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Farmer milestone

FARMING PIONEER: An historic photograph of Cliff Pearce, left, on the family farm at Woomelang with his father Stan.
Pictures and story: CONTRIBUTED

The family of Woomelang farming personality Cliff Pearce has invited people to Wirram Lodge in Birchip on February 22 to help celebrate his 90th birthday.

Mr Pearce reaches the milestone on February 18 and is an example of a life-long southern Mallee farmer. Born in Woomelang, he farmed in the district for 66 years from the age of 12 and, similar to contemporaries saw enormous changes in farming equipment and techniques.

Cliff was the oldest of five sons and two daughters and all became farmers at Woomelang. He left school with his merit  certificate and helped his father on the farm – initially with a team of horses. He also helped dig irrigation channels and dams around Woomelang, critical to farming in the Mallee.

In 1948, he bought  two blocks adjoining his father’s farm and in 1950 married Betty Smith from nearby Birchip. Together they had a family of seven.

Cliff had one of the last stables in the Woomelang area but by this time had graduated to own one of the first tractors to arrive in the Mallee – a one-cylinder Bulldog tractor, started with a blow torch.

He bought an additional block in the late 1950s and in 1963, rather than employ help, chose to work even harder in order to build a new house and at the same time buy even more land for his young and expanding family. At the time his farm was almost 2000 acres when the average in Woomelang was around 1300.


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Posted on Feb 5 2014

Posted by on Feb 5 2014. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Farmer milestone”

  1. Congratulations on this delightful article about Cliff Pearce. I love the way changes in family farming in the 20th c show up through his life story here.

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