A Queensland farming family is urging the federal government to ensure it has plans in place to secure the next generation of farmers beyond the current drought crisis.
Alison and Scott Todd took over the 90,000 acre Brigalow Downs farm, near Bollon in southern Queensland five years ago and have been in drought ever since.
As much as dealing with the present, the Todds are also looking ahead and want their three children to have a property to take over so they aren't lost to farming.
They have worked to keep their children Grace, Will and Olivia insulated against the worst of the pressures they're facing, but because they're homeschooled they are always on the farm and are well aware of the problems of running a property in a drought.
"They're mature beyond their years and have a vast understanding of life and death," Alison said.
Ultimately though, Alison says, it will be her children, and others like them, who will be asked to take up the mantle of farming, and the government has to ensure there are farms there for them to take over.
"This next generation cannot be lost and there simply will be no one to replace them on the land," she said.
"Doing what we do is not for everybody, it's hard to live in isolation and educate your kids.
"But it's in our blood and we love it, and that's why farming families need to stay with what they're doing, because the country needs them."
They were forced to get rid of all but 300 of their cattle, and now feed them, 2500 ewes and lambs and a handful of goats with an ever-dwindling stock of hay and cottonseed.
"Drought means never quiet reaching your full potential," she told AAP.
"It takes a lot of extra time, money and manpower to end up with the same product as you would if you were in a normal season."
The federal government this week announced extra assistance measures for farming families under drought pressure, including payments of up to $12,000 for eligible households to help pay for groceries and other staples.
Alison says that's a big help, but spreading the payments between September and March made things difficult.
"If they wanted to dribble it out they should have offered support much earlier than what they are currently doing."
Australian Associated Press