♪ Oh my lord, take this soul ♪
♪ Lay me at the bottom of the river ♪
♪ Devil has come to carry me home ♪
♪ Lay me at the bottom ♪
♪ Bottom of the river ♪
[Jon Wright] Hello.
[Interviewer] Hey, why don’t we start
with you describing the work you’re doing.
It’s been 22 years,
I’ve been working on this line of cattle that we’ve got.
We’ve put this science on top
of what we do that makes it so interesting.
And we’re doing something that nobody else does.
My responsibility is to look after the land
but just a shame, I missed out on a lot.
Being gay in a small country town,
I guess, comes with its challenges.
The biggest thing is the difficulty
of having a partner, meeting a partner.
My mother passed away about 10, 12 years ago
and my father’s got Alzheimer’s
and is in the local nursing home.
So I’m the big boy in the house now, which is very sad.
As sorry, as I felt about myself
being a single gay, man in the country,
the sorry was never strong enough to make me change
and go and do something else.
So as much as the torment came.
It’s just pros and cons.
You know, do you want the farm?
Do you want what you’ve created to be into something?
Or are you going to just throw it away
and go and try to meet somebody in Sydney?
And I stuck it up, I guess.
I’ll keep you up at night, in my dreams,
but I mean that in a bad way.
Welcome to Coota Park.
I’m fourth generation farmer on this property.
In Australia the beef industry is responsible
for about 10% of all our emissions
as much as the whole transport industry.
And that’s not good.
Okay, let’s try.
Do you’ll get a premium for the work that you’ve done?
We have an on-property bull sale each year
which is in a months time.
With the bulls that you sell,
it is known that you’re specializing in conversion
and you’ve got many more data than other people have.
Is it paying?
Have you another daughter or son?
Whether people know that I’m gay
and whether that means people won’t come
and buy bulls from me
or people know we’re talking about climate change
and they won’t come and buy bulls from us.
It sends in the market and the industry
that you’re working and trying to work out,
is it all right to say it.
Be interesting to see how the bull sale goes
in a couple of weeks.
I feel for him if he doesn’t have a good sale.
He keeps on keeping on.
There’d be times I’d imagine when he’s lonely,
but I suppose everybody’s lonely at some stage.
If they’re on their own all the time.
If he had a partner, he’d be going a lot better.
If somebody did find him, it’d be fairly handy
bloke to be hanging around, I can assure you.
My main relationship was with a guy who was
a fashion journalist in Sydney.
Which was a fashion journalist meets farmer.
Really, he was the guy who should have been the farmer,
and I should have been the guy who should been
the fashion journalist.
Jamie, the guy that I went out with for five years
he bought this house in Cowra as an investment.
And so I moved into that house and lived there.
And then he used to come
up on the weekends and that sort of stuff.
And then eventually he moved to Cowra and we both lived here
for six months or something until it broke down.
It wasn’t easy for me,
particularly at that time, just at that time.
Not that I’m saying it was only difficult for me
but just at that particular time,
is the time that mum was diagnosed with cancer
and we were in the middle of a drought
and it was a pretty dark, dark time for me.
But that’s all part of the processes of putting things
in place to enable me to get through it.
So started lining up psychologists
and lining up medication
and all this for things, whatever it took to
to try and make me better.
But I certainly had to stop going to Sydney all the time
and looking for happiness and looking for love.
I think all his friends back in Sydney
apparently were having bets on how long he’d last
in Cowra, but he tried, which was amazing.
I used to say I had two jobs.
One was a farmer and the other one was a husband hunter,
And it was this sort of eternal struggle, I guess
to get into space where a might meet somebody.
And then if you didn’t the depression that came after.
The day that I came home and told my parents
that I was gay at the age of 28
and my mother just asked all the right questions
and did everything beautifully
and properly and intelligently.
And my dad sort of sat there and didn’t say much at all.
It’s hard father and sons working together
can be really, really hard.
And that’s two people making one decision
or old bull and young bull and all that sort of stuff.
He built the house that I now live in.
He created my whole world I guess.
He couldn’t understand why I needed to leave so much
and needed to go to Sydney so much.
And that you marry yourself to the land
and that’s what you do.
And you can see that he had a wife and children
living with him.
And so he had everything he wanted right there.
But he seemed to stick with me and I stuck with it, I guess.
There’s lots of other people out there
who have a similar experience.
I struggled with the prospect of being gay
for probably 20 odd years.
It’s quite a lonely situation.
I don’t think I could have come out and stayed in Cowra.
The ability to translate your life from say Cowra to Sydney.
It’s a lot easier for someone like me,
than it would be for someone like Jon.
He’s a farmer, not too many farms around here.
I can tell you.
I think he’s very brave.
To go back to a country town and assume
that life’s going to be wonderful.
Well you don’t.
It can be very lonely.
I’m not saying I don’t have my periods of loneliness either.
My last partner
ended up committing suicide and it was pretty hard.
I know perhaps it must be heading up towards
certainly 15, might be more,
people I’ve known that have committed suicide.
I don’t think I will.
The thing I really hated doing farming
was sitting on a tractor, going round and round.
I just wished to stop thinking.
You’re always waiting for another phone call
from people saying that they coming to the sale
that they’re going to buy a bull or four bulls or ten bulls
just hoping that, you know, you might get a message
that thing is going to be all right.
Good Day Jon, it’s Rebecca.
I just wanted to let you know
that our bulls going on the track tomorrow
and yeah we’re looking at not replacing anything
til at least after the summer.
