‘Just put in a hard day’s work. Keep doing that and you can survive anything.’ Such is the life philosophy of farmer, community man and former regional Councilor Bob Simcock.
Given the many challenges facing rural communities, Bob’s endurance and can-do attitude are a timely reminder of the real meaning of resilience in the country.
‘If you don’t have resilience, then farming probably isn’t your best career choice,’ laughs Bob. He and wife Lyn made a success of farming for more than 40 years, which is no easy task, given the ups and downs of the industry.
‘Farmers have challenges like everyone else does, like the weather. Learning to live with them builds resilience, and that’s the best I can say about it.’
Having been a community person for 40 years and served in local government for 20, Bob is passionate about advocating for more support for rural communities. He believes regional SA is copping a raw deal and deserves a fair go.
‘The government’s emphasis has always been on city voters, and rural SA is missing out.’
Bob is hopeful that newly emerging industries in the Murraylands and Coorong, and projects like The Bend Motorsport Park will bring some much needed attention (and dollars) from the government.
‘Contrary to what many people initially believed, The Bend has renewed confidence in the region and put us on the map. Lots of people didn’t know where Tailem Bend was before that.’
‘There is enormous potential for other tourism ventures with the river and lakes. We’re on track to develop the region into something special for visitors and investors alike.’
Bob isn’t afraid to put his money where his mouth is, and has invested in the region himself, with a commercial property portfolio.
Having long since left sheep farming in the safe hands of his son, Bob reckons retirement remains a dirty word. He talks about it, but can’t quite commit.
‘I keep busy with my cattle, doing maintenance on the commercial properties and building sheds. Hard work and instinct are important – you reap what you sow in life. Why stop now?’