Farmer Profile

Calum Jacobsen

Calum Jacobsen

 Broadmarsh TAS 7030, Australia
 Tasmania
All Areas
 Business owner and manager of a small scale multi-enterprise operation that produces ethical pasture raised chicken meat and heirloom vegetables.
 Chicken farmer Market Gardener Olive picker Various Hospitality roles from fine dinning waitstaff to barista. Bike mechanic
 1-3 Years

Farming Preferences:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

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

Farming Skills:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

  • Business Management 4
  • Marketing 4
  • Sales 4
  • Planning 4
  • Fencing 4
  • Livestock Mustering 3
  • Animal Husbandry 3
  • Machinery Operation 3
  • Accounting 3
  • Book Keeping 3
  • Cropping 2
  • Human Resources 2
  • Agronomy 2
  • Orcharding 1
  • Other Farming Skills: None

Farming Methods:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

  • Organic 4
  • Regenerative 4
  • Grass fed 4
  • Biodynamic 3
  • Permaculture 3
  • Urban 1
  • Conventional 1
  • Other Farming Methods: None

Farm Opportunities Sought:

  • Lease
  • Share Farm
  • Vendor Finance

What have you been doing to get farm ready?

We have been setting-up a mixed-enterprise small-scale farm in Southern Tasmania. Our main farm enterprises evolve around a market garden and pasture-raised chicken. In addition, seasonally we have sold pork, beef and eggs direct to customers and restaurants. We also have a house-cow that we milk daily and a small flock of sheep for our own meat. Our market garden is based on organic principles and high-rotation, heirloom crops - at the moment we are growing zucchini, tomatoes, beetroots, carrots, green beans, radishes, turnips, herbs and greens. After our first season growing (2017) was impacted by poor quality imported compost, the soil is still recovering but we have managed to regularly sell vegetables to restaurants and feed ourselves. We are just starting to look into vegetable boxes as an additional source of income, but realise we need to expand on a property that has more water. The pasture-raised chickens has been an exceptional success. We raise day-old chicks (flown in from the mainland) for two weeks in a brooder and then they go out on pasture till they are processed at 8-9 weeks. Their shelter and electric net (which they are free to roam in) is moved daily to fresh pasture. Currently there are no other producers doing this in Tasmania and the demand has been huge! We sold out in the first 24 hours. We are already making a profit after only 4 months and we are paying Calum a wage from this enterprise. We could double our production and still be sold out. We sell direct to the best restaurants in Hobart and two ethical butchers (Huon Valley Meat Co and Sandy Bay Meats) that retail them to consumers. Over the last two years we have run two trials before getting certification and conducted extensive market research. In addition we strip graze regeneratively our small herd of cows and have our layer hens follow behind. We have also run two lots of Berkshire pigs - the first on pasture and the second in the bush which worked exceedingly well in helping clear old undergrowth to regenerate new growth and give the pigs lots of forage. In addition to all the on-farm knowledge we have taught ourselves since moving to Tasmania in 2017 Calum has done some casual farm work. Over winter 2018 he assisted a local fencing contractor with fencing work, in spring 2018 he worked for another market gardener in preparation for their peak season. In the autumn/winter period of 2019 we both worked for a Fresh Field Grove picking and cleaning olives for oil and table products. In 2019 Calum also worked casually at Huon Valley Meat Co as a retail assistant in their butcher shop. We have also attended a lot of workshops in particular a Joel Salatin course at Taranaki Farm in Victoria 2019 on regenerative, mixed-enterprise agriculture. We also participated in Sprout (TAS) producer program in 2019 which involved assignments, mentoring and on farm workshops.We have also for the past three years worked closely with Michelle from Harvest Feast at Salamanca Markets retailing local, organic vegetables which has given us an insight into the seasonal demands of produce. Samara has worked casually at a bio-dynamic vineyard for a year and for the past 6 months as a full-time restaurant manager. Ideally if we can expand our operation we can both be employed full-time on the farm. Calum has also run a pasture-raised chicken course and plans on hosting more throughout the year.

Why are you passionate about farming?

We are passionate about food provenance, high animal welfare and sustainable, regenerative agriculture practices. We want to create clean food and a business that strives on transparency, helping provide an alternative to the growing divide between meat eaters and vegans.

Best days of being a farmer:

Our ideal property has a minimum of 30 acres of flat to rolling pasture to expand our current chicken enterprise. We would need a permanent 1-3 acres for the market garden and water security is a must. The more infrastructure the better (we learnt that the hard way!) ideally the following; Rodent proof shed for brooding chickens Stock yards Hay storage Chiller facility Access to a tractor Grain storage Tool shed Large dam/bore/irrigation license Space to run courses from Worker accommodation Ideally no more than one hour from Hobart or Launceston. Medium-term we want to establish a private micro-abattoir for poultry on farm in two 40ft containers in order for us to have total control over the welfare of our birds and the final product. We are able to integrate the chicken systems with existing enterprises such as orchards, vineyards and groves along with other animal systems such as cattle and sheep. Our farm will be a hub for customers and workers providing a genuine connection to food production.