TO Tom and Donna Lynch, two of Western Australia’s most recognised farm industry supporters, winning WAMMCO’s Producer of the Year award was an important achievement.
The fact that the award was a special tribute to WAMMCO’s Judy Cameron, held extra importance for Donna, a frequent visitor and caller to WAMMCO Katanning and admirer of Judy’s.
The Lynch family lamb enterprise has been among the top scorers in WAMMCO competitions over the past decade, but this year’s large crossbred producer category title is their first Producer of the Year award.
It was the drought of 2010 that drove a change from a Merino-Poll Dorset base to Prime SAMMs and the prospect of better growth and better lambing percentages, then a change from May to July lambing that offered more assured feed prospects and better marketing opportunities.
“We have been lambing onto green feed in July even in bad seasons such as this year’s dry start, and still getting 100 per cent plus lambs when others are struggling for 80pc,” Tom said.
“The lambs are shorn in October and finished in the paddock with our own grain. We also seed oats into our pastures to provide more bulk in the feed mix and are progressively increasing the use of serradella on the property.” Prime SAMM genetics have been sourced from Uralla, another consistent winner of WAMMCO awards, with both SAMM and Poll Dorset breeding stock also purchased from KD Genetics of Kojonup and Cunderdin.
Tom and Donna believe the high feed conversion abilities of the Prime SAMMs assist them to readily reach their target of 50kg liveweight and to underwrite the better sustainability of their lambs.
They said the family sheep enterprise was previously based two thirds on wool to one third on meat
Now the ratio is reversed.
“We are pleased to see that mutton is no longer regarded as a by-product of the sheep industry, and that it is gaining value, particularly with efforts by WAMMCO to lift the value adding of mutton product,” they said.
“We are more than happy with WAMMCO’s performance and the way it is underwriting sheep production in WA.” Both Donna and Tom are passionate about rebuilding the WA sheep flock.
Donna has been a member of several sheep and lamb research groups and a keen student of industry technology and advancement, as well as contributing as a CBH grower advisory member.
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