Award-winning Angus cattle breeders the Raff family saw that climate change in South Eastern Queensland was adding to the challenges their farm already faced. As Andrew Raff explains, that precarious weather meant diversifying was almost impossible. “We were very restricted in what we could do – everything revolved around beef cattle.”
In 2015, the Raffs decided to uproot not only their entire business but three generations of their family (Andrew and wife Anna, their four children, and Andrew’s parents, David and Jill) to King Island, Tasmania. There, mild weather and generous rainfall deliver continuous green grass. “Even if rainfall decreases 10 per cent and the temperature rises five degrees, it’ll still be a very productive place.”
Andrew points out that the move wasn’t just to a farm in another state. “It was to an environment with its own little microclimate where you have unlimited opportunity – you can diversify at any level.”
The gamble has already paid off handsomely, Andrew reports. “Our cattle numbers have doubled, and we’ve expanded beyond beef production to provide on-demand seeding services. We’ve added lamb, and egg production and farm stays in several houses.” To add even more value, the farm is also on track to be organically certified by 2021.