Pastoral passion propels farmer to livestock role

Rueben HaleCountryman

Recently-appointed Pastoralists and Graziers Association livestock committee chairman Chris Patmore says his passion for industry sparked him into action.

Mr Patmore, who runs sheep across 10,000ha a sheep farmer with 10,000ha of property at Eneabba, Morawa and Perenjori, has been a member of the PGA since 1997.

He said the industry had been good to him for most of his farming life and now that he had farmed successfully in Eneabba for many years, and regardedhimself as established, he felt it was time he gave back.

In November, he’d had one of the most successful sales in all of his years breeding sheep, when his Riverbend Poll Dorset and Border Leicester stud sold the majority of the 1820 Border Leicester Merino first-cross ewes put on sale, fetching a top-price of $1400.

“With previous chairman Digby Stretch stepping up to focus more on his role as vice-president of PGA, the opportunity opened up for me to take the chair of the livestock committee,” Mr Patmore said.

“While I didn’t aspire to take on such a role, I suppose I’m now paying the price for having too much to say on issues over the last couple of years.

“But then if I chose not to do it, I probably would have wondered later on down the track if I could have done the job.”

Mr Patmore said he didn’t have any big changes planned for the livestock committee and was looking forward to carrying on the good work of his predecessor.

“They’re a pretty good bunch in the livestock committee and I find that I am able to get on pretty well with all of the people,” he said.

“In fact, the entire group at PGA are very inspirational and have a great track record in achieving industry reform.”

However, Mt Patmore said one of the biggest issues he would focus on was “the wild dog problem”.

“The State Government’s $20 million towards tackling the the dogs was definitely a step in the right direction,” he said.

“Everybody in the industry knows that it will take a consistent commitment of funding and resources by government over a long period of time to deal with the issue.

“The funding for making the State barrier fence dog-proof and giving money to producers to build small cluster fences is good, but the big challenge will be raising the money from farmers who have been left destitute from wild dogs to get rid of them within the cells.”

Mr Patmore said it was also pleasing that sheep and wool prices had improved become very good over the past few years.

“It is very opportune time for producers to do well on the back of the buoyant and vibrant industry at the moment and I would like to support that confidence,” he said.

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails