From Chief Financial Officer of one the world’s largest companies to beef cattle producer and sustainable farming devotee, there are few people better equipped than founder of Bellbird Farm Services Dick Barnes to bring a new style of contract farm management to the south-east corner of Queensland.
Trading Sydney Harbour views for Noosa’s world-renowned biosphere in 2006, Dick and his wife Kim swapped the coast for the country the following year when they purchased three adjacent farming properties at a combined eight hundred -plus acres near Cooroy in the Noosa Hinterland. With a massive job ahead of them to integrate the farms, and openly new to the rigours of farming life, the couple employed a farm manager to help them operate the day to day running of a working property.
Over the years they called the property home, Dick and Kim not only built their home, Bellbird Homestead, but also renovated 20 dams, planted 20,000 new trees, increased their carrying capacity to 250 breeding cows, established 47 paddocks, put in five kilometres of piping to support 40 trough and eight water tanks, plus twenty kilometres of fencing. The key focus was to carry more high-quality cattle than traditional farming would allow over the long term, while still supporting their own conservation objectives. After 10 years building the massive expanse of land into a sustainable, thriving cattle operation, the Barnes family sold the properties.
Then in 2019, farming fate delivered Dick Barnes a new opportunity. The new owners of his previous farms all contacted him to ask for his help in running the farms for them. This opportunity was incredibly enticing and within a few short weeks Bellbird Farm Services was born, supported by Dick’s network of experienced farmers who work with him part time alongside their own operations.
Bellbird’s offer has developed from the core services of farm management and supporting those who choose to purchase acreage with livestock, to helping prospective lifestyle farmers make the right purchase decision for their future, to assisting at the opposite end and supporting sellers to get their farm ready for market. Dick and his team are also able to offer advice to people looking to live and invest in the Noosa Hinterland, specifically those looking for a productive lifestyle that could marry location with opportunity.
Through the Barnes’ family good standing in the community, Bellbird Farm Services is also strongly supported by local farmers and rural enterprises. Dick is passionate about helping restore the Hinterland to its former glory, both environmentally and economically. He is the founding president of the Noosa Community Biosphere Association and Country Noosa. Dick served as the Chair of the Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation and is currently the Treasurer of both Noosa and District Landcare Group and Country Noosa.
It’s an exciting time to be farming in this region. Dick and his team look forward to working with you to successfully combine sustainable farming and conservation and achieve your desired farming lifestyle.
Our services cover all aspects of property ownership for both lifestyle owners and lifestyle farmers. We have a track record of improving productivity and profitability sustainably.
Our team has considerable expertise and strong local networks available from many years of farming in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and neighbouring areas.
We provide a complete service for owners who have little time or experience to farm themselves. For those who are more involved, customised specific support is available.
We believe in improving the environment and in conservation alongside the farming activities. We are proud of both our farming and conservation achievements.