WA farming legend Nils will plough on
He’s 85 years young and has no plans to retire.
Well-known grain grower and sheep producer Nils Blumann jokes a date with death is the only way to get him off his beloved Gibson farm.
A vast cropping program and about 11,000 head of sheep keep the avid farmer busy, with the help of four staff, at his 3250ha property about 20km north of Esperance’s idyllic beaches.
However, Mr Blumann had to take time away from his farming enterprise in WA’s south east last week to fly east to Canberra to accept a prestigious agricultural accolade.
Mr Blumann was named the 2019 Farming Legend of the Year, sponsored by the Grains Research and Development Corporation, last week to honour his more than 60 years in farming.
He was back in Esperance by Friday for the opening day of the town’s annual agricultural show and said it was rewarding to be acknowledged.
“It is a nice recognition, as much for agriculture as it is for myself personally,” he said.
“Agriculture, as an industry, is not recognised enough by the urban population.
“Globally, we have to realise agriculture’s importance because it is not recognised enough and it has so much to offer.”
Mr Blumann was born in Hamburg, in northern Germany, in 1934 before his family immigrated to Perth in 1938.
As a 22-year-old he moved to the Esperance region in 1956, where became one of the district’s revered farmers.
He was a clay spreading pioneer in the 1990s, using the technique on his most fragile and infertile soils to improve water retention and cropping yields.
Despite more than six decades of farming, Mr Blumann said he had no plans to slow down.
“Farming is about accepting the ongoing challenge to improve yields, profitability and the business,” he said.
“I still subscribe to the statement: If you want things done, find a busy person.
“But, another reason why I still enjoy farming is because I haven’t found out what I want to do in retirement — and retirement is only an option if death gets in the road.”
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails