Selling, buying and the family farm

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Times are changing aren’t they? almost daily we get stories of family entities putting up properties for sale, some of these are so big it make International news never alone state and territory. It then garnishes so much discussion and out cries of “keep it in Australian hands” it’s not like the opportunity has been removed from the Australian Buying it, it’s just that many don’t want it.

Perhaps as an industry we need much more feeling good stories from the media instead of print and Television media being full about drought, deaths,  couples and families walking off the farm with nothing. the hardship is the story isn’t it. Succession is also in the spot light and these family splits can be anything but nice and friendly. There is still little room for a girl, sister or daughter getting the property, it normally goes to the eldest boy and in some cases that boy hasn’t even worked on the farm for his working life but history and antiquated country beliefs still  linger so that they feel and entitlement to benefit from a younger siblings years of passion and hard work.

All these issues are emotive aren’t they? It’s like planning for retirement and old age, no one really does until “they have to”, are ‘forced to’ or the issue presents itself and others have to make a decision for you. Those of us in our 40’s and 50’s have seen it or are dealing with it aren’t we? Parents making bad travel, health, lifestyle decisions that impact on everybody and on the aging system where denial is first and foremost until a medical emergency brings it to the fore. Selling property is like this, one sometimes has to take into consideration debt needs to be paid off, families if it split all want enough to start over, pay off a mortgage or to purchase another property and if the property has parents attached they will also want their share for retirement and to live well. Most children who sell properties are aware of the parents being the lien, the debt that keeps on coming in some families.

To see Australian land for sale and to see the out cry – where are the Australians lined up to purchase the property? They are too busy living in the city to come and view the property, spend holidays at islands with cocktails and secluded bungalows rather than spend it shearing, crutching, marking, fencing, reaping, delving, etc .Being married to a farmer it’s not about the land, it’s the passion that they farmed with, the animals that they loved, that toil, the soil and the freedom to produce a commodity that contributed to the Australian economy or food bowl. At the end of the day it’s about being part of the land, that the farmer misses as the reality is there is minimal profit in farming and processors  and supermarkets want the best product at the cheapest price to the farmer so they can make money. I also get slightly bewildered at this outcry to stop investment in Australian land – why is it that those who live in suburbia can sell a house, unit or business at a really good profit yet the framer can’t, there is no method in this way of thinking, if you don’t want the land sold, buy direct from a farmer. Stop frequenting the supermarkets, the shopping centres, spend your weekend at a farmers market, drive to a producer and help out. I bet no one does.

We love where we are and plan to be here for a few more years yet. As producers of meat for human consumption we pride ourselves on the quality of our lamb and beef as do all Australian Farmers.

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