General location (closest town): Hagley, Meander Valley. 20 mins from Launceston and only 1 km from the Bass Highway direct slip lane access to the East. A post office and shop and primary school is located 6 km from the farm, with the larger town of Westbury providing take away food, hardware store, rural supplies etc about 10km.
Type of farm: Mixed Farm, but predominately Hazelnuts covering 1/3. The farm was previously potatoes, poppies, fodder, and lambs, and we now just fatten cattle for processors and grow fodder. Almost entirely irrigated by soft hose travellers (orchard by drippers). We also have a farm restaurant and farm gate shop – leased to a fantastic chef.
Size: 74 Ha, 18 with Hazelnuts
2. The farm
We are the largest family owned hazelnut producer in Australia. And the leader in the industry. Our trees are young, and still maturing. Expected to yield the target quantity of 10kg per tree in around 4 years. This year’s harvest brought 15t, and we expect a bumper crop of 20-25t in Autumn, with a mature yield of 50t in 2022 (depending on seasonal conditions). We have mostly good red soils around the higher parts of the farm, with lower parts predominately black. With under layers of clay and ironstone. We have neutral PH over the whole farm and regularly test and apply nutrients to crops as needed. We have a carrying capacity over the remaining farm of 80 head of angus cattle for fattening while producing around an extra 300 bales of fodder for sale in excess of our own needs. We have ample water, with 60mg in storage dams which generally fill over winter, and own another 60mg on the Hagley Irrigation scheme. Our rainfall is varied but we can always irrigate and have never run out.
There is a 60m2 building on site that can be turned into accommodation, or we are permitted to place up to 60m2 building on farm, for accommodation purposes (by council). There is a separate power source at the bottom end of the farm that would be private. But it would be at the share farmers cost. Houses available in nearby towns and Launceston as well.
What markets do you currently sell to?
We sell to farmers markets, restaurants, local stores, manufacturers, and soon, into China.
3. Transition arrangements
Our company would continue to manage all of the operational expenses currently undergone at the farm including rates, power, water etc. The share farmer would have to factor in any additional things they need for their own operation (should that be the option). The percentage of rent/crop given (if this was part of the trade off) would reflect those costs instead. Capital requirements would be limited to the investment, and the housing.
Prepared to have someone invest in up to 33% of the land ownership. Remuneration is flexible and can be one of, or a combination of, rent paid by the management company, a portion of the hazelnut crop to sell/ percentage of the earnings from the crop, or sufficient land to start their own farming activity – note that the value of the portion will exceed the value of the land on its own due to the bulk of the farm value being the hazelnuts and infrastructure – not the cropping land. But we cannot separate this by title, and the farm value will continue to increase in time anyway due to the brand and yield so its worth investing in anyway. We are keeping an open mind because something might be exciting to us – craft distillery that grows their own product etc
We want to retain ownership, however we would love someone else to be able to manage the farm and production while we take time off!
We would be open to vendor finance but this would have to be for a very suitable aspiring farmer..
Land transition options
4. What type of aspiring farmer are you looking for?
Knowledge of ag science, Asian languages, would be awesome – but not essential. Personality and core values are key for us. We are ‘relaxed realists’, so anyone too ‘green’, or ‘city’ is probably not going to work. We have worked incredibly hard to get where we are so we also need someone who is experienced enough to help us take this farm to the next level.
Having just taken away the biggest trophy in Australian Food – Champion Australian Product (Aust Food Awards) we think we are doing pretty well. Ideally, we’d like to see a partner that is willing to step into a young, but already developed business, with a view to improving it first before experimenting on their own venture. Our brand is strong enough in the local market that any product dropped into it would have a ready audience, but we need the future partner to recognise the enormous amount of work it takes to get to that stage, and the advantages that brings.
What support will you provide to the aspiring farmer in the short and long term?
There are no hazelnut experts in Tasmania, few in Aust. We can teach what we know, the rest is learned from doing. We will remain heavily involved – we actually like the work too much to step away completely!
Your steps to apply.
2. Send an email to Tegan@cultivatefarms.com with your attached farm proposal
3. We send on to the owners
4. Owner decides if they want to carry on discussions and you will get a lot more info (for privacy we are keeping details light at the moment)
5. When they select the aspiring farmer who is the best fit, we will work with you both to sort out a win-win.