Glenvar was established in 1925 by Eardley and Hubert Shields. They were aged 20 and 18 respectively. Between them they took on the enormous task of clearing 9000 hectares of virgin sandplain 20km North East of Wongan Hills in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia.
Camps were set up in different areas while the clearing was undertaken until the permanent homestead was established in 1930. The land was cleared initially using tractors and chains and burning the landscape. As the land was cleared it was stocked with sheep. It wasn't until 1950 that clearing was complete.
By this time Glenvar had become a vibrant community of its own with numerous families living on the property and even supporting its own shop. The farm also had a small number of pigs and cows.
In 1966 Graham Shields, the oldest son of Hubert, assumed the role of running the property at the age of 20. This was largely due to family illness. After their marriage in 1969 his wife Lyn also played a large role in the running of the property. Together they intensified the farm into merino sheep. A stud was developed called Talga and sheep numbers reached 20,000 by 1980.
In 1980 a decision was made to concentrate on cropping the property. At the end of that year the sheep were all sold and in 1981, 8000Ha was planted to crop. The crops grown were wheat and lupins. This was found to be the best financial and environmental solution to farming light land in Western Australia. Full cultivation was the method of seeding adopted in the early 1980's and as the decade progressed Glenvar began shifting towards minimum tillage cultivation.
By the early 1990's Barley and Canola had entered the market as options to plant to extend the traditional wheat/lupin rotation. Triple Hitch combines were used to plant the crop and a typical rotation up until 1995 was Lupins-Wheat-Barley/Wheat and then back into Lupins.
This was also the time that Glenvar became one of the first properties in Western Australia to experience problems with herbicide resistant weeds. A redekop system of chaff collection was imported from Canada with the aim of capturing the majority of the weed seeds. Along with other practices the problem was controlled.
In the second half of the decade air seeders were adopted to seed the property. These allowed greater precision as well as the development of a superior seeding bar. This enabled seeding and deep ripping to occur at the same time. Canola was also introduced extensively into the rotation. Swathing was undertaken in addition to chaff carts to aid with weed control.
In the year 2000 Mike and Kellie, son and daughter of Graham and Lyn, returned home to the family property. At the end of 2000 another valuable tool was developed for weed control in the form of a small baler towed directly behind the header to collect the entire residue including the weed seeds.