Nic and Keryn Crompton are a perfect example of the next generation of Australian farmers. They have built up a breeding herd of Brangus cattle in eight years, have extensive experience under their belt in different sectors of the cattle industry and are dedicated to their dreams.
“We love farming, we love farming and we love the lifestyle,” says Nic.
“And that’s what we want to give the rest of our lives to – and raise our kids doing it.”
But it was only recently that the couple managed to access their own property, in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, with the help of a Future Farmers loan from NAB.
The lot can accommodate up to 375 cattle, but the couple plans to diversify their land and potential income with hay production, as well as forage crops. By slightly understocking the property, Nic and Keryn believe they will be more drought resistant.
“The long-term goals are to have about 70% of that land occupied by a breeding herd,” says Nic.
“And then during the growing season, we can trade that remaining 30%. We always like to keep 30% of this consumable stock; if it gets a bit dry, we can sell out in a heartbeat and not lose the genetics we’re trying to develop with our breeding group.
Keryn and Nic have already built up a sizeable herd, having accompanied them to no less than eight paddocks scattered around the region. This grazing agreement with other landowners gave the couple a good start, but it was not an easy road.
“You have to understand the owner, find out what his driving factors are, what his venue needs, and try to deliver that so you can secure the paddock,” says Nic.
For Nic, who has a background in fencing, this often meant working with the owners on paddock improvements.
“So that’s putting up fencing, walkways, redoing the yards if that’s what he needed, so that was safe from inventory for our crowd but increased the value of their property at the same time. time,” he explains.
“At other times we also offered to pay up front.”
Although the couple loved having the opportunity to start, having their herd together on their own property will save them fuel costs, driving time and a lot of stress. But accessing a loan was a challenge in itself.
“For three or four years we tried to find a way around the barriers,” says Nic. “And there just wasn’t an option available until we found Future Farmers.”
One of the biggest hurdles was the strict requirements of most loan structures. Nic and Keryn have a lot of experience in beef production, as well as equity in their own herd. But many lenders wouldn’t consider offering a loan until the majority of their income came from farming instead of wages.
“We both had to work full time to support our agriculture. Almost all institutions won’t turn to you for a loan, because they don’t adapt to this lifestyle,” says Keryn.
“We had done a lot of projections, calculated future cash flows and everything. We had done every spreadsheet under the sun to try to make sure this would work.
“And NAB actually looked at that and figured out that we were going to buy that lot and then trade and so on. And they took everything into account, which made a huge difference.
But even now that they are on earth, the couple will not give up their daily work. They enjoy their work and the diversity of income it provides.
“We obviously took the risk of taking on such a large amount of debt, in this financial climate,” Nic says. “So if interest rates go up or the cattle market goes down, having a stable monthly salary gives us a bit of security.”
And the flexible structure of the Future Farmers loan adapts to their business plans.
“One of the biggest takeaways for us was that NAB was willing to take a smaller equity deposit from our existing place and structure the loan over an extended term,” Nic says.
“Most commercial rural loans only last 15 years, which obviously made things much more difficult. The Future Farmers loan has a lower deposit, usually a lower interest rate and a term of 25 years. NAB also gave us interest only for three years, allowing us to buy more cows and get to full production, then move on to principal and interest.
The pair also plan to take advantage of the variable repayment structures of their Future Farmers loan to fit their trading season and optimize their cash flow.
“It’s great to see that someone is doing something to help young people get back into farming,” says Nic.
“Because it’s a goal and a dream for a lot of people, but it seems so out of reach. So it’s good to see that there is indeed a path there. And we’ve seen it happen first hand. .