SOUTH East stud and commercial breeder Richard Ogilvie has taken a giant leap of faith, relocating the Spotshill Hereford stud and his portion of the Ogilvie Group's renowned commercial whiteface herd to the New England area of New South Wales.
During the past fortnight - in a massive logistical operation - Richard, his wife Kerryn, sons Stephen and Michael and daughter Courtney have moved with more than 1500 cattle from Biscuit Flat, in the State's South East, to their new home at Wongwibinda, north east of Armidale.
Mount Gambier carrier Kitschke Transport has carted 150 stud cows, with January-February 2013-drop calves, 750 commercial cows, 560 heifers and 60 bulls in 25 B-double loads.
Each consignment was spelled at the Forbes Regional Livestock Exchange to break up the journey of more than 1700km across three states.
It follows the sale of the 1466-hectare Biscuit Flat property - held in the Ogilvie family for 65 years - last month and their purchase of Te-Angie, located 1100 metres above sea level.
Mr Ogilvie says it has been a major decision to break from the family partnership with his brothers Andrew and Noel, but he did it for his children's future.
"I have lived in the SE for 51 years and in the same house for 50 years so to leave has been a big decision, but it is a good decision and I'm excited about the future," he said.
"It is a chance to start my own business with the boys youth and enthusiasm and my experience."
"We have gone from owning 2000ha in our own right to 2800ha up there with very little debt."
Mr Ogilvie said the attraction of the New England area was the abundant annual rainfall and close proximity to markets for selling EU-accredited cattle and prime lambs.
"I've travelled widely across NSW and New England and, while it may be cooler than some areas, it is less prone to drought," he said.
"We have gone from 600-millimetre rainfall country to 1000mm, which is just down the road from Dorrigo where there is the highest annual rainfall in Australia.
"I looked on the internet and found the place. Generally, properties always look better in photos but when we went up there at the end of February it was even better.
"It was perfect for us with brand new fences, a four-stand shearing shed and two houses."
Richard said it could have been easier to hold a dispersal sale for their commercial cattle, however they wanted to retain many decades of breeding.
"We could have sold them all and bought cattle up there and saved ourselves considerable cartage cost, but where could we buy cattle of this quality from?"
*Full report in Stock Journal, July 4 issue, 2013.