Ram sale proceeds go to food charity

Proceeds from the $1400 sale of a Southdown ram bred by Waimate stud breeder Chris Medlicott went...
Proceeds from the $1400 sale of a Southdown ram bred by Waimate stud breeder Chris Medlicott went to the farmer-founded charity Meat the Need. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Waimate sheep breeder Chris Medlicott has gifted a Southdown stud ram sold at his on-farm sale to a charity close to his heart.

The $1400 bid for the ram — sold in November — was passed on to the farmer-founded charity, Meat the Need, to help families and other people sometimes struggling to put food on the table.

Nearly 4300 mince and milk meals were created for 110 foodbanks and community organisations nationwide from the cash donation.

Mr Medlicott chose the charity after hearing nearby farmers John and Cara Gregan donated cattle beasts and the McKerchar family from Shrimpton Hill Herefords donated a bull from their sale.

"It was in the paper, about them doing it, and I’ve known them for years and the way they spoke about this incredible organisation and what a great thing it was and then Johnny Gregan raised a lot of money with them. I think people get in behind it and, to me, I wanted to support this Meat the Need and it’s just one ram."

Mr Medlicott said he respected the organisation’s co-founder Wayne Langford, who is the national president of Federated Farmers.

"There is poverty in New Zealand and probably a lot of us don’t see it. We have a lot of food in New Zealand so it’s good if we can do something."

He said sheep and beef farmers were facing lower lamb prices, but they wanted to do their bit for the cause.

Waimate ram breeder Chris Medlicott with one of his young Southdown rams. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER
Waimate ram breeder Chris Medlicott with one of his young Southdown rams. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER
"If you’d asked me to give a couple thousand bucks I’d have to look in the bank, but giving a ram is quite a bit different and it’s just like an animal has gone missing. There’s all sorts of reasons to do this — I want New Zealand farmers to be seen as good people as opposed to some of the stuff we’ve seen in the political arena for the past year or two."

Mr Medlicott said he took pride in producing top-quality lambs and wanted those who would not otherwise be able to afford it to eat it.

"We want our lamb sold around the world to be expensive because we need it to be to survive. On saying that we still want New Zealanders to be able to eat it. How you get around that I don’t know."

He said the ram proceeds had at least provided good meals for people in need.

Being able to provide more than 4000 meals of home-grown food was "quite priceless".

"I was quite blown away how many meals it provided and I suppose that’s a credit to that organisation that they can create so much from that. It’s pretty impressive."

Each year he hosts an on-farm ram and ewe sale with up to 80 sheep in the catalogue and donates one lot in the catalogue to a charity or organisation.

PGG Wrightson donated its commission as auctioneers at the sale and the ram buyers were also pleased to be donating to a good cause and walking away with a good breeding ram.

Mr Medlicott said he would do it again even though times were tough on farms with on-farm inflation the highest in 40 years at 16.3% — two and a-half times the consumer price inflation rate.

He said his November sale outperformed expectations with a record average price of $1460, but they had made the call to donate the ram beforehand.

"It’s always good at the start because people are prepared to pay if they want the best and then it comes back to a level. Well, the fourth-last ram made $1500 so people were going ‘if we don’t buy we will miss out’. I think people are working out who’s their ram breeder and trying to have a relationship there to make sure they are getting performance consistency."

The top ram sold for $4000.

Meat the Need turns donations of cash, livestock and milk into meals for foodbanks and community organisations through processors Silver Fern Farms, Miraka and Fonterra.



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