Pedigree breeder all ready to try his luck in Australia

UK agriculture is losing another progressive young farmer who has decided to start a new life abroad.

Chris Thomas runs a pedigree Charolais herd and said he was disillusioned with farming here and was looking to buy a 3000-acre farm in Australia, where he could run about 500-600 head of cattle using genetics from his own animals.

“I’m 30 now and there are only certain times of your life when you can do this sort of thing.”

Charolais are in Mr Thomas’s blood. His grandfather was one of the first UK farmers to use them after a small number of breeding females were imported from France in the 1960s.

“I’m planning to take about 45 embryos from some of my best cows and 1000 straws of semen.”

His decision means that buyers looking for a top-quality livestock unit on the Northamptonshire/Warwickshire border will be able to get their hands on Danetre Farm at Kilsby, near Rugby.

The 192-acre property is being sold by Howkins & Harrison agent Jeff Paybody, who has guided it at £1.4m-£1.5m.

Mr Paybody said there had been a lot of interest from local farmers as well as somebody looking to start a new milk production business.

“There are a lot of good family farming businesses around here.”

Apart from the land and a range of modern buildings, the main attraction of Danetre is likely to be an attractive agriculturally tied house that Mr Thomas has just finished building.

The four-bedroom house is built of reclaimed bricks and features lots of quality materials.

“I wanted to do the job properly.”

But the traffic between the UK and Australia is not all one way.

Queenslander Kai Blair, an animal nutritionist, cattle and horse breeder, and former rodeo rider, is selling his 200-acre farm at Mareeba, in the Tablelands near Cairns, and is hoping to move to Britain with his English girlfriend.

Mr Blair said bull riding was huge in the US – where prize money can top $3m – Australia and even Germany and he is hoping the craze will catch on here.

All of the pastureland at Sindell Park, which includes two houses, has permanent access to water and is split into purpose-designed paddocks, making it ideal for a cattle-breeding or equine business, said Mr Blair, who reckoned it could appeal to UK livestock farmers and breeders.

“You could make a lot of money.

People up here are very keen on Charolais and are crossing them with the local Braman.

And it’s only 22 hours to Heathrow, the world is really small now.”

The farm is priced at AU$970,000, about £427,000.

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