Keeping farming in the family
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