In recent years, Mark Direen has been active in the real estate world, but it wasn’t always that way.
For more than 30 years, Mark was a dairy farmer on his family’s farm: Mt Cygnet Dairy in the Huon Valley, Tasmania.
Back in 1953, Mark’s grandfather bought the property that now hosts an impressive herd of more than 60 cattle. The Direen family has been producing 2Cow milk ever since and they take great pride in their animals, as well as their land, in such a beautiful area of the world.
Taking their milk from two types of
Growing up on a farm, Mark appreciated that his childhood was full of amazing experiences that his peers did not experience.
He still loves the quiet and hard-working country life. Since he’s still very much active in the Huon Valley community, there’s plenty for him to get involved in.
In particular, Mark loves cattle showing. He remembers showing cattle at the Hobart Show and the Huon Show as a kid and continues that tradition with his family today, passing on the passion to his children.
“I’d love to get up north to show our cattle. They have great cattle shows up there,” he says.
Even as a kid, Mark knew that farming was always going to be hard work. Not only could he see how hard his parents worked, he wasn’t exempt from getting his hands dirty either.
“Other kids would get to go and play on the weekend,” he says. “Farming is seven days a week – no weekend for us!”
Aside from the
It’s not just the physical
Of course, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible – it just takes a little persistence… even three generations worth of persistence.
Thinking about buying a farm? Mark knows all too well how rewarding farming can be, but he warns aspiring farmers that they’ll need to be patient.
“It’s not going to happen overnight,” he chuckles. As the third generation at Mt Cygnet Dairy, he knows all too well that nothing happens without a lot of money, time and hard work. (Find out how to
Mark recommends speaking to as many farmers as you can find and, with their blessing, joining them on their farm for the day.
Every farmer has a different experience, a different set of challenges, depending on the crops they grow or the livestock they rear, as well as the local climate and their particular financial constraints.
Nugget of wisdom
His last nugget of wisdom? Make sure you raise enough cash to give yourself the best chance of success.
Income varies depending on weather patterns and international commodity prices fluctuate wildly, so it’s useful to have a safety margin.
It might not be the most romantic part of farming, but cold hard cash is especially important in this sector given how unforgiving banks are with farmers.
Now, after 60 years, Mt Cygnet Dairy has plans to build a factory and a café on the property, while Mark hopes to diversify into providing accommodation and a venue for weddings.
While the family strives to