The new year has brought a shuffle of personnel among western Queensland stock and station agents.
Nutrien Western managing partner Boyd Curran has announced that Jeremy Barron, formerly the principal of Barron Agencies, has joined the Nutrien team in Blackall, while Des Cuffe has moved from managing the Elders branch there to the GDL Blackall branch, where he will look after rural property sales.
Ben Pelizzari has moved out of his livestock role for GDL in Barcaldine to handle residential sales in both Barcaldine and Blackall, and rural property sales around and north of Barcaldine, working in conjunction with Mr Cuffe.
Further south at Quilpie, Sam Bartlett is now a business partner with Andrew Adcock and Michael Spencer in Adcock Partners Property and Livestock, after six years with Elders.
Mr Bartlett, together with wife Courtney and 10-month-old daughter Sadie, says he is excited to be opening a new shopfront in the south west town that has seen enough For Sale signs in the last few years.
"We're a young family looking to invest in an outback town, and I like to think that the clientele in the area are happy to see a locally owned agency," he said. "We'll be bringing more of a personal touch."
For Mr Bartlett, he was excited to be offered the opportunity to have ownership in a small business, doing a job he loved.
Andrew Adcock said they saw Mr Bartlett's knowledge of the district - prior to his six years with Elders he helped run Quilpie's spelling yards, and he's the president of the Quilpie Diggers Race Club - as an ideal fit for the business.
"Together with Sam's youth and our experience, we think we can be a value proposition for the area," he said.
Mr Bartlett said there were exciting times ahead on the global agricultural scene, with livestock markets perhaps going into territory not seen before, and he was looking forward to helping people make the most of the demand.
Ruralco Property GDL Real Estate manager Andrew McCallum welcomed the addition of Des Cuffe to the business at Blackall, saying with his many years in the central and south west of the state, as well as up to Hughenden, he brought a lot of experience.
"He and Ben at Barcaldine will work as a team and I'll work closely with them both," Mr McCallum said.
"As far as what's ahead, watch this space.
"We know there's properties coming onto the market in the not too distant future, it's a good time to be moving forward with plans."
Mr Cuffe started with Elders in April 1977 but said the move to GDL gave him an opportunity to seriously get into the rural property side of the agency business.
"The best bit is that you get a great understanding of country, plus I enjoy taking clients out for inspections - you can learn a lot from that," he said.
While the property market in the region was "quite buoyant", he said future movement would depend on how the season evolved.
According to Mr Pelizzari, the residential market in Blackall had been very active last year with almost 30 houses sold, thanks to a substantial drop in the median house price.
"Barcaldine has come back a bit too," he said.
In Blackall, Jeremy Barron, whose business Barron Agencies was bought out by Nutrien Western, said it would be good to work with a team again.
He has been a stock and station agent for 20 years, moving between Emerald and Blackall before starting Barron Agencies in 2011.
"The opportunity came for me to go to Nutrien and I took it," he said.
Nutrien Western managing partner Boyd Curran said it was a pleasure to welcome Mr Barron to the Blackall team.
"Jeremy is a qualified AuctionsPlus sheep and cattle assessor with many years of experience as an agent specialising in cattle, sheep and real estate.
"From a Nutrien perspective, we had been struggling to have someone with experience based in Blackall.
"Jeremy has run his own business and is heavily involved in all aspects of the community, coaching the Blackall Magpies, having his kids play in the juniors, and his wife is a school teacher there.
"Nutrien has strong foundations in the community and I'm excited for the opportunities ahead, particularly if we can get some more rain."
He said that if the patchy season was boosted by a monsoonal influence, producers could be heading into unprecedented values for their livestock.