Farmer Focus: Looking to New Zealand for sheep genetics

This will be the last Farmer Focus article that you will be reading from us as it is time to hand over to a new writer with a story to tell.

It’s been more than three years since we started writing for Farmers Weekly.

A lot has happened, from dealing with succession, building up stock numbers, having family, going into venison and reshaping the way the farm was run.

There have been a lot of positives in writing for Farmers Weekly and also some negatives, as you can’t please everyone.

I must say it hasn’t always been easy to come up with fresh things to talk about. Looking back through articles recently it seems we have done some daft things along the way and I can assure you there will be many more daft things done in the future.

See also: Sheep breed switch brings outdoor lambing cost savings

We are pleased to report we have had our first voluntary bTB test done on the deer and got a clear result.

We are sorting the paperwork to export some hinds to Germany. The deer project is going well but there are a lot of things to sort out in the industry before it is too late and we lose our way.

The building of the abattoir is under way, although it’s difficult finding one governing body that knows all the proper rules.

On the sheep front, we have decided to go back to New Zealand and talk with a lot of forward-thinking farmers and look at where they are buying their stock.

We are talking with one breeder who seems to stand out. We are discussing importing his genetics to improve our breeding and remain ahead of the game.

I am sure that we will keep in touch with Farmers Weekly and they will keep you informed if we do anything too drastic.

For now, we would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported us on our journey so far and wish everyone all the best with the future, especially with all that is ahead. Many thanks, Matt and Pip Smith.

Read more by Matt Smith and see his biography.