Keep­ing farm­ing in the fam­ily

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS -

FOR sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion sheep and cat­tle farmer Scott Rear­don, he feels not only for­tu­nate to be on the prop­erty, but is also de­lighted his two sons will con­tinue the fam­ily tra­di­tion.

Mr Rear­don and his two sons, Nicholas, 27, and 25year-old Timothy, run Rock­ford and ad­join­ing prop­erty Jean Banks on the Cen­tral High­lands near Both­well. Daugh­ter Belinda, 33, is in Vic­to­ria shear­ing.

“I like farm­ing and I am for­tu­nate to be on this farm. I en­joy farm­ing — it’s a way of life,” said Mr Rear­don, 53.

“Farm­ing is good at the mo­ment with solid stock prices.

“The boys will be the third gen­er­a­tion here and it’s re­ally pleas­ing they want to take it on.”

Across the prop­er­ties they farm 5465ha with about 800ha set aside for tim­ber.

They run al­most 17,000 meri­nos and the flock av­er­age is about 18 mi­crons pro­duc­ing about 100,000kg of wool, with the Rear­dons sell­ing all their wool through Roberts Lim­ited at auc­tion and/or spe­cial or­ders.

Of the flock be­tween 5000 to 5500 are wethers. They lamb in Oc­to­ber, pro­duc­ing about 7000 ewes.

“It’s bit warmer this year and ex­tremely dry, but we are ex­pect­ing a good sea­son of lamb­ing,” Mr Rear­don said.

“We re­cently scanned for the first time. [We] scanned 1600 four-year-old ewes, and found we had 3 per cent empty but an in-lamb per­cent­age of 165.”

Shear­ing nor­mally starts in last week of Au­gust, then de­pend­ing on sched­ules the hoggets, with the wethers shorn in late Oc­to­ber.

They also run 440 con­tented here­ford cat­tle, which are in Green­ham’s Never Ever pro­gram, mean­ing the cat­tle are not given an­tibi­otics, growth hor­mones or GMO feeds and are only grass fed.

Rock­ford is on the banks of the Shan­non River, but the Rear­dons do not ir­ri­gate.

When we vis­ited Timothy was in a block at Jean Banks, clear­ing rocks and scrub as part of their pas­ture im­prove­ment pro­gram.

“We are con­tin­ual im­prov­ing pas­ture and im­prov­ing the farms. We have a lot of dis­tinct sea­sonal dif­fer­en­tial from one end of the farm to the other. It gets a fair colder at Jean Banks than at Rock­ford,” Timothy said.

Other son Nicholas was also busy on the prop­erty check­ing live­stock and putting out sup­ple­ment blocks.

“Keep the live­stock healthy and con­tent, they will make

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