2014 marks the International Year of the Farming Family.
Each day we have contact with a farmer, though we may not realise it.
Through the milk we enjoy on our breakfast, the meat we have for dinner, to the clothes we wear, a farmer has had something to do with our daily lives.
This year we honour our farming families across the Central West and Western NSW, bringing you their stories in the paper and online each week.
WHEN it comes to generations on the land the Owens family certainly fits the bill.
DAN and Steve Owens are a fourth generation farming family and work the majestic Nanena property at The Lagoon, near Bathurst.
Their father, John Owens, 77, is a well-known local resident and in 1986 was named the Bathurst region farmer of the year.
These days John farms out of Boonah on the Gormans Hill Road while his sons carry on the family tradition at Nanena.
However, in effect it’s still a team effort from a proud father and his sons as together they are responsible for some 6000 acres of land on which they farm angus cattle and merino sheep.
“Nanena was originally about 2500 acres, but we’ve been able to add to it over the years,” John said.
“The boys basically have full control of Nanena though. It’s good that they have chosen to stay on the land, especially through some pretty challenging times. We’re lucky the place is big enough to make a living out of it.”
John said he and wife Lyn are proud to have raised five children and along with the boys have three daughters – Christine, Therese and Maree.
The story of the Owens clan goes right back to the late Harry Owens who has a stand named in his honour at the Bathurst Showground Paceway as a mark of his respect and involvement in the trotting industry.
He was one of those rugged and hardy pioneers who started in humble circumstances as a teamster in the Geurie district.
However, a lucky draw in a land ballot changed his life around the turn of the century in about 1902.
Through sheer hard work Harry emerged from being a farmhand to being one of the leading sheep owners and graziers of the west.
Harry arrived in Bathurst in 1912 and purchased the Nanena estate from Mr JB Dulhunty, starting the Owens dynasty on that property. He also was a close personal friend of the late Prime Minister Ben Chifley.
Harry’s son Hector continued on the family tradition at Nanena before passing on the property to his son John.
“He taught me all I know about farming,” John said.
“It was an evolution I suppose. I started working the farm in 1952, so it’s been a while.”
With four generations of Owens on the land, Daniel and wife Erin welcomed the fifth generation Owens into the world in 2010 when little Isabella was born.
Do you know a farming family who would like to be featured in our series email their details to firstname.lastname@example.org.