Farmer Profile

John Donaldson

John Donaldson

 Ashford SA 5035, Australia
 5
 New South Wales
North East NSW, Northern NSW, South East Queensland
 Part time high school teacher - Mathematics and Agriculture.
 Teacher, Financial Planner, Personnel Management (Human Resources), Property renovations and building/labouring work, Church based worker, residential care home worker
 1-3 Years

Farming Preferences:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

  • Sheep 3
  • Beef 3
  • Market garden 3
  • Other livestock 3
  • Chickens 3
  • Goats 2
  • Specialty Crops 1
  • Dairy 1
  • Broad Acre Cropping 1
  • Viticulture 1
  • Other Farming Preferences: Aquaponics

Farming Skills:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

  • Livestock Mustering 3
  • Business Management 2
  • Human Resources 2
  • Marketing 2
  • Animal Husbandry 2
  • Sales 2
  • Machinery Operation 2
  • Planning 2
  • Fencing 2
  • Accounting 2
  • Agronomy 2
  • Book Keeping 2
  • Cropping 1
  • Orcharding 1
  • Other Farming Skills: None

Farming Methods:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

  • Regenerative 4
  • Grass fed 4
  • Permaculture 3
  • Urban 2
  • Organic 2
  • Biodynamic 2
  • Conventional 1
  • Other Farming Methods: None

Farm Opportunities Sought:

  • Equity
  • Lease
  • Share Farm
  • Vendor Finance

What have you been doing to get farm ready?

We currently live in Ashford, NSW where I am employed in the local school teaching Mathematics and Agriculture on a part time basis. My wife and I have been working to make ourselves farm ready and are highly motivated towards this goal. We desire to build a diverse farming business with multiple income streams, including capital growth and income from share market investments to provide financial support and capital. Practical experience has been gained working at my in-laws sheep property, in addition to the school ag plot which I currently have sole responsibility for. I read Agriculture and Business based books regularly and am constantly seeking to develop my knowledge and understanding of Agriculture. I have been greatly influenced by Joel Salatin and Richard Perkins in particular. We also follow a number of entrepreneurial farmers who share their information via YouTube. I am currently seeking a mentor(s) who will be able to assist us in our desired areas of farm management, and am seeking to position myself financially to make the jump into farming. We hope to be in this position in 2019.

Why are you passionate about farming?

We are seeking to provide a lifestyle for our family where we can grow and learn together. My wife and I wish to be able to provide our family with home grown produce as far as possible, and be able to share this knowledge with others. We love being surrounded by a natural environment and having the opportunity to work with animals. We want to be able to see our children grow up and to be able to work with them, passing on skills and knowledge we acquire. I also desire the opportunity to build a business with multi-layers of income possibilities and to be a responsible land owner who can impact and shape the land where I work, leaving it in an improved condition.

Best days of being a farmer:

We ideally would like to be positioned with reliable flowing water through the property and one which is relatively drought proof with a milder temperature, a balance of timber and open pasture, gently sloping hills and flatter pastures. The farm would be set up with a diversity of operations including beef cattle (fattening steers initially), poultry, and aquaponics etc which we would build up over the years. Operating on a rotational grazing practice, we would aim to build fertility and diversity of pastures. We would eventually like to extend our business to also include direct sales marketing of our products, with the possibility of a farm stay business targeted towards affordable holidays for young families. Our ideal day would consist of rising early and working through the routine of feeding and moving animals, completing garden work - with my family assisting in completing the chores. Later, working on developing the farm, including business and marketing opportunities. My children would complete schooling from home but would also be highly involved in a productive and successful family business.