The Nehill Brothers Farm dates back three generations to 1874 when Patrick Nehill bought the property. His grandsons, brothers Alexander, Peter and Joe Nehill, used draught horses and traditional farming practices to work the land and manage the property until 1978.
Since being bequeathed to the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), restoration projects have taken place to enhance the heritage significance of the property. Works have included new animal enclosures, repairs to the homestead, installing interpretive signs, and tending to the original farm orchard.
The Nehill family valued traditional livestock breeds which were once common throughout rural Australia. The genetic heritage preserved on the Nehill Brothers Farm is of great importance, as many heritage breeds now face extinction. As the property is run as a farm, livestock numbers and species do change. Grazing contently in the lush green paddocks some visitors might see Cheviot and Shropshire sheep, Wessex Saddleback and Large English Black pigs. The original dairy provider to early settlers, the Australian Dairy Shorthorn herd once grazed these paddocks also. Preserving genetic diversity is not only important for understanding the history of Australia, but is vital for ensuring current farming practices have adaptability, disease and pest resistance, as well as for improving food flavour and nutrition. The long-term management plan is to provide rare-meat produce to consumers.
The farm advocates education, and showcases traditional farming to school groups and visitors. The animal information boards include unique smartphone QR codes which link to web pages on each animal species.
Nehill Brothers Farm is open to visitors every weekend. There is no charge for admission. The site contains a car park and a farm trail for visitors to take self guided tours. Visit the website for more information.
Sustainability actions: Adopting science; Education; Heritage building preservation; Traditional breeds; Youth engagement.