Meet Tom Tourle whose attraction to the big toys in the sky in agriculture found him with his feet firmly on the ground

Today’s guest post comes from Tom Tourle who if he is as good a farmer as he is a story teller agriculture is very lucky indeed he chose this career pathway

Tom Tourle  (1)

Why I am I doing all of this? Because I love what I do!

And everything I’m doing is taking me to where I need to be. Where that utopia might be, I have no idea, but I’m pretty sure it involves me, on our property, surrounded by healthy animals, lots of grass, on a bike and with a big smile on my face, just like when I was a kid.

This is Tom’s story……………………. 

My parents have always said “give me the boy and I’ll show you the man”. They couldn’t have been more right.

My journey in agriculture started the same way as any other kid growing up on the land.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” They’d ask, and the response was always the same- “Just like dad”.

Sure, different ambitions would come and go, (motor cross racer, pilot, bull rider ), but in reality, things don’t change. I’m still that bike riding, animal loving, pliers wielding seven year old I was back then.

Tom Tourle  (1)

And it isn’t only me:

My family has always been active in the Rural Fire Service. My sister, Kennedy, especially loved it. If dad was out at a bushfire, she would wait until he got home, just so she could go to sleep with dad’s smoke filled jumper. Now what does she do? Community Safety Officer with the NSW Rural Fire Service.

My brother, Sam, had his favourite toy lamb as a kid. He would drag this thing around with him wherever he’d go. As he grew up, that toy lamb became poddy lambs, and so started his love affair with sheep. Some things don’t change. He is now working with us on our property, and is the go to man when it comes to questions about wool or animal selection.

So this is where it started- before we even knew it, we were becoming who we are today.

Tom Tourle  (2)

Growing up, I knew agriculture was the industry for me, but in what aspect, I still wasn’t sure. We have always run sheep at home, but for some reason I had a love of cattle and horses. Maybe it was the Troy Dann influence or The Man From snowy River, either way, an interest was sparked early.

I left school with aspirations of flying helicopters. That’s all I wanted to do, it was my passion. Any spare moment I had at school, I was studying flight theory (which really didn’t help out the subjects I was meant to be studying).

I soon worked out that school just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to learn (I love learning!), it was mostly because I felt as though I was spinning my tyres- looking for a bit of traction to get moving!

I stepped out of year 12 and straight into a Business of Farming course, then Low Stress Stock Handling, then TAFE, then KLR Marketing.  I think you get the point. Education opportunities just popped up everywhere and I grabbed them with both hands. This really set the wheels in motion for my love of education and desire to become an educator.

After working at home with mum and dad for 18 months, I still had dreams of flying choppers and working with cattle and horses. Seeing as I couldn’t convince mum and dad that there were huge advantages in owning a helicopter, I decided I would find somewhere I could do these things.

Time to head north!

I left home in February 2011 and headed to “Rosella Plains Station”, North QLD. This was a big step for me. There was so much to learn! I was leaving my friends and comfort zone at home..

What if I didn’t like it? What if it wasn’t like the glossy pages in Outback Magazine? Well, lucky I had nothing to worry about. I had such a warm welcome by the Scholes and Green families at Rosella Plains who took me under their wing and into their homes, teaching me everything I needed to know if I was going to make it as a ringer and stick it out in the north.

I was so appreciative of the level of responsibility they gave me. I think that was the advantage of working on a family owned and managed property- you get to do a bit of everything. I wasn’t just some young ringer expected to work in the stock camp from dawn til dusk, I was given the chance to operate machinery, travel to neighbouring properties to pick up cattle and sit in on business meetings. What an experience! Every day was just learn, learn, learn. There was always something new to learn about, and I loved every minute of it.

Tom Tourle  (2)

I spent a lot of time during mustering looking up at the chopper, but with no real desire of actually flying it. I was having so much fun on the ground, why would I want to be up there?! This is when I realised where my passion really lies- working with livestock and growing grass. I still wouldn’t mind having a chopper parked in the shed, but I’d much rather be working on the ground. Maybe one day…

After 18 months at Rosella, it was time to come home. I came back to Dubbo in September 2012 and got back into the life as a sheep farmer. The first few months took a bit of readjusting- looking for cows to chase and missing the horse work.

It took a bit to find my feet, but once 2013 came around the ball started rolling again.

I caught up with some of my old TAFE teachers in early 2013, just to touch base and catch up. Suddenly I was enrolled in Certificate III Agriculture, then Cert IV Ag, then Woolclassing, and that was just the beginning..

As much as I have always loved to learn, I’ve also loved to teach. While I was on a bit of a roll with my studies, I decided to also pick up my Certificate IV in Training and Education, meaning I could then teach with organisations such as TAFE.

2013 was such a big year for me, completing 6 qualifications, picking up a job teaching at Western College in Dubbo, starting my own grazing and trading enterprise, while working at home full time.

Not that I did anything special- I just took every opportunity that came my way. These opportunities are everywhere and the more that you take, the more that seem to appear.

2014 is looking just as busy, looking at teaching more, travelling overseas and interstate on scholarships and development programs, while working at home and expanding my own business. Fun times ahead!

Why I am I doing all of this? Because I love what I do!

And everything I’m doing is taking me to where I need to be. Where that utopia might be, I have no idea, but I’m pretty sure it involves me, on our property, surrounded by healthy animals, lots of grass, on a bike and with a big smile on my face, just like when I was a kid.


      1. Hi Tom
        Just wondering if you wouldn’t mind giving me a call please about doing a story.
        Natalie Holmes
        News Editor
        Dubbo Photo News/Weekender
        6885 4433

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