Brockhoff farm could net $10m

16 Dec, 2013 03:55 AM
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Difficulty finding staff in a stricken ag sector hastened the decision to sell the Angus stud and crossbred sheep farm.
Agricultural colleges are closing down, and most graduates choose to go back to the family farm
Difficulty finding staff in a stricken ag sector hastened the decision to sell the Angus stud and crossbred sheep farm.

AFTER a price cut of nearly $7 million, Bruce Brockhoff's Mornington Peninsula cattle and sheep farm could change hands before Christmas, ending a 75-year association with one of Australia's best-known biscuit dynasties.

Three Victorian families are in ­competition to secure Moorunga farm, the 283-hectare property spread over 10 titles on Moorooduc Road, Tuerong, just above Mount Martha, with expectations above $10 million.

An expressions of interest campaign closed late last month.

The vendor is Bruce Brockhoff, of the Brockhoff Biscuits family dynasty, which created Australian staples such as Salada, Savoy, Chocolate Royals, BBQ Shapes and Chocolate Ripple ­biscuits before merging with Arnott's in 1966.

After a lifetime on the farm, the 71-year old is pulling up stumps to follow his daughter, champion snowboard-cross competitor Belle Brockhoff, as she prepares to compete at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

But the difficulty of finding staff in a stricken agricultural sector has also hastened his decision to sell the Angus stud and crossbred sheep farm his ­family has owned for 75 years.

"It's really hard to find good staff. Agricultural colleges around the ­country are closing down, and most graduates choose to go back to the ­family farm. I can't compete with that," Mr Brockhoff said.

Apart from the income generated from cattle and sheep, the high-tech farm has extensive water rights, state-of-the-art cattle yards, a four-bedroom homestead, two managers' cottages and high-quality pastures.

Marshall White agent Sean Cussell said subdivision was possible.

All 10 titles have direct access to electricity, town water, roads and irrigation.

Mr Brockhoff has hived off chunks of the property in the past, including a 200-hectare chunk to the developers of Martha Cove in 2003. The farm also has potential to be developed as a vineyard.

The property was listed for about $17 million earlier this year through Michael Phoenix of RT Edgar, before it was relisted six weeks ago with ­Marshall White agents Mr Cussell and John Bongiorno .

Mr Cussell said the previously quoted price expectations were unrealistic but he was confident of an imminent sale well above $10 million.

A recent report from Landmark ­Harcourts recorded a 4 per cent price decline in the year to November for ­Victorian rural properties between four and 40 hectares, with a median price of $28,000 per hectare. A price in excess of $10 million for Moorunga farm would be significantly above this median.

Mr Cussell called Moorunga farm an "extremely rare" trophy offering with views over the Southern Peninsula, including Arthurs Seat and west across Port Phillip Bay.

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READER COMMENTS

johnny woofl
24/12/2013 7:55:56 AM

Sick of people complaining about lack of rural workers. When primary producers employ backpakers and educate them to return to their own country with Australian experience why not do the same with Australian youth, hire and fire until you get a good one then look after him. the good bosses get the good people.
Jen from the Bush
24/12/2013 8:37:12 AM

Geez, Johnny, we haven't enough bullets! Don't think we haven't tried! You see we thought we should keep bringing youth into the industry but eventually you get ideology bashed out of you. Backpackers come with a desire to earn with a standard their money and stay the 3mths+. 4 types of employees - ones which look for jobs, does them, reports back; ones which asks for jobs; ones which stand waiting for jobs and ones which U have to find -physically, mentally, emotionally, to do a job. The last being the Au youth. No desire to produce for pay but they can drink, smoke and play.
ladyfarmer
24/12/2013 12:11:42 PM

Agree totally Jen - we have tried and tried to get decent young workers with some form of work ethic & brain- hasnt been available despite paying well above award wages and incentives for all. Given up but have had some amazing backpackers who are interested, willing to work & learn and don't have that "we're entitled to..... everything" attitude. I despair - we have tried everything to attract young staff - but now have a wonderful intellectually disabled lad who is soo good... and no one would give him a go - so glad we did- massive bonus coming his way- a trip to Seaworld- all he's ever wanted.
Old Timer
2/01/2014 4:56:31 PM

From someone who's been in the industry forever and spent plenty of time at the top end of it. If you give people a fair crack they're out there but if you pay peanuts you'll get monkeys. Good young farmers want to work in the bush, not the suburbs.
Beefy
31/01/2014 10:23:04 PM

I have found out the hard way. There are good people out there looking for work. I recently advertised for a stationhand, with a well written advert, but with only saying send email resume, to a email address at the bottom, and received 3 replies. However my 2nd advert I posted my phone number as well, as the email address getting 36 replies. People won't send all their personal details to a email address without knowing who or where they are applying too.....? Hint, be fair dinkum with people and be surprised on who and how many replies you get.

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