Farmer Profile

Andrew Watkinson

Andrew Watkinson

 Nambour QLD, Australia
North East NSW, South East Queensland
 We currently own and run a foliage farm on the Sunshine Coast. We are in need of more arable land with a good water supply in a less humid climate to expand our product range. We employ staff that manage our current day to day operation and we have time to look at another site with a different climate to expand our product range.
 Share farmer producing Passionfruit, Papaws, Pinapples, Strawberries for 10 years. Owner of two wholesale nurseries in SE Queensland 10 years, General manager of a large production nursery employing 50 staff 6 years, Consulting horticulturist and project manager in the UAE 5 years, Horticultural manager of propagation nursery for 4 years. Production manager of Queensland’s largest fruit tree nursery for 7 years.
 25+ Years

Farming Preferences:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

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

Farming Skills:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

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

Farming Methods:

1 = no skill level, 4 = most skill level

  • Organic 4
  • Conventional 3
  • Regenerative 3
  • Urban 1
  • Biodynamic 1
  • Grass fed 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?

This is a family farm that produced passion fruit and papaws which I sharefarmed with my father. To expand my experience I ventured into amenity horticulture working for several production nurseries and establishing my own production nurseries on my own land whilst still assisting on my fathers farm. When my father died 10 years ago I took up redirecting the farm into foliage production. It is now at capacity ( approx 20 acres under irrigated crops) with no room to expand for our increasing market.

Why are you passionate about farming?

I have been in horticulture my entire working life. It has provided me many opportunities to expand my knowledge and develop a broad experience in a diversity of crop types and cultivation methodologies. I enjoy the lifestyle and challenges it creates. It keeps me fit and active and promotes lateral thinking in some of its challenges.

Best days of being a farmer:

I expect to expand my currant operation to another site with rich soil and abundant water in a less humid climate so that a wider diversity of plant species can be grown. This will allow us to develop and, to a certain degree, own a larger market share. It will allow for the expansion of our currently small export market. The ideal farm will be located within 50k of the Coast in Northern NSW, it will have well drained soil with abundant water. Ideally the land will be free from applied chemicals as we farm without the use of pesticides. We envisage producing and harvesting the crops on this farm and sending in bulk to our Queensland farm for processing and distrubution. This would mean that wewould not be living on the farm but travelling down monthly to attend to crop maintenance and harvest.