CREATING multiple sources of income helps to stand agricultural businesses against tough times.
It’s a plan that has stood Dave and Julie Gardiner in good stead on their 115-hectare Merino enterprise, “Ba Mack” at Windeyer.
While the 400 head of Merino on the property are the main income stream, a second source comes from the couple opening their gates up to tourists for farm stays.
They created this new sideline 12 months ago, tapping into the existing tourist trade in the Mudgee region.
Mrs Gardiner (pictured with her dog Sally) said it also helped reconnect city people with “the farm”.
“The gap between the city and the country is getting bigger and bigger,” Mrs Gardiner said.
“There are so many families that don’t have animals for their children.
“We take visitors around our farm and show them our stock and farming practices.
“They can come here and feed the chickens, milk our goats and pick fruit from our orchard.”
* For a closer look at if value-adding pays on farm, see Farming Small Areas free with The Land next week. The May edition also takes a look at how to show cattle and what to look for when buying a bull.