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Family mixed farming reaps recognition

Claire TyrrellCountryman

Mingenew graziers Peter and Kate Mills have been recognised for their dedication to the sheep trade.

The couple won February’s WA Meat Marketing Co-operative Producer of the Month award.

The award acknowledges WAMMCO members who have delivered the best line of lambs to the co-op.

Mr Mills said he was surprised to win the award at a time when the sheep meat market was at its strongest.

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He sold 306 Samm/Merino-cross lambs in the sale for an average of $130.29 and a top of $152.73.

At $5.41/kg, Mr Mills said it was the best per kilogram price he had achieved.

The Mills run a 3500-hectare property 5km south of Mingenew. They recently expanded their flock to 2000 breeding ewes, from 1800 last season.

Mr Mills said he was thrilled to finally reap the rewards of mixed farming.

“We have not had the seasonal disasters experienced in other areas of the State, but we have certainly had some difficult years,” he said.

“Our balance of sheep/cropping has paid off, even with the low wool prices of the past two decades.”

The family keeps dedicated pasture paddocks with others going into a cropping rotation, and has introduced perennial rhodes grass and panic this year.

“Some handy summer rains have already produced good results and have also germinated areas of couch grass on the property,” Mr Mills said.

“The couch was here when we took over the property and after several attempts to eradicate it, found it to be useful for summer grazing.”

Two of their four children, Jack, 14, and Maggie, 12, are at boarding school in Geraldton this year while twins James and Henry, 9, help out on the farm.

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