Since getting together Kylie Bremner and husband George have always dreamed of owning their own farm. With this aim in mind they have been able to make this a reality and have recently become farm owners in the thriving farming district of Kumeroa. With no background or experience in farming, it wasn’t until Kylie met George that her agricultural journey began.
George was managing a 640ha Wairarapa sheep and beef property, when Kylie began helping out on the farm after work and on weekends. Not only did she fall in love with George but she also fell in love with farming life.
Jack of all trades, Kylie has had a wide range of roles including hospitality, transport and driving, logistics, travel, painting & decorating, mining construction and civil works – all which have had their purpose in playing her part in helping them get to where they wanted – farm ownership. Part of the sacrifice has been biting the bullet and going to Australia to work in the mines to save for a deposit for a farm. “While getting ahead we were still unable to save the deposit. Quitting our jobs, renting out our houses, selling cars and rehoming dogs, we arrived in Pannawonica with no secure jobs but were willing to do whatever it took."
Spending the next 4 1/2 years in Western Australia, Kylie took on a range of part time jobs. She juggled driving buses, coordinating logistics and spent weekends working for a civil construction company building roads. It was at this time she also started driving trucks after getting her Multi Combination (Road Train) licence. “George worked 13-day fortnights so I got three jobs to try and match his hours. We house sat for almost four years to save more money. It was busy but we had a goal to get home as quickly as possible - our beautiful black Lab Lottie was waiting for us.”
Looking at farms the whole time they were away, and with George coming home once to look at properties, they found the right farm in December 2016 purchasing 180ha in Kumeroa. Their journey to farm ownership hasn’t been without its challenges. Not only with a rising property market making it hard to purchase their first farm, Kylie has also been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia twice. Firstly diagnosed in 2011, Kylie was in remission when they were working in Western Australia in 2013 she relapsed with the same cancer again. In November of that year, she had a bone marrow transplant and spent 12 months in and out of hospital while George stayed in Australia working. “George would return every 6 weeks after 17 hours of travel and look after me for two weeks and then return to work. After everything finally getting a farm that we can call our own makes what has happened all that much sweeter.”
They have found that since purchasing their property other opportunities have come up. With the help of family they managed to purchase another 52ha next door with the intention to buy back in 3-5 years and also have a share farm agreement with a 400ha neighbouring dairy farm run-off block that they can graze for around 8 months of the year. “Originally we wanted larger farm, a more economical unit, but the reality of the market situation meant we couldn’t afford what we wanted. In the end, we decided we just needed to get our feet on the farm ownership ladder. “While the operation still isn’t large enough for Kylie to be farming on their property full time, something she hopes will happen in the future, she will be working off-farm in the meantime driving milk tankers for Fonterra.
“Some people think that we have come home for a holiday but our farming adventure is just getting started. Life is busier than ever and just as we like it. The goal posts keep getting pushed further and further and we can’t wait to expand our operation.”
Kylie you have worked so hard and been through so much to get where you are today. You clearly love having a life on the land and we admire your passion for having your own slice of land. Good luck for the future, we know you will keep chasing your dreams.