Farmer Profile

Vanessa van Niekerk

Vanessa van Niekerk

 Ipswich QLD 4305, Australia
South East Queensland, Northern NSW, West Queensland, South East Queensland
 I am an industrial engineer currently working in the sugarcane industry.
 Station hand in Julia Creek, NWQld. Stud Advisor, Jacre Limousins, Bedford South Africa. Family-owned mixed livestock farming operation in South Africa - Merino and Dorper sheep, Angora goats, stud Limousin and commercial cattle.
 6-10 Years

Farming Preferences:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

  • Market garden 4
  • Goats 4
  • Beef 4
  • Specialty Crops 4
  • Mixed Farming 4
  • Chickens 3
  • Pig Farming 3
  • Sheep 3
  • Other livestock 3
  • Sugar Cane 2
  • Viticulture 2
  • Dairy 2
  • Broad Acre Cropping 2
  • Orchard 2
  • Rice 2
  • Aquaculture 2
  • Horse Breeding 1
  • Cotton 1
  • Other Farming Preferences: None

Farming Skills:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

  • Business Management 4
  • Livestock Mustering 4
  • Animal Husbandry 4
  • Sales 4
  • Planning 4
  • Human Resources 3
  • Marketing 3
  • Machinery Operation 3
  • Fencing 3
  • Cropping 2
  • Accounting 2
  • Agronomy 2
  • Book Keeping 2
  • Orcharding 2
  • Other Farming Skills: Currently completing a course in Project Management. Resourceful and keen to learn.

Farming Methods:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

  • Conventional 4
  • Grass fed 4
  • Urban 3
  • Organic 3
  • Biodynamic 3
  • Regenerative 3
  • Permaculture 2
  • Other Farming Methods: None

Farm Opportunities Sought:

  • Equity
  • Lease
  • Share Farm
  • Vendor Finance

What have you been doing to get farm ready?

Since leaving South Africa in 2017, I have been working in the sugarcane industry and getting to know the country. In the last year, we have set up a small garden/nursery which is proving to be an exciting venture, this has been a learning curve for a fiber and livestock farmer! I have also registered a cattle stud and currently have some cattle running on a property, with some embryos waiting to be used. In the interim, I have been saving up some money for a small property in SE Qld while networking with the rural sector understanding the new landscape that I will be farming in - getting to know the various soil types, grasses, and water management systems used in Australia. A particular interest at the moment is high-value crops which would require less space to make a living off of. I feel I am ready to take on the world on my own.

Why are you passionate about farming?

I have been on the land all of my life, with active farming somewhere in my life for probably for the last 12 years. My passion is cattle and extensive farming but I love the many ways one can make food for a nation. I am interested in trying new things and learning from the old guard while I start my journey in Australia. I still have a great deal to learn in high-value vegetable cultivation, but I believe this will come with time.

Best days of being a farmer:

An ideal world for me is a well put together property with a good level of diversification, I like Southern Queensland and Northern NSW - even very far out west too! I would love to breed stud cattle and have a diverse range of stock, with something different - maybe high-value intensive crops to keep my mind fresh. I would like to be on the farm full time sometime in the next few years so hoping to make a good life. Days out mustering, early mornings, the sale yards, and involving myself back in the rural life would make me home. I would love to be able to share farm spoils with the public and teach people more about where their food comes from. Whether this be in the form of some agritourism or something a bit more educational I would enjoy dealing with people from all different backgrounds and welcome them to space where the magic happens. One day with a dog and someone to share some dusty cattle-yard swears – would be the perfect day.