Anthony & Janet Brook

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Cordillo Downs

Where do you live?

We run Cordillo Downs, a 780,000 hectare property in the north east corner of South Australia in the middle of the Sturt Stony Desert.  The predominant land here is rolling red gibber rock plains, but there are small waterways running all over the property, and that is where you will find our 7,000 head of Hereford cattle.  The entire property is pretty much one paddock; the cattle stay in the waterways where the native pasture is, and we muster each waterway about once per year.  So the cattle here are as free-ranging as it’s possible to be.

The history of this place is amazing.  The first white explorers – Burke and Wills – died to the south of here in 1861.  By the early 1880s Cordillo had been settled as a sheep station.  At its peak about 200 people worked here, it had Australia’s largest stone shearing shed, a police station, post office, school, and two full time timber cutters for steam engines.

Today we have about five employees, including a governess who teaches our kids with the School of Distance Education.  We get our fresh food by ordering it from Adelaide, and it’s trucked to Birdsville every fortnight where we do a 500km round trip to collect it.  Once a year we put in a big order of dry groceries that are kept in a pantry the size of a small supermarket.  Food like icecream is a real luxury for us!

Why do you supply cattle to OBE Organic?

OBE has a great story and they try to tell it.  They have real people behind them that genuinely want to tell the world about where their beef comes from.

Why is producing organic food important to you?

Organic food production is not just about no pesticides or chemicals.  It is about sustainable food production – sustainable use of our natural pastures and genuine care of our animals.  We have four children who have an interest in the agriculture sector and we would like to offer them the same opportunities we have had to be involved in the family beef business.

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