Farmer Profile

John Allen

John Allen

 Cowwarr VIC 3857, Australia
Tasmania, North East Vic, South East Vic, North West Vic
 Owner/operator of Allen Agricultural Services Started August 2013 Also run a new joint venture Cowwarr Lucerne & Hay Supplies est August 2017
 Assistant manager of an ag contracting business for 10 years Apprentice diesel mechanic (ag machinery) Family beef and cropping farms.
 15-25 Years

Farming Preferences:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

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

Farming Skills:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

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

Farming Methods:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

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

Farm Opportunities Sought:

  • Equity
  • Lease
  • Share Farm
  • Vendor Finance

What have you been doing to get farm ready?

When I was 20 I brought an investment property to hopefully have as equity for a farm in the future. I worked with family for 10 years cropping, growing Lucerne and built up an Agricultural contracting business with them. Part of the arrangement was that I would be helped onto my own farm in 5 years from the beginning. This never happened and was eventually made very clear I was only an employee. After that I had no one else that could help me into a farm so I started contracting myself to build a business that could assist with buying/running a farm. I then have leased properties to help grow and also prove to banks/investors that I can do it growing Lucerne and mixed crops and currently running a fattening grass fed program and approximately 90 Angus breeders. I have also been working closely with a few farmers with budgeting and planning to help improve and grow there farms giving me invaluable experience and better understanding of our areas climates and potential markets. In 2017 I started a joint venture with a neighbor to my lease property forming Cowwarr Lucerne & Hay Supplies. As the dairy market had turned I needed to value add to the product I was producing and such invested in machinery to produce small square bales in a large scale to chase a different market and brought in a partner to secure the business longer term as I’m only leasing with no guarantee of extending the lease. So I now have more land a shedding to expand with until my lease ends. I’ve also gone to courses and study tours. And last year was nominated (unsuccessfully) for the young Australian farmer of the year award.

Why are you passionate about farming?

I always had a strong interest in farming as a child and by the age of 12 had started carting hay that eventually led to tractor work ect. My grandparents ran poll Herefords that I spent most school holidays at growing up. When I left school I got an apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic at a tractor dealership thinking that was what I wanted to do but found I was working for contractors after work and on weekends and I guess, realised that the job satisfaction I got from working on farms, like going past a paddock I’d sown and seeing straight lines and no misses drew me in and I was hooked. From there I pushed to work full time on my uncles property. I then became more passionate about improving the quality of everything we did including Lucerne as it can be difficult to get right with our climate. I pride myself on doing the best I can with all my work and implementing new ideas and technology to further benefit not only myself but the farmers I work for and supply to. I’m very open minded and always willing to learn.

Best days of being a farmer:

My dream farm would ideally be where I am now as I already have existing markets and experience with our area in soils, climate and markets. I would like to start by getting a farm on irrigation to grow lucerne and mixed crops as I’m doing now and eventually have a dryland farm to grow crops but also use as a buffer that if the Hay market was low I could buy in cattle and value add by converting Hay to beef etc. This could also alow for further expansion to include a dairy which the other farms could supply with more controlled costs and reliability. I would like to be able to get to a stage that the machinery I have will be solely for the farms only and pull away from contracting.