Simon & Jess Mollee Start Their Own Business Through Hard Work and Passion | Queensland Country Life
On the outskirts of Roma, a herd of 50 Dorper sheep can be found on 120 acres of improved pasture that was once a land of cultivation.
A laser-cut steel sign indicating Simmol Lane hangs beside a set of double doors welcoming visitors.
From the outside it may not seem like much, but this block of pasture raises more than cattle; it’s a springboard for two of the new faces of the industry.
Jess and Simon Mollee didn’t grow up to thousands or even a hundred acres, but that didn’t stop them from securing their own property at just 26 and 29, respectively.
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Their passion for agriculture and their thirst for success help them make their dreams come true.
âWe knew what we wanted,â Jess said.
“As in we didn’t want to work for someone our whole life, so we wanted to buy a block and we found an opportunity here.”
Simon grew up in a small block in Maryborough and attended Emerald Ag College before getting a job at a Clermont property and running a Nebo operation for five years.
Jess lived in a building outside of Toowoomba, but she discovered a love for farming and after postponing college, began working near Charters Towers and later, coincidentally, on the same Nebo property. than Simon.
Four and a half years ago the couple moved to the Maranoa area and started running Glen Arden Cattle Company for John and Angela Frith.
It was February 2019 when they checked off another item from the bucket list and purchased Simmol Lane.
âIt was just culture, an ancient land of culture, but I liked the idea of ââimproving pastures,â said Simon.
âWe’re just growing, planting pasture, re-fencing and making sure whatever we do, we do it right.
“It’s all sheep country now and we’re making fences and making sure we do whatever Micky Mouse does to get someone’s attention on the track.”
While cattle would be their preferred choice of livestock, sheep offer a better return on investment.
The herd started out commercially, but genetics for quality breeding stock is their focus.
Weaned lambs are fattened with oat crops and sold as fat killers.
âI’m hoping to get to a bigger point to sell rams,â Simon said.
âBecause we got our lambing rate at the same time, we’re hoping to sell through sites like AuctionsPlus, but we’re just trying to get a good line first,â Jess said.
Working dogs are their only staff at Simmol Lane and they are quickly building a reputation as well.
âI have eight dogs and puppies all year round,â said Simon.
Together they may not have the equity or financial backing of a generational farm, but they say there are some secrets to their success.
Working for a âgood family businessâ gives them time to build their block while learning skills in their daily work from their mentors, the Frith family.
They also do not believe in accumulating large amounts of debt.
âIf you can’t afford it, you don’t need it,â Jess said.
âDon’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, because you can. If you think about it, that’s how we came to this.
“We are a partnership, we are a team and make sure you have a good accountant.”
They are happy to go at their own pace, knowing that they have already achieved a life they could only dream of.
âSave some pocket money and do it right,â Simon said.
“There’s no point in trying to do everything in the first 12 months, it takes two or three years and you’ll get there eventually.”
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