A solicitor has bought the 8788-hectare Kopyje Station in NSW's north west following a dream that's landed her in the "big debt club".
Director of law firm Hughes & Co Lawyers & Conveyancing, which has offices in Dubbo, Parkes and Forbes, Steph Hughes bought Kopyje a week ago for $5.2 million, the equivalent of $239 an acre.
"I think I'll be more understanding of client needs," Ms Hughes said.
"I'm part of a 'big debt club' now. It's one thing to talk the talk, it's another thing to walk the walk.
"I'm hoping that's something that will only increase the respect I already have from most of my clients and from future clients."
Ms Hughes said a good lawyer who knew agriculture well could save farming clients a lot of money.
"If someone was to act on a rural conveyance but only adopt some of the terms and conditions that are usually associated with a residential transaction, then the risks are very high," she said.
She gave the example of a client whose irrigation infrastructure was damaged by severe flooding before the sale of their property reached final settlement.
A clause in the contract prepared by Ms Hughes meant the vendor wasn't responsible for the flood damage.
"It saved our client an extraordinary amount of money in circumstances where they couldn't have recovered the costs of replacement pumps, motors and automatic gates because they weren't insured against flood," she said.
The multi-million purchase of Kopyje Station is, of course, far more than a publicity stunt for Hughes & Co and Ms Hughes is not new to agriculture.
Her grandparents had commercial farming properties and she has previously been involved in a stud and commercial sheep operation running about 30,000 Merino and Dohne sheep.
She already has a 50ha irrigation block on the Lachlan River near Forbes stocked with "too many" cows.
But this is the first time Ms Hughes has been solely at the helm of a large-scale property.
Kopyje Station is 35 kilometres north of Nymagee or 115km from Nyngan and was carrying 322 Santa Gertrudis breeding cows and followers, 300 Dorper ewes and nomadic rangeland goats prior to the sale.
Ms Hughes said she would have a full-time manager at Kopyje as well as some other part-time employees and contractors but intended to be a very involved owner.
"It may not seem like it as a solicitor fairly well occupied on week days, but I tend to do a lot of work either side of the day so that I can have a long weekend and take a day here and there to be on farm."
"I'm not going to have the capacity to do everything on farm myself, but I'll be there for the musters, the cattle work, shearing, harvests, sowing and all the big jobs."
About 2423ha of Kopyje is considered arable and Ms Hughes said she would like to trial some cropping when the season suited.
"In an ideal world, it would return to be a mixed farming operation, cattle, sheep and a small amount of cropping," she said.
Selling agent Nutrien's David Russell said the price, while impressive, still made good financial sense.
"Even at that money, when people do their homework, it's still good value," Mr Russell said.
"You can trap a few goats on it too, if you get 1000-1200 goats a year, there's $100,000 just in that on its own."
Writing for farmers in the Stock & Land, The Land, Queensland Country Life, Stock Journal and FarmWeekly, farming in Gippsland.
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