Moving across the Tasman brings rewards

Melissa and Stacy Williams won WAMMCO’s January producer of the month title.
Camera IconMelissa and Stacy Williams won WAMMCO’s January producer of the month title. Credit: Geoff Gare/WAMMCO

Kojonup sheep producer Stacy Williams’ decision to move across the ditch from New Zealand to run a farm in WA’s Great Southern has reaped dividends.

Mr Williams and wife Melissa have been awarded WA Meat Marketing Co-operative’s January producer of the month title.

The couple won the award with a line of 105 crossbred lambs selected from a mob of 530 new-season store lambs they purchased for $110 a head average in December from the Katanning Regional Saleyards.

The earlier draft of lambs weighed an average of 23.11kg and returned $158.98 a head on processing at WAMMCO’s Katanning facility on January 7.

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“Our other drafts to WAMMCO from this mob also did well, reflecting a top feedlot ration for five weeks, but left no doubt that margins on store-feeding are often extremely fine,” Mr Williams said.

Mr Williams moved to WA from New Zealand in 1996 and started work as a driver for Koorda farmer and transporter Jeff Burton.

Upon moving, he met Melissa and the couple married in 2006.

A year later, the Williams family visited Kojonup to collect some gear for their near-city hobby farm and, noticing a 400ha property was for sale, decided to make a bid.

“A finance broker found the funds for us and my previous employer, Jeff Burton, stepped in with the necessary expertise to get our first crop ready,” Mr Williams said.

“The woolshed had not been used for many years but we have now fixed it and replaced the sheepyards.

“We have since added another 400ha of leasing and share-farming to the original 400ha title and our Merino flock nudged 1900 ewes this year — up from 1000 last year.”

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