcasts as well, because that will just show how much you love these rural stories as well. See you on episode six.

 

Through droughts, floods, bushfires, and Covid19 – these are the stories of our Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business community.

Haven’t checked out our online marketplace as yet? Go to www.spendwithus.com.au and show your support for rural and regional small businesses by buying directly from them.

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