Anyway, I’ll speak to you soon, Bye.
I’m just, I just want it over and done with really,
and you just want to know, once you know, where you’re at
it’s a whole lot easier to deal with then not knowing.
So it’s a bit, every year at this particular time,
lambs to the slaughter.
It’s the feeling that I get,
where you sort of know what’s going to happen
and cause it’s a tougher year,
it’s more likely to happen, but that’s cool.
That’s her choice.
It’s gonna be tough, but that’s all right.
We’ve prepared ourselves for this moment.
Of it being tough and you never know
you might get a surprise, but I’m a bit over that now.
Would you like a chair outside Harv?
It’s very thoughtful.
[Interviewer] How’s it all the cows need huh?
Yeah, I do, but anyway.
By the time the first bull starts being auctioned,
I’ll know what’s gonna happen?
If we can have your attention, please.
We’d like to get this all under way here this afternoon,
Firstly, a very warm welcome.
In what we experienced something completely different
than what we saw here last year in weather.
We all had snow clouds forming
and we were kicking up the dust.
Well, I think that anything else.
Well there we go to ladies and gentlemen,
no more wasting time straight into the first pen.
Lot number one.
Who’s gonna bid 9,000, come on give me seven, give me six,
we’ve got six to go, who’s got five, 5,000 Charlie,
Come on, who’s got 5,000, whose got four, 4,000,
four to go, four to start, four Charlie, four to go,
four to start, who’s got four to go.
Ladies and gentlemen, we won’t go below that signal five.
Some of the best bull Jon’s got here this year
and he’s pulling them there at the end of 32
and some of the best bulls he’s ever bred here tonight.
Four to go, four to start, four Charlie.
Nothing we can do about that.
Ladies and gentlemen we’ll skip that first bull aside.
[Jon Wright] Oh, Fuck.
Here we go lot number two, lot number two this time.
That completes the auction here today.
He’s hoping for a little bit of rain going forward
seems to put a smiles on many people’s faces still
considering how tough it is.
Thank you and have a good day.
I always compare myself to the best and want to be the best.
So that’s the hard part I guess,
a little bit is going, trying to work out
what you’re doing wrong and change it
and then trying to be more successful.
So yeah, once you get into that space, it gets quite complex
because then you realize the only way that you’re going to
make that amount of money is actually change your breed.
If I’d started with straight Angus and didn’t have
done what we’ve done over the last 22 years
I’d imagine we probably could be doing very, very, very
very, very well, but that was my choice.
So I chose to, to cross two breeds together
and give it a name and go along the line
of composite breeding, so it’s no one else’s responsibility
We can always hyphenate and do something better.
The more battles you create in your life,
the less time their is to hear the silence
and the emptiness.
Well latest were reviewed to the UN climate summit
by teenage activist Greta Thunberg,
who called for immediate action on climate change.
[Greta Thunberg] My message is that we’ll be watching you.
The issue of climate change is quite challenging
There’s a lot of people who believe it’s not happening.
This is science.
This is not me making anything up.
It might be that part about being gay and being a gay farmer
or something like that.
And the part about coming out was just that realization,
that I can’t lie anymore.
I can’t bullshit anymore.
You got to,
you have to be real.
You have to be honest.
And that cements something pretty powerful.
The only people who aren’t talking about it is our industry.
We’re trying to do the best thing
by the land that we have and the space that we occupy
for the period of time that we do.
That’s the part that I want to live on after I’m gone.
♪Oh my lord, take this soul, ♪
♪ lay me at the bottom of the river ♪
It is not fun, it is challenging
We do something very unique.
♪Lay me at the bottom ♪
Why would I walk away from that?
♪ Bottom of the river ♪
I always looked at my point of differences
something I was never going to let that stand
in the way of what I achieved in my life.
For days, Jon is an original thought,
that what we’ve got to originality and it’s look now
here we are.
And we haven’t had to tear ourselves up and go.
We dream about might be a better place to be,
and start from scratch there again.
We’re still here in the same place.
Making the best we can of it.
I love my dad.
Of course I do, I absolutely do.
No one made me come back to the farm.
In fact, my parents pushed me away.
My father sat me down and said, here’s the rule.
You’re not coming back to this farm til your 25.
And I thank him so much.
Thank him for yeah,
because it puts the responsibility back on me.
Where are my dreams at now?
What can I create that when I go has justified
the air that I breathe and the space that I took up
in being a human being on this Earth.
It’s just a reality, everybody’s trying to create
low emission products.
The beef industry has to try and do it well.
From when I could walk I was chasing the cows around
on the farm, so my love for that
was a glue or a constant or something?
I look back on that boy or young man
going around on a tractor with such anxiety
and such unhappiness and then say,
well, I’m not him anymore.
Isn’t that just unreal?
Are you all right?
That’s a bit better.
Hello, Chris speaking.
Chris, it’s Jon Wright speaking with Harvey.
Yeah wait just a second man.
[Man] It’s Harvey’s son.
Just a bit.
[Man] Jonathan you’re the cattle man.
I’m the cattle man, that’s right.
I can’t rewrite history.
I can’t rewrite my life.
What I do know is the result of what’s happened in the past
is where I am now.
And I’m really happy and really content in that.
And do I want it to be better?
Do I wish for some things that, aren’t here now, maybe.
All I can do is just keep being driven
and keep being positive.
I reckon they’ll come
I reckon they’ll come.