WYRUNA – negotiating the future

Part Five

Molly’s next and by far one of her biggest tasks will be to set up an agreement with her sharefarmer as he will be entrusted with the full operation.

Now approaching midnight and on reflection it has been a long, busy but emotionally charged day as Molly decides to retire for the balance of the night. She still finds it mildly difficult to fully accept the realisation that today she confirmed her path forward.
Has she made the right decision? She certainly hopes so as there is now no turning back, or at least in the short term.

From tomorrow she will have to learn how to become a manager as opposed to being a university student. She has no doubt that this will not be an easy ask. Whilst she had had to make many stop gap decisions over the last four months from tomorrow it will be for real.

The Wyruna homestead is an extensive brick building having been built by her grandfather 50 years ago. It is surrounded by large well established and cared for gardens plus a tennis court. To assist with the running of the homestead her mother always employed a live-in lady.

After dinner this evening Molly sat down with Mary and discussed the future, seeking an assurance that she would continue the
ongoing relationship with her as the new owner. Molly had no doubt that she wished to be a hands on person in running the day to day work on the farm and this being so she would find it difficult to run the domestic side as well. The outcome was an  agreement to continue at present, which was comforting to Mary and another worry off Molly’s mind.

Once in bed, she does as always, says her simple prayers after having been taught to do so by her late mother since as long
as she can remember. Her next recollection is the sound of curtains being drawn and the full daylight shining into her bedroom as the time is now eight o’clock. Mary being a little worried, has awakened her, also knowing that Molly had a ten o’clock
appointment with Bill her sharefarmer. Tired and exhausted the previous night, she slept later than she had planned.

After a hearty breakfast she realises that she has plenty of time before meeting Bill so she decided to walk the few hundred yards
to the area where all working farm buildings were neatly grouped together. Of late farming activities have been shared with her father farming 500 acres for the livestock operation and a further approximately 800 acres, while their sharefarmer generally planted 2500 acres.

Bill the sharefarmer is the next door neighbour adjoining Wyruna, but his property is much smaller in area and so to Bill the
extra farming area is a valuable undertaking. Molly could not but notice the modern well-maintained working area with all the
surrounds being sealed with bitumen. The farming plant modern, shedded and fully serviced, ready for the current season’s
cropping program. However, this growing season it will not in the main be used as Molly has decided not to hire a full-time worker but to rely on her sharefarmer and contractors to fill the gap. This still relies on being able to negotiate a mutual and acceptable agreement with Bill.

Whilst she is taking all this in, Tex, having completed his usual early morning chores, wanders down and with his usual warm
and friendly greeting announces his arrival. He also reports that he has already inspected the livestock and everything is okay. They see Bill approaching through a gate in the boundary fence that has been put there for easy and quick access between their
adjoining properties.

The last few weeks she has researched the way in which the sharefarmers agreement had been managed. The present agreement is simple, straight forward and mostly based on mutual trust – mostly by a handshake replacing a written document. The new agreement will differ as Molly will be asking Bill to take on the whole of the sharefarming operation, including planting the crop for the sheep feed. This will need to be covered by contract.

The art of management is not always straight forward nor can it be learned from a book. Molly will need to be careful and approachable so as to quickly gain the trust of all concerned.

to be continued…

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