Anna and Jeremy Hart are first-time farm owners in Kowhitirangi, after having had experience ‘over the hill’ with large herds, they saw the West Coast as a unique opportunity to buy their first farm, and are giving it their all.
The West Coast's unique opportunities made the decision to shift an easy one. Jeremy and Anna Hart's story provides an insight into farming on the West Coast, and that pathway into farm ownership, it's one that truly represents the topic.
Both from Waimate, born and bred, Anna and Jeremy started share milking large herds from about 2006. And, milked anywhere between twelve hundred and two thousand cows. They did that for about 13 years. And then decided that it was time to take that next step.
"In Canterbury, we just couldn't see the way in; land prices were way too high. So, we said, well, we'll have a family holiday down the West Coast. And we had a look around some farms, and then came across one marketed by Property Brokers in the Kowhitirangi valley that we liked," says Anna.
Continuing, "It was hard - large herds got us to where we are, but it was pretty tough going with eight to thirteen staff in the peak. We never really had any family time. So, we decided to make a lifestyle change."
"Now, we milk 300 cows, and we've just bought another 50 hectares next door, so we're going to 400. And the thing I like about the Coast is we're pretty much self-contained. So, we've got all the heifers on farm, and cows are wintered on, and silage is made on farm also. The lifestyle's great and we've got a really good community around us. Good people, it's a good, good spot to be," says Jeremy.
Recently, an interactive panel got together with Sarah Perriam, from Sarah's Country, to talk about pathways to farm ownership through the Coast, watch Anna and Jeremy's story as well as valuable insights into rural real estate and the West Coast, in the video below.