Livestock

Heathmar Ram Sale

By Country News

Murchison East stud Heathmar ram sale had a total clearance on September 26, selling 72 Poll Dorset studs at the Smith family business' 17th annual sale.

The sale averaged $1210 with top price at $1850.

Buyers came from as far as Yea to attend the sale.

Phillip Smith's business was founded in 1955, his grandfather purchasing the land in 1939.

Mr Smith's business has four generations with his two sons now working on the farm.

Mr Smith said he had hoped for a total clearance.

“We like to breed flock rams for terminal size to produce fat lambs,'' he said.

“Their features are length, muscle and bone.

“Every year the rams have all had their vaccinations, they're not pumped with grain and are ready to go.”

Mr Smith said he liked to think his business knew what buyers needed.

To begin the auction, Mr Smith paid tribute to his best friend.

“It's a bit of a sad day, this year is the first year without Tony Pianto, who passed away. I'd been friends with him 30 years and he's been our auctioneer for 30 years. We will miss him greatly.”

Livestock agent Joe Allen said it was a difficult day.

“My mentor passed away after a battle with cancer, it's a bit of mixed emotion but we get through it.”

Mr Allen said buyers purchased based on the visual aspect as well as figures.

“Flock numbers are down yet the lamb jobs are as good as it's ever been, it's a bit of a contrast.”

Food stalls at the sale were filled with slices, sausages and soft drinks.

“My wife, mother, daughter and two daughter-in-laws do all the food, they do a tremendous job,'' Mr Smith said.