JONATHAN and Esther Hofman along with their two young children Jane and Caleb are reaping the benefits of share farming.
They own half the herd, all their implements and split everything 50/50 with the owners of the Middle Tarwin property.
They both grew up on dairy farms in South Gippsland then moved to Darwin where Jane did her nursing degree and Jonathan had a building business.
“We bought a block of land up there, built a shed on it then sold it,” says Esther.
They were then able to come back to South Gippsland with a bit of money behind them.
They don’t miss the heat of Darwin and are very happy to be back.
Jonathan did his farm apprenticeship when he was a teenager then did his building ticket after that.
They have a four year arrangement with the owners who took a calculated risk on the hard working young couple.
It has paid off for all concerned.
“Fortunately for us a lot of people were on our side from the start,” explains Esther.
To begin with they had to buy half the herd which was already $200,000.
“The owner took a leap of faith on us then extra people helped us out because they believed we could do it.
“Within two years we were rewarded. Some of our cows were on vendor’s terms and we were able to get rid of that in two years which took the risk away for the owners.”
It’s hard work and Jonathan does 90-95 per cent of the work because it’s the only way they can move forward.
“We calve in winter, we’ve just finished cropping and harvesting all the silage and now we’re getting ready for hay. It’s a constant cycle,” says Esther.
The couple did a comprehensive business plan and work hard. Because banks are very conservative especially when it comes to stock it has worked out very well for them to do share farming.
The stock multiply very quickly and they are way ahead of where they were two years ago although last year was challenging because it was hot and dry.