Property: TA Field outlays $10.3m for showcase Northern Tablelands holdings

Beef Central, 22/11/2015
High points on Doughboy Mountain are almost 1500m above sea level

High points on Doughboy Mountain are almost 1500m above sea level


Showcase NSW Northern Tablelands properties, Doughboy Mountain and Mirrugalee, sold at auction in Armidale for a combined $10.3 million on Friday.

New owner is TA Field Estates, a famous business name associated with Australian sheep and cattle grazing and red meat processing for a century or more.

Totalling almost 2000ha, the highly-improved adjoining Ebor district properties attracted 17 registered bidders prior to Friday’s auction,  more than 60 inquiries and 50 pre-auction inspections, sole agent Bruce Rutherford from Landmark Boltons, Walcha reported.

Bidding came mostly from larger family-scale enterprises in NSW, Queensland and South Australia.

Sydney-based TA Field Estates is headed by fourth-generation family member Michael Field. The company runs one of the nation’s biggest Merino sheep flocks on a network of blue-ribbon NSW properties, including nearby Congi Station near Walcha, Wyvern Station in the NSW Riverina, and Woolbrook and Benangaroo Station at Jugiong.

At Friday’s auction, the Field family paid $7.65m for highly-developed 1352ha Doughboy Mountain, offered on behalf of Sydney’s Salter family, before outlaying a further $2.75m in securing adjoining Mirrugalee, 540ha, bought from the O’Connor family, Armidale. The Doughboy sale represented a value of about $5650/ha, while Mirrugalee was about $5090/ha. Both properties were sold bare of stock.

Doughboy, which at its highest point is almost 1500m above sea-level, is situated on the eastern fall of the Northern Tablelands, roughly between Armidale and Coffs Harbour.

The property has recently been used to run Angus breeders plus grower cattle, with capacity to run up to 1000 breeders. It is understood TA field will use the combined holdings to grow out weaners bred from its herd of 1500 breeders run on nearby Congi Station.

About 80 percent of Doughboy Mountain is rich basalt soils, supporting highly productive improved pastures. The property includes four spring-fed creeks, dams, and a reticulated water system. Improvements include a homestead, cottage, sheds and yards.

The adjoining Mirrugalee is described as a having about 80pc rich basalt soils and a good standard of improvements.

In total, TA Field is understood to join about 42,000 ewes each year across its NSW holdings, plus some cattle. The company in recent years has diversified beyond wool and beef production into dryland cropping and water trading, purchasing Mobinbry at North Star in northern NSW. TA Field Estates last year was reported to have paid $25m for blue-ribbon dryland farming properties Mobinbry and Wilby at North Star.

Click here to view a short marketing video of the Doughboy Mountain holding, illustrating the use of new technologies to market rural property:

Famous name in red meat industry

Although the TA Field company today is focussed solely on livestock and crop production, its history also includes more than 40 years as a major Australian meat processor and wholesaler.

Brothers Thomas and Herbert Field emigrated from England as children with their parents around 1885, working in his father’s growing Sydney retail and wholesale butchering business which they inherited in 1900. They began to acquire grazing properties and to channel resources into the firm’s wholesale and export businesses.

During World War I the Field brothers controlled about one-third of Sydney’s wholesale meat business through their own company and through their interests in James Elliot & Co and the Francis Meat Co. In 1923 the brothers established T. A. Field Ltd, frozen meat exporters.

By 1931 TA Field Ltd had grown into a meat and pastoral empire, with headquarters in Thomas Street, Sydney, and interests extending throughout eastern Australia. Three years later, however, the brothers divided the assets and formed their own pastoral companies.

Tom retained a half-interest in TA Field Ltd and received stations valued at £810,000, among them Belalie, Warrana, Bimble, Burrawang and Congi. His private business interests included the 81,000ha Willandra station and its famous Merino stud (purchased in 1912 with the Vickery family), and, from 1930, Lanyon (on the Murrumbidgee near Canberra) which he developed as the family’s country home and rural showpiece.

Field’s wool clips were among the world’s largest combined offerings under one ownership.

The TA Field company continued as a major player in the Australian meat processing and export sector for another 40 years, before selling its remaining Queensland-based meat processing facilities at Bremer River, Rockhampton, and Murarrie, plus Orange (NSW) to Metro Meat in 1983.

In 2010, TA Field Estates sold Hunthawang Station at Hillston, NSW. The family’s 20,000ha Lachlan River property sold for $5.6 million to the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service, along with several other local Lachlan River properties.




Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Property news headlines emailed to you -