Do celebrity farmers get your goat? Or are you happy to buy Russell Crowe’s bull?
Why do celebs want to be farmers?
Ask anyone what they’d do if they won several million on the lottery and they’ll no doubt wax about yacht buying, second homes and supercars. What they won’t say is buy a farm. Especially unlikely if you ask a farmer – they’ll more likely say sell the farm.
Why, then, do so many actors, rock stars and celebs make their millions and promptly buy a farm?
The roll call of famous farmers is like the guest list at glitzy awards do: Liz Hurley, Russell Crowe and Reese Witherspoon have all dabbled in farming. OK, so Liz Hurley cashed out a couple of years ago selling her Cotswold farm for £9m. Taking advantage of a 200% rise in agricultural land prices and realising a £3m profit.
The Simple Life
But Crowe says he likes nothing better than donning his RM Williams clobber and retreating back to his 1400-acre cattle ranch in New South Wales. Where his mum calls him Russ, his dad calls him Rusty and his brother calls him…..ah, we can’t print that.
So could it be the lure of the simple life? Discovering that fame and fortune, and a life of endless parties, starlets and VIP treatment is all a bit shallow?
According to famous farmer – ex-Blur bassist, turned cheesemaker – Alex James that’s exactly it.:
“The farm is probably the closest thing the ageing rock gentleman has to a natural habitat.”
Somewhere to retreat from the demands of being famous and fabulous. A world where Twitter and Instagram are forgotten and the most used phone app is the Met Office Weather App.
Is it Really that Simple?
Of course, it’s not that simple, as Alex James discovered on buying his enormous crumbling pile. Funding a celebrity lifestyle can look quite cheap compared to the overheads of running a farm:
“It would have been possible to support a bevy of hangers-on for months for the price of fencing a couple of fields with post and rail plus rabbit netting.”
As hobbies go farming has to be one of the most expensive out there.Especially if you plan to do nothing more than appear occasionally to spin donuts on the quad bike. Not as stable as they look….
Fair play to Alex James though. He’s stuck with it. I’ve never tasted his cheese but by all accounts it’s pretty decent. Plus, he’s amused us with his tales of rock star to Rochefort.
You’ve got to wonder though, what sort of reception do these celebs get at the local agriculture show?
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