A STAFFING decision in Qatar's Ministry of Health led to award-winning goat cheese makers Mike and Gina Butler, of Yondover Farm House Cheese, putting their farm on the market.
Mrs Butler, a former Health Department director of nursing in her ``day job,'' has been head-hunted to a senior position in the Qatari health service on a four-year contract and rather than live separate lives, Mr Butler and son Sam, 13, will accompany her.
Mrs Butler flies out on Friday, with Mr Butler and Sam, who is scheduled to start school in Qatar in September, to follow as soon as Yondover is sold.
Yondover is one of Tasmania's great success stories, with about 300 goats, a tasting centre, a commercial goat dairy producing more than 140,000 litres of milk each year and a heap of awards.
Mrs Butler said it was always a dream to start milking goats, progress to making cheese and one day move into tourism.
``But Mike and I have never been `for life' people in our approach to life's adventures, we're more like `what's next', so with 11 years on the farm edging past the extreme end of our 10-year cycles, we bowed to the inevitable and went through the latest door to open for us.''
Mrs Butler said the move started last year with an unsolicited email to her work computer with ``Job in Qatar'' in the subject box. The email was immediately deleted, as being on a par with those from Nigerian princes offering hugh cash rewards to people who safeguarded a family inheritance in exchange for bank account and PIN details.
``After more emails, a gentleman phoned me, told me what the job was and that they'd really like me to to come out and have a look at it,'' she said.
``I ran it past Mike and Sam, expecting them to reject a move to Qatar out of hand, but they both said they'd consider it.
``So I applied, had a phone interview the the chief nurse and flew over in January to meet them all - they've assembled this team or nurses from all over the world and wanted my experience in safety and quality management systems.''
Mrs Butler said Qatar was so close to Europe, she and Mr Butler could travel there easily to learn more about specialty goat cheese making.