Meet Australian cattle & sheep farmers, discover 100 research projects and learn more about what is important to the sustainability of the industry

Ella Matta White Suffolk & Poll Merino Stud

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Our story...

The Heinrich Family; Andrew, Tracie and son Jamie have been passionate sheep farmers on Kangaroo Island, South Australia since 1983, with multiple generations previously farming two hours north of Adelaide.

Our property ‘Ella Matta’ contains 720 ha of Pastures, 164 ha Native Vegetation, and has an average rainfall of 630mm.

Our core business is our stud, running around 1,000 White Suffolk, Poll Merino and Maternal Composite stud ewes. We were the first registered White Suffolk stud in Australia/the world, and also run a commercial Poll Merino flock (for wool) and prime lambs (for meat). Because of this we have a deep respect for our sheep which always seem to take centre stage in daily activities.

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We aim to improve not only productivity, but the condition of the land and its environment; hoping to leave the farm in the best possible state for future generations. We strive to find the perfect balance between farming, lifestyle, family and the environment.

This involves a wide range of management practices. Some of these include:

• Fencing off native vegetation (Landcare)
• Re-planting thousands of native trees (2,500 in 2015 alone)
• Establishing shelter-belts to protect sheep from bad weather
• Pasture and soil improvements (e.g. perennial & Kikuyu grasses)
• Prevention of water and wind erosion
• Prevention of dry-land/soil salinity
• Very high animal welfare standards
• Strict animal health and quarantine practices
• Providing areas/protection for native wildlife
• Assisting with the local Koala management program
• Watercourse quality testing for excess nutrients/salinity
• Grazing management through paddock rotation
• Feral plant and animal control

We are a big believer in genetic selection through objective measurement, and use the Lambplan/MerinoSelect tools extensively. Increasing productive efficiency in the animals is not only good for business; it is also beneficial to the environment. Animal health and welfare traits are also a big genetic focus, with birthing ease, lamb survivability, and parasite resistance (worms and flies) all traits that are measurable and constantly improving.


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