Southern Cross Pastoral

Located 25km north from Tintinara, in a small country town in South Australia you will find Southern Cross, a pastoral holding of 11 000 hectares where Martin Ebbs manages 1 250 head of Angus cows and a mixed cropping enterprise, with 330 hectares under irrigation. The pastoral holding is a major supplier of Angus Beef Cattle for our Angus Pure Beef program.

Martin Ebbs and his girlfriend Kim

 (Martin and Girlfriend Kim pictured above)

Growing up on the Fleurieu Peninsula on his parents mixed livestock enterprise, Martin found his love for agriculture, finishing high school in 2012 at Urrbrae Agricultural High School and completed an Associate Degree in Agribusiness at Marcus Oldham in 2015. From 2013 to 2018 he spent his time living and working in Victoria between on cropping and feedlot operations.

Now 25 years old, Martin is currently the Farm Manager of Southern Cross overseeing annual and day to day operations.


Ute in a Maize Field


What does your year look like on the farm?

The property is 11,000ha of predominately lucerne and veldt pastures with mallee scrub. We are currently running a 1250 head Angus breeder operation consisting of 900 spring calvers and 350 autumn calvers. We also currently have 400 heifers soon to enter and AI program in October. Cropping consists of approximately 2000ha, 330ha of this is under pivot irrigation. Cropping enterprise consists of pasture renovations and fodder production as silage destined for the feedlot. With cereals being grown in the winter and maize/sorghum grown in the summer. Lucerne hay production also takes up most of the spring and summer period.


What has been your biggest challenge?

Some know it as irrigation others know it as irritation. Irrigation is a wonderful thing when it is working however, when it is not it can be one of the most stressful things that will send even the most seasoned of farmers around the bend because changing a gear box in 48 degrees is not everyone’s cup of tea.


What is your favourite time of the year and why?

Favourite time of year would have to be silage harvest of the maize and winter cereals because you finally get to see the results of all the time and effort that has been put in by everyone pay off.


What has been the biggest change in the industry in your lifetime?

OWHS of the agricultural industry which doesn’t necessarily increase efficiencies of the operation but certainly ensures that everyone will make it home to their family at the end of each day.


If you had your time over again, would you be a farmer or in a different career and why?

I would like to believe that if I had my time over I would still be a farmer because I don’t know of any other job that I would get the same amount of enjoyment and satisfaction from.


If you could give one piece of advice to the next generation / future farmers, what would it be?

Get as much experience as possible an education is not always necessary but experience is priceless and never be afraid to ask a question because the only silly question it the one you don’t ask.


Why do you love being a farmer?

What’s not to love about the lifestyle of a farmer it is like no other. The fact you get to see things grow from nothing and know that aside from climatic conditions what and how you decide to manage the process dictates the final outcome and results.