Thursday, January 18, 2024
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Embarking on an emotionally charged farewell, Rob Bauman and Deb McLucas cast their final gaze upon Freckle Farm, a sanctuary of regenerative agriculture that has been their beloved haven for the past 14 years.
On December 18, 2023, the torch was passed to a young farming family, who now calls the fertile land home, using it not just for cattle but also as a base for their helicopter mustering business.
Reflecting on their journey, Rob and Deb shared, "It's bittersweet. The time is right for us to move on, but the memories we've cultivated over the years make it hard to say goodbye." During their tenure, the couple transformed an old cane farm into a thriving, chemical-free pasture-based grazing enterprise, cultivating biodiverse and productive pastures.
The couple's dedication to regenerative agriculture was evident in their use of unique tools—chickens, pigs, and beef cattle—all contributing to the creation of nutritious and flavourful food. Freckle Farm's pork and eggs earned national food awards, while their Nguni grass-fed beef achieved local fame through farmers' markets and a bustling butcher shop.
Their story reached far and wide, touching the lives of thousands through farm tours, media features, and even a spotlight on "Better Homes and Gardens." Fast Ed himself cooked up a Freckle Farm special in the front paddock, broadcasting the couple's commitment to sustainable and delicious food.
Proud of their accomplishments in the regenerative agriculture and local food space, Deb and Rod said, "It was hard work, but connecting with our community and producing some of the best food on earth was reward enough." However, their proudest achievement remains raising three remarkable young women, all passionate about agriculture and ready to forge their paths in the industry.
With their daughters now settled in exciting ag/equine roles for 2024, the timing was right for the family to embark on a new challenge. Returning to their Dysart property, where their farming journey began in 2005, they aim to work towards a regenerative cropping system in a broadacre environment.
As they close the Freckle Farm chapter, the family extends heartfelt thanks to friends, colleagues, supporters, and followers. "Our success was a collective effort, fuelled by the shared passion of fellow farmers, consultants, employees, and countless others we were fortunate to cross paths with over the years," they expressed. "We have loved every moment and will cherish our precious memories forever."
In parting, the family encourages continued support for local farming families by attending the Mackay Farmers' Market.
As the sun sets on Freckle Farm, the legacy of regeneration, community, and delicious food lives on in the hearts and fields they've touched. Rob, Deb, Hannah, Laura and Megan bid farewell, leaving behind a landscape richer in memories and a community nourished by their dedication.
The Freckle Farm family, Rob, Deb, Hannah, Laura and Megan. Photos supplied
Rob with Freckle Farm’s free range chickens