Heidi heads home to Monaro

Young Monaro producer heads home to family property


Sheep
Monaro sheep producer and industry enthusiast, Heidi Reid, with Merino ewes on property at "Yarrabin", Berridale.

Monaro sheep producer and industry enthusiast, Heidi Reid, with Merino ewes on property at "Yarrabin", Berridale.

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An interest in industry development and sustainability is fueling this young Monaro producer’s ambitions.

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AN interest in industry development and sustainability is fueling this young Monaro producer’s ambitions.  

Eighteen months ago Heidi Reid made her way home to the family property, “Yarrabin”, Berridale, to join her parents, Robyn and Phillip, and work towards taking over the farm. 

The 2023 hectare property operates at maximum stocking rate with 2500 ewes, up to 1200 wethers and about 200 Poll Hereford cows. 

The Reids run a commercial Merino self-replacing flock based on Greendale and Cottage Park bloodlines. Some ewes are joined to Border Leicesters to get first-cross ewes for joining to a Poll Dorset. 

Ms Reid previously worked as a policy manager for the Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA). She now is involved in consultancy work for peak industry bodies including the SCA.

Back on the farm she wants to boost wool cuts while maintaining flock fertility.

Their breeding objectives aim to optimise production and slightly increase their Merino lambing percentage by 10 to 15 per cent from 100pc to 115pc. 

The Reids turn off lambs as quickly as possible, lambing throughout July and August to ensure they reach the Christmas market. 

“We are focusing on producing fast maturing first and second cross lambs,” Ms Reid said.

The Reid family do not use ASBVs in their selections. Instead, they have been implementing electronic identification (EID) systems since Heidi’s return.

“We are trialling EID for a three-year period to collect enough data for trends to form through our flock,” she said.

“Data captured from joining times, scanning and weaning allows management and collection of data on early verse late, wet vs dry and twin vs singles.”

Ewes shorn in May with maiden fleece weights recorded before first lamb provided an index of wool cut data they can use to identify ewes with wool and fertility. 

With markets going well, Ms Reid believed it was important to ensure awareness around animal disease to protect markets and deliver a good product. 

"While we have great prices, it is important to develop leaders to continue to push the industry into even better territory,” she said. 

“Making sure we maintain strong market access, good biosecurity practices and use of system practices in place and the livestock production assurance (LPA). 

“Through leadership programs industry can cultivate strongly those coming through to get more people involved in where industry goes to market access and research and development.”

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