Kiwi rugby club secure its own dairy farm

Coastal Rugby and Sports Club, a New Zealand rugby club, has bought its own dairy farm.

It has been reported by nzfarmer.co.nz that the club submitted a tender for the purchase this season of an 80ha farm near Oaonui on New Zealand’s North Island.

Club man Mark Trolove said that the purchase was a big gamble for the club and that there are strong links between coastal farmers, players, former players, the club and the ANZ Bank, which has been really supportive of this venture.

“We”ll extract the bare minimum from the farm in the first five years because our focus will be to retire debt to leave us in a strong position in future.

“We’re not in the business of buying players. This is about player welfare and the right facilities, infrastructure and environment,” he said.

Trolove believes that the purchase of the dairy farm will safeguard the club for the future. A dispensation from the farming operation runs the club and funds player welfare, jerseys and junior and high school rugby, the reports say.

“We don’t pay players. We breed our own players on the coast,” Trolove said.

Some 21 years ago, Coastal Rugby and Sports Club was established with the coming together of three other clubs; Opunake, Rahotu and Okato. With the setting up of the club, members were discussing buying a business to generate funds for the club when member Ray Barron suggested buying cows and leasing a farm the nzfarmer.co.nz reports.

After leasing a farm for 12 years the club lost the lease and was faced with the possibility of selling the herd but Barron found another 93ha farm for lease, the nzfarmer.co.nz said.

Trolove said Barron has the best interests of the club at heart and that he had business sense to make farming ventures work.

Obtaining the 93ha lease averted a crisis and the club didn’t want to be in that situation again so it submitted the tender for the Fleming farm.

“Leasing was so successful that the club used the profit it had invested as a deposit on the farm at Oaonui,” Trolove said.

When the club purchased the dairy farm sharemilkers Peter and Larissa Kelbrick had just finished the first season of a three-year contract as as 50/50 sharemilkers, the nzfarmer.co.nz reports. Trolove said milk production was up, although he also said it could go either way.

“The farm has done really well under Peter’s management. It’s a low-input farm and Peter and Larissa have done a magnificent job with the resources they have,” he said.

Trolove said that the club has a tight budget this year, but that the long-term outlook is positive.

Long-standing sponsors were key to the success of the club’s farming operation, Trolove said.

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