DRIVEN by a passion for farming, Ian and Lesla Chamberlain, have spent their lives growing their farm to be an empire in the Newdegate district that is known as Connawarrie Aggregation.
At 18 years old, after his family sold their properties at Pinjarra, Ian moved to Newdegate to farm with his uncle Howard Taylor.
Six years later, Ian ventured out on his own and has spent the past five decades growing his enterprise to be 12,933 hectares, all within the Newdegate area.
"I have always had a business attitude and looked at farming in a business light," Mr Chamberlain said.
"It has been a fantastic journey and I have really enjoyed farming at Newdegate with such a supportive community.
"With a good climate, soil types and community, Newdegate has been a fantastic district to farm in."
But operating such a large scale property is no easy feat and Ian and Lesla have decided it's time to close the farm gate for good.
"Time doesn't stop for no man or woman and it's now time for us to move on," Mr Chamberlain said.
"This is quite a big property and it takes a lot of skill and time to run and I have made a business decision to sell.
"We will be leaving the district with a lot of gratitude that we were able to farm here."
Mr Chamberlain said he planned to take a break after the sale but intended to stay involved in agriculture in a smaller capacity.
Having been on the market for about two weeks, the sale of Connawarrie is being handled by Jim Sangalli and Simon Wilkinson, Elders.
There is the opportunity for a walk-in, walk-out sale, including livestock, plant, equipment and standing crop if applicable.
The property has been operated as a mixed farming enterprise on a 60 per cent cropping and 40pc sheep basis.
It is running about 3800 sheep, but over the years the property has easily run numbers up to 7000.
The current flock size is due to the Chamberlain's plan of winding down operations.
Mature sheep have consistently cut 6.5-7 kilograms of 21 micron wool and weaned lambs cutting 3-3.5kg.
The property is still being operated as normal, which will include a 2019 crop of 7000ha or more, depending on the season.
The 2018 season saw 6555ha of the property cropped and 3893ha of pasture.
With an estimated croppable area of
10,345ha, Connawarrie offers one of, if not the largest scale of broadacre farm land currently on the WA market.
The aggregation comprises 25 titles with generally wide, open and undulating country.
Two major creek systems provide drainage throughout most of the property.
Through excellent management practices, Connawarrie features large, easy working paddocks.
Common boundaries to most properties and convenient access to most roads allows for easy manoeuvrability across Connawarrie and efficient farm operations.
An interconnecting laneway and a system of Shire roads allow for easy transit.
Strong soil types of mostly mallee/grevillea loams and duplex soils on the northern properties and mallee/salmon gum loams to the south have been further improved through meticulous management practices with a robust fertiliser routine over decades.
Soil amelioration has also been a focus with an extensive program having commenced in 2001.
There are also areas of grazeable water course and lake country, which contains high quantities of sought-after gypsum.
One lake has been developed and licensed by the Department of Mines and Petroleum with substantial amounts of gypsum being utilised across the property.
A broad water network services the aggregation, comprising six key dams, two soaks, 52 paddock dams, eight scheme troughs, 12 troughs with windmills or pumps and four scheme meter connections.
Records dating back 40 years for yield and rainfall support Connawarrie's proven history of productivity.
A six-year average indicated 241 millimetres of rainfall for the growing season and 341mm falling annually.
An extensive list of infrastructure adequately supports the farm operations and living requirements on the property.
Grain storage is catered to with 3034 tonnes from 15 silos of various sizes, which are all located on the Connawarrie parcel.
The aggregation's infrastructure is most concentrated on this title, where there is also an 18 metre x 24m x 6m machinery/workshop with a mezzanine floor; 8m x 9m chemical shed; 340t fertiliser shed; 6m x 12m hay shed; and a raised board shearing shed.
Water storage on Connawarrie (parcel) includes a 112,000L domestic rainwater tank; 90,000L spraying tank; and rainwater tanks of 45,000L and 27,000L capacities.
Accommodation on Connawarrie consists of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom fibro home; two-bedroom, one-bathroom granny flat; and workers' quarters.
Pinjarrah has an 18m x 24m x 6m secure machinery shed and workshop and an independent tracking solar powerhouse; 18m x 15m raised board shearing/machinery shed with yards; and 140,000L of water capacity on two systems.
Pinjarrah Homestead is the main residence of the property.
The two storey home was renovated in 2010 and has four/five large bedrooms and three bathrooms including an ensuite to the master bedroom upstairs.
Features such as spacious living areas, a modern kitchen, slow combustion stove, pizza oven, NBN, 3G smart phone antenna and stunning rural views from the large windows make this house the ideal home for a fantastic country lifestyle.
The homestead also has environmental and economic appeal with the impressive solar panel system and powerhouse.
Glenmore features an 18m x 9m machinery shed; 9m x 9m workshop; 18m x 9m shearing shed with yards; 12m x 9m hay shed; 180t lockable fertiliser shed; various domestic and spraying tanks; and is connected to scheme water.
This parcel also has a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home built in 1963 and a granny flat.
A fourth residence is located on the title Duncans.
Webbs has an 18m x 9m gable, open header comb shed and an old shearing shed which has been used for storage.
Set in the eastern Great Southern, Connawarrie is about 20 kilometres north east of Newdegate, where the nearest grain receival site also resides.
The property is 400km from Perth, 300km from Albany, Esperance, Merredin, and 200km from Narrogin and Katanning.
The closest sheep saleyards are the Katanning Saleyards.
This region offers a relatively secluded country lifestyle with all the benefits of a supportive, tight-knit community.
Newdegate is also home to the annual Newdegate Machinery Field Days which rallies locals together to host a thriving event for the Newdegate and WA farming community.
Connawarrie represents a hallmark of dedication to the land and thoughtful farming practices that have enabled the Chamberlain's to build such a thriving property.
- For information about this impressive farm and to obtain the price, contact Elders' Jim Sangalli on
0417 706 996 or Simon Wilkinson on 0427 939 139.