Location: “Geandale Station”, 46 km south of Cobar, Western NSW

Property size: 8,640ha

Average annual rainfall: 368mm

Enterprise: Dorper breeding and fattening lambs, and trade cattle


  • Implemented grazing strategies.
  • Developing secure water infrastructure.
  • Improved land and animal performance.
  • Improved confidence in drought management and their business performance.                                    

Drivers of Success:

  • Strategic property development.
  • Training and ongoing education.
  • Mentoring and peer network support.                                                

RCS services used:

Building Resilience: Cobar Farmers Share Drought-Proofing Success.

Cobar locals Simon and Laura Prince manage ‘Geandale Station’, 46 km south of Cobar. They purchased the property from Simon’s parents in 2022, which has meant a lot for their young family.

“To bring up our sons George and Bill the way I was raised is fantastic; farming can give kids a great childhood,” Simon said.

Laura also reflects on how working in ag is good for young families.

“Agriculture is amazing — I’ve worked in other industries and there’s no way I’d be allowed to take our kids to work or along to a course,” she said.

“Bill and George get to have a great time and experience farming, and we all get to be involved.”

Picture: Laura and Simon Prince with RCS Advisor Raymond Stacey.

Getting a start in farming

The Prince’s road to farming was not linear — after leaving school, they both started industrial trade apprenticeships in Cobar.

A purchase of a dozer in 2012 then saw the start of Simon’s earthmoving business, which the Princes managed on weekends and evenings after their full-time jobs.

“Between our trades and the earthmoving business, we had a few good years which helped purchase our first block, ‘Multagoona’ in 2017,” Simon said.

An hour’s drive south of Cobar, the 15,925ha property had plenty of potential and the Princes set out to develop its infrastructure.

“We probably weren’t ready for it financially, but it was an opportunity to be in farming and we jumped at it,” he said.

“We just took the risk and put a lot of hours into it to get ahead.”


Video Explainer: Click the play button below and see the Prince's practice change in action.

Farming for their Family

The experience of drought

The Princes bought ‘Multagoona’ just on the cusp of the 2017-2020 drought, which saw their workload increase dramatically and a few challenging years.

“It was some of the worst years on record, but we had a mindset to make it work,” said Simon.

“We got to see hard and fast what drought was like,” Laura recalls.

“We both worked full time and carted water out for our sheep after work, as well as doing improvements on the place on the weekends.

“It was stressful and put a lot of extra pressure on everything.

“But we did it, and fairly early on we knew we needed to drought-proof ourselves in the future.”

Upskilling and improving

After the Princes purchased Simon’s family farm ‘Geandale Station’ in 2022, they set out to improve their knowledge and capacity to manage the land.

A local field day was the catalyst for working with RCS.

“An RCS field day was happening just down the road from us; we knew these people reasonably well and heard they were doing some pretty cool things,” Laura said.

“So we went for a look, and really enjoyed the day.

“We spoke to the RCS staff there, who encouraged us to apply for the Soil and Landscapes Drought Resilience Program.”

Simon was also very interested in working with RCS and improving his knowledge.

“Laura and I both did our trades, and you don’t go into a trade without being trained,” he said.

“Farming is just the same; you’ve got to educate yourself and that’s why we went down the RCS track.”

Training was the way forward

Improving their drought resilience

Over the last 18 months the Princes have worked with RCS to upskill as managers and business owners.

The Drought Resilient Soils and Landscapes Program gave them access to training, mentoring, business tools and a supportive network. Through the program they were able to:

  • Learn regenerative grazing management principles by attending a 2.5-day RCS Grazing Clinic
  • Turn this new knowledge into skills and implement improvements on-ground through regular access to an RCS mentor
  • Build momentum and a support network through sharing experiences within a grazier peer group hosted by RCS
  • Access the MaiaGrazing software platform for recording and reporting on grazing management, with product mentoring by a dedicated team of RCS-trained graziers
  • Access the regional Drought Resilience Innovation Hub and associated partner networks
  • Share and learn through a combination of project case studies, field days and events to showcase drought resilience improvements within their community.                        

This project is supported by RCS, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

Support in the paddock

What’s changed for Simon and Laura?

The Princes are keen to continue the work of Simon’s parents on ‘Geandale Station’.

“Dad worked hard over the last 30 years to develop the property, and did a really good job in establishing perennial grasses with rotational grazing,” Simon said.

“Through the RCS program, we have been able to better manage our groundcover through feed budgeting and the MaiaGrazing software.”

Laura also has valued the grazing training and resources available.

“Our experience with the MaiaGrazing software has been really positive,” she said.

“We had an idea of how we wanted to leave a paddock in, but to be able to put those thoughts into numbers and forecast ahead for the future is great.

“Even though we’re in drought now (late 2023), it’s very fulfilling to be able to look around at our animals and paddocks and see they are still in good condition.”

The Drought Resilient Soils and Landscapes Program has also introduced Simon and Laura to a network of farmers willing to share their experiences.”

“Although you think you’re doing it the best way you can, there’s always someone doing it better,” Simon said.

“In such a short period we’ve been able to meet like-minded people who want to improve their land and management.

Support in the paddock

The Princes’ RCS mentor, Raymond Stacey, sees a strong future ahead for Simon and Laura.

“The Drought Resilient Soils and Landscapes project is about supporting graziers to manage their country and businesses better,” Raymond said.

“I see an operation here where they’re working hard on their planning and putting their plans into action to leave their country, business and people in better shape.”

Outcomes for drought resilience

  • Established 2 paddock monitoring sites
  • Installed 45km fencing and 6 water points, dividing paddocks into smaller sizes
  • Installed 250,000 litre water tank to pump water around the farm when needed
  • Use of a crimper – knocked down saffron thistle, broke open old moribund perennials, created disturbance on sealed clay pans
  • Introduced cattle into the operation
  • Started using lick trailers to offer minerals
  • Frequent feed budgeting
  • Used Maia software to calculate cumulative yields and recording DDH from each paddock
  • Gained confidence in themselves and their business performance
  • Hosted a grazier peer group session and shared experiences
  • Data-driven decision-making to futureproof the business
  • Realigned breeding to match the environment and ecological cycle
  • Training: 2.5 day RCS Grazing Clinic, MaiaGrazing platform
  • RCS coaching and mentoring through a combination of one-on-one and grazier peer group sessions.                                                                                                                              

Find out more about the RCS Drought Resilient Soils and Landscapes Program.

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