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Young Wongan Hills cattleman champions UltraBlacks in WA


Entrepreneurial young cattleman Albie Bookham is a pioneer of the UltraBlack breed here in WA, bringing over a starter herd of 29 cattle from Nindooinbah stud in Queensland 18 months ago. He now has his 1st drop of calves on the ground and has continued to invest in the hardy breed.

Albie’s forward-thinking parents put their trust in their son’s vision to breed UltraBlacks backing him all the way to the bank. At just seventeen he was confident in borrowing 65 thousand dollars from his mum and dad; Marilyn and Graham Bookham, to get started. “I reckon it’s going to be probably the easiest debt that I’ll ever pay off, I’m bloody praying on this one!” Albie says.

Since then he has tallied up a loan of nearly 200 thousand dollars to set up his own cattle stud: Black Storm WA on the family’s 7500 hectare cattle and grain property in Wongan Hills. “Albie’s always been so keen, and someone who’s keen you have to keep them going,” says Marilyn Bookham. “If you want people to keep the family farm you can’t keep them hitting them with a stick and saying ‘you can’t do that’.”

Marilyn and Graham Bookham say many families wait too long to give their children a chance to get a financial foothold in agriculture. Nindooinbah’s owner Euan Murdoch, says he and many of the sale crowd were impressed with the young man’s drive, and the support from his parents. “There’s a fair bit of conserativism (in the beef industry), that conservatism is bred by parents as well. A willingness to have a go is just so vital, and for people who dare to dream invariably the dream will come true.”

Don’t miss Albie’s story on ABC’s Landline on Sunday 10 September at 12pm. Or you watch it on catchup TV at ABC iview.