Meet Fred Hansford - Farmer, bullrider and local contractor

19 July 2017

Cattle and horse breeder Fred Hansford is a seasoned veteran in the sale yards but this Haden local also spends his days navigating the New Acland Mine site.

The longest serving employee of local contracting business Coops, Fred met Coops owner David Cooper while working at the Oakey sale yards in 2007.

Now one of eight full time Coops employees based at New Acland Mine, Fred said his work at the mine supplements his farming income, breeding Drought Masters and Quarter Horses.

"After growing up in Toowoomba, the first thing I did when I left school was jackerooing for a few years in places like Julia Creek and Mundubbera," Fred said.

"It gave me a real taste for station work and agriculture and from there I was hooked."

For the next ten years or so Fred travelled around south-east Queensland riding bulls and working on stations before returning to Oakey to work in the sale yards.

"We then went out to Tambo for a stint and when we got back to Oakey, we ran a piggery and feedlot out on the south-eastern side of New Acland Mine," Fred said.

"About four years in we were approached by New Hope to sell our property and when they first came knocking I was pretty sceptical."

"But after weighing up our options we agreed to sell and it turned out to be a really positive experience."

"After we sold, the company gave us two years to move our livestock and get everything in order and we ended up buying an old dairy in Haden where we now have our current breeding operation."

Now an active member of the Brymaroo Rodeo and Campdraft Committee, Fred puts his riding experience to good use helping out at the annual rodeo and Campdraft, and pitching in to maintain the committee facilities.

"We’re only a small event but we’re getting more and more popular every year," Fred said.

"I haven’t ridden a bull since the eighties but I do jump into the Campdraft when I get the chance," Fred said.

"My son Tom is a contract musterer around central QLD so if the draft lines up with when he’s home with the horses, we’ll compete."