Elders Rural Services and the Elders Stud Stock team has announced, following an extensive national sales campaign, the sale of the Garnett SheepMaster Parent Stud flock to Charlie and Lizzie Sullivan of Merton Downs SheepMaster Stud, Merton, Victoria.
Charlie Sullivan brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of developing innovative solutions in Australian agriculture.
He currently serves as a director and shareholder of the Clear Grain Exchange.
The Garnett SheepMaster Parent Stud presented a unique turnkey opportunity and is widely acknowledged as one of the most significant additions to the Australian sheep industry in recent memory.
Neil Garnett, on behalf of the SheepMaster shareholders, Alison Bannan, and Brian and Susi Prater, said, "we could not be more thrilled about the acquisition of the stud by Charlie and his team at Merton Downs SheepMaster".
"Charlie possesses the vision, energy, and capability to further enhance SheepMaster's prominent position as one of Australia's most influential sheep studs," Mr Garnett said.
This esteemed stud will soon find its new home in the heart of the Australian sheep industry, with operations extending into both Victoria and New South Wales by year's end.
"This is a golden opportunity to acquire the entire genetic legacy of such an innovative and productive sheep breed," Mr Sullivan said.
"We have ambitious plans to expand this stud.
"From the moment I learned about the remarkable work accomplished by Neil Garnett and the SheepMaster team, I recognised the tremendous potential for growth, both domestically and internationally.
"I, and the entire Australian sheep industry, owe a great deal to Neil's visionary leadership."
Mr Sullivan and his team have reassured all current SheepMaster clients that rams are and will continue to be readily available.
"It's largely business as usual," he said.
"We will personally reach out to clients to discuss their specific requirements and our planned ram marketing program for the remainder of this year and into 2024.
"Australia enjoys a clear competitive advantage in sheep production, with the demand for Australian lamb and sheep meat continually on the rise.
"Shedding sheep are emerging as key players in the industry, providing sheep producers with options to manage rising costs, address animal welfare concerns and mitigate variable climatic conditions.
"The SheepMaster breed, being 100 per cent shedding sheep, eliminates the need for shearing, crutching, tailing and associated infrastructure."
The annual ram sale at the Garnett SheepMaster Parent Stud has been rescheduled to Friday, November 17, in the form of a Special Stud and Stud Sires auction offered via AuctionsPlus.
This event will provide a prime opportunity to meet the Merton Downs SheepMaster team in person.
This has been described as a significant milestone for Neil Garnett and the Australian sheep industry.
For more than 50 years, Mr Garnett has been one of the most influential sheep breeders in Australia.
From a farming family in WA, he has expanded to become the principle of Collinsville in South Australia.
While at Collinsville, Mr Garnett broke Australian and international ram sale records.
Over 25 years, as founding breeder, Mr Garnett has established the SheepMaster breed from a base of eight dedicated meat and shedding sheep breeds.
Based on simple principles such as breeding the best with the best, highly detailed performance recording, and 50 years of sheep breeding experience, the result is a silky skinned sheep, 100 per cent shedding, high fertility, and resilience to climatic variability.
Mr Garnett has broken more ram sale records with the SheepMaster breed with the highest priced ram sold in WA for 31 years at $110,000 and a sale average of $10,159, the highest of any breed in WA.
"The demand for shedding sheep has grown rapidly in recent years, as producers seek sustainable profitability options for their businesses," said Andrew Hodgson, the principal of Shedding Sheep Australia.
"It has been an honour to work alongside Neil, and I am thrilled that Charlie is taking the reins of the stud.
"Its future is exceptionally promising, and I eagerly anticipate collaborating with Charlie as I continue my role as the Parent Stud classer."
For all enquiries or information regarding rams for sale, call Charlie Sullivan on 0411 956 233, Neil Garnett 0418 855 406, Andrew Hodgson on 0472 646 426 or go to sheepmaster.com.au.
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