17 years of TEFRom breeding pays

A TEFRom ewe stands with her lambs at Twin Farm near Mandeville. Supplied photo
A TEFRom ewe stands with her lambs at Twin Farm near Mandeville. Supplied photo

Seventeen years ago, Andrew Welsh's parents started the TEFRom stud. As he and his wife, Katherine, begin to take over the reins, the stud has been nominated for Beef and Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry awards.

Family members still work together at Twin Farm Genetics to breed the stud, which takes the best components from the Texel, East Friesian and Romney breeds to provide what was the 2013 winner of the SIL-ACE (Sheep Improvement Limited-Advanced Central Evaluation) award for dual purpose for growth (lamb growth and adult size).

Stud breeding for the Welshes began in 1978 with a Romney stud when Mr Welsh's parents, Russell and Pam, farmed at Thornbury.

The TEFRom stud began in 1997 and the Welshes also run a Suftex (Suffolk cross Texel) stud as well, which began in 1999.

Twin Farm now supplies TEFRom rams across the country and supplies people in the Southland region.

Mr Welsh said the focus of the stud had always been concentrated around growth and survival.

Although the Welshes had the statistics in front of them, they believed the TEFRom breed showed its own success as the feedback they received from clients told the story for them.

Mr Welsh said the high milking and growth rate of TEFRoms meant they had been achieving better than 50% of the lambs away at weaning (12 weeks) at over 33kg live weight.

The Welshes sold most of the rams as hoggets in order to speed up the genetics and provide better genetics for going forward but they did also sell a number of rams as two-tooths.

Mr Welsh added that the TEFRom ewes had to perform or else they were penalised; that is where efficiency came into the farm business.

''They are weighed before mating and they have to wean heavier lambs.''

The TEFRom stud had been nominated for the Telford gold dual purpose award for reproduction, lamb growth plus adult size and wool production, SIL-ACE award for dual purpose for growth (lamb growth and adult size) and Progressive Meats award for dual purpose for meat yield.

''It was great to be nominated for the awards,'' Mr Welsh said.

He added that it was good to see a lot of different stud breeders from last year in the nominees as it showed that genetics in stud breeding was continuously changing and improving.

- by Nicole Sharp