Marcus Brickle, Yanakie// February 2023 Mental Health Calendar
by Gippsland Jersey
“It’s hard to find love when you live in a small town and you are a dairy farmer, but I would love somebody to share it with me one day”
Marcus runs his own business on his family’s third generation farm in Yanakie, Victoria, having taken over the farm in 2020 after his father was seriously injured in an accident. Having lived and worked all over the world across different industries has given him perspective when coming back to the farm ‘When I was working in corporate, there was pressure to meet goals and targets. It felt like every time I achieved a goal I had nothing to show for it; they just moved the goal posts even further. I believe you create your own destiny and with farming I feel that I get to see the results of my work everyday.’ Marcus is also passionate about future proofing his farm and minimising environmental impact.
Do you ever pop down to the Prom for an
after-milking swim in summer in your budgies?
I really dislike sand, so I never go to the beach even
though it's over my back fence, and if I do, I wear boots.
How many cows are you milking and how many
staff do you employ?
300 milkers at the moment and I've got one full time
worker and one part time milker.
What’s your story and is this your family farm?
This farm has been a family farm since 1960. It was my
grandfather’s farm, then Mum and Dad bought him out
in 1990. In 2015 dad was on his way to New Zealand
on a Burra supplier tour and was run over by a car at the
airport. His leg was badly crushed in the accident and
he had no option but to lease the farm out. The lease
ended in the middle of Covid and I decided to run the
farm, otherwise Mum and Dad were going to sell up. At
the time I was working in retail as a manager and had
had enough of working within that role. I decided to put
my money where my mouth was!
What are your thoughts on the stigma attached
to farmers who may choose sustainability and
organically minded farms?
They’re courageous in many ways. As a farmer mindful
of your own environmental impact you take hit after
hit financially initially and it’s hard not to succumb to
farming groups and banks. However, I have come to
realise we can make changes in the way we farm to
reduce our impact on things like waterways, and other
non-cattle farms in the regions where we operate by
putting small business practices into place. My goals are
to protect farm assets and, whatever the future brings,
to keep the farm running whilst being environmentally
On the farm or in life? There's one blonde lady in
Barcelona I didn't buy a drink for, that's one regret!
I've never had stage fright before, but I absolutely
couldn't talk to her. It was definitely a missed
opportunity. There are some mornings I wake up and
ask myself, ‘why am I doing this’? And then some
mornings I wonder why I was complaining yesterday.
When I was working in corporate, there was pressure to
meet goals and targets. It felt like every time I achieved
a goal I had nothing to show for it; they just moved
the goal posts even further. I believe you create your
own destiny and with farming I feel that I get to see the
results of my work everyday.
Tell me about some of your challenges?
I've grown up on the farm and I actually think the daily
demands and challenges of working hard are probably
very good for my health, because I was living a very
party lifestyle before Covid. Being a ‘cow cocky’ is very
demanding but, if you want to strive in it and try to get
further, you put the hours in and you get the return.
Have you got a life defining moment in your mental
March of 2020, at the start of COVID, I had just come
back from Europe with hopes of repacking my bag to
go travelling again. I had my money saved up, then a
close family friend suddenly died from a heart attack. He
had a dairy farm just around the corner and was milking
500 Cows with his wife and worker’s help. I really
questioned my life after this, evaluated everything,
and decided to farm.
You could have had a family with the blonde from
Barcelona by now, Marcus.
I also might still be trying to find the courage for the
words to talk to her!
Is there a possibility that you might be going on
Farmer Wants A Wife?
It's a massive commitment and I’m not sure I could leave
the farm to film for eight weeks. It’s hard to find love
when you live in a tiny town and you are a dairy farmer,
but I would love somebody to share it with me one day.
What lights up your fire to get out of bed in the
I can see the money in the vat after each time I milk the
cows. It might seem weird, but I actually love watching
calves grow up and transition into being a part of the
herd. Driving around the farm seeing things grow; that
makes me excited. My long-term goal is to buy some
land for myself. I lease this farm from Mum and Dad,
Mum does my books and dad is my gopher.
How do you make farm work fun, Marcus? Give me
I like to play tricks on my milker! And, I try to get away at
least once a month for a couple of days and just forget
about everything. I'm lucky that dad can still oversee
things. It clears your head to go off-farm and I get to
come back fresh.
Any tips for farmers that might read this and be
struggling with mental illness?
Make everyday fun. Find your sense of humour and
don’t take yourself too seriously.
The Farming Conversations 2023 is brought to you FREE by Gippsland Jersey, Connect Well, East Gippsland Community Foundation, Orbost Regional Health and the Royal Flying Doctors Service.
Grab your FREE 2023 mental health calendar here
Ladies, did you know Marcus is single and looking for love?! With no time to get off the farm to go on Farmer Wants a Wife, we need to help a farmer out during February the month of love! Great things about Marcus;
- He’s a great cook, especially Italian cuisine thanks to his Italian heritage, Gnocchi his signature dish
- His ideal date is a Private jet to Paris
- His dream woman is kind, loyal, hardworking and wants to work as a team to achieve their goals…
- Marcus’ best qualities; funny, loyal, kind, a hard worker who loves his job and his herd
- You’ll always be laughing, Marcus has a great sense of humour!
Interested? Send him a DM 📩 Insta @marcusbrickle Facebook @marcus.brickle