A born and bred dairyfarmer has decided to move into boutique sheepmeat farming to focus on quality and not quantity.
Although Strathalbyn's Andrew Smith has dairy running through "his blood", along with wife Lisa and daughters, Amy and Prue, the Smith family has always thought out of the box when it comes to farming.
"The original family farm was quantity not quality, I have a lot of experience in large-scale farming but it was time to focus on quality," Mr Smith said.
"I did not want to keep doing things the same old way."
So, these days, the Smiths cell graze store crossbred lambs on irrigated lucerne and sell into the local market.
"We want this to be a boutique operation," Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith's family dairy operation was sold in the 1990s but he continued with a cropping, prime lamb and lucerne production operation.
"Changing to a smaller operation means I know every square metre of this property and I can focus on the product quality," he said.
Sisters Amy and Prue are "big foodies, according Mr Smith and are in the front seat to take over the operation in the future.
"If the girls want this as a career long-term, then we will increase the size of the operation to make it viable for them," Mr Smith said.
"But, this stage, is to set the operation up really well on a smaller scale and then look at expansion later on."
The family are also about to embark on setting up a Jersey cow dairy, to help diversify the operation.
Low-stress grazing benefits
After more than 40 years of growing lucerne, a Strathalbyn lamb producer has harnessed his knowledge about the industry and begun growing out lambs for the local market.
According to Andrew Smith, "You do not need to be big to be successful, it is about working smarter not harder."
So, to ensure he continues to grow a sustainable product, Mr Smith runs seven irrigated lucerne grazing cells to grow out crossbred lambs.
"For us, the importance is in the quality. Lambs grazed on lucerne have better flavour and texture - you could compare it to saltbush lamb," he said.
"Lambs are what they eat and lucerne is very high in protein."
Mr Smith buys in good quality, White Suffolk or Suffolk and Merino crossbred heavy trade lambs, to finish on lucerne.
"We sowed lucerne and then divided it into cells afterwards. I have always been into this type of farming, making every square metre of your property work," he said.
"We put lambs in weight range mobs and then follow lambs after cell grazing with hay."
The lambs go through each single cell and if they cannot keep up with the lucerne, it is cut it for hay as a secondary market.
"Once the lambs have finished grazing, they leave some stalk so I use a rotary mower and top it, so all new growth comes through," Mr Smith said.
The target weight for lambs is about 55-60 kilograms live weight and 25-28kg dressedweight.
"We basically get the lambs home, put them on hay, shear, and straight onto the lucerne until they go to the butcher," Mr Smith said.
Depending on the weight, good quality lambs take about three to four weeks to reach the market.
Mr Smith supplies the local butcher about 300 lambs a year.
"We used to sell privately but it is mostly through the butcher now. It is really starting to grow now," he said.
Lambs on lucerne generally put on about 250 to 300 grams a day - about two kilograms a week.
To keep lambs growing well, the Smith family aim to provide a stress-free environment for lambs.
So, visitors will not find any sheep dogs at this farm and instead, be greeted by Dolly and Miranda - pet sheep leaders.
"Within a week or two, the lambs are entirely quiet and follow the leaders without any fuss at all," Mr Smith said.
"We are entirely about no stress on the mob, it is not good for the end product to have stressed animals."
Mr Smith hopes to build confidence in his daughters to take on the operation in the years ahead, as he prepares to take a step back.