Farm ownership: many routes available, work key

Tony Miles
Tony Miles
Farm ownership is never easy, but with hard work, sacrifice and determination, it is possible.

Talking to aspiring farm owners at Country & Co's Journey to Land Seminar in Invercargill last Wednesday, this was the message five lots of farm owners gave attendees.

All had different stories, from progressing through the dairy industry to immigrating to New Zealand and working to farm ownership and even shearing to farm ownership, with a whole lot of steps in between.

One couple, Tony and Vicky Miles, started their journey to farm ownership working through the ranks.

They work on the iceberg system - no-one sees what is going on underneath, the hard work, the sacrifice, the sweat and tears - they just see the end results.

All of it came down to three key things, Mrs Miles said.

''People, communication and honesty.''

The Miles' had progressed through the dairy industry, from herd managers working their way up to farm ownership.

People would ask what the biggest mistake they had made along the way was.

''I don't think we've made any mistakes but we've learnt a lot,'' Mr Miles said.

After the 16 years the couple had been together, one of the biggest pieces of advice they could offer was to understand your partner.

There was another large factor, which had helped the Miles' get to farm ownership, which was talking to a mentor.

''If you don't have a good mentor, get one,'' Mr Miles said.

Other speakers included Nina Maxwell, who sharemilks with her husband, Lindsay, and two children at Glenham.

One of her pieces of advice was, it does not matter where you farm; if it helps you to achieve your goals, then go for it.

Alan Maxwell, Nick Tomsett and Winy van Rossum all also spoke about their journeys in the dairy industry.

While all of the speakers had different backgrounds, all had a similar message - to achieve farm ownership, hard work was needed.

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