About

About Richmond Merinos
THE LAND

Richmond is located 5km west of Quandialla in south west NSW and comprises lightly timbered plains country with clay based soils ranging from heavy grey to lighter red loams. The heavier soils grow grey box, belah, myall and rosewood while the red loams are generally timbered with yellow box and pine. The area which is known as “The Bland” has always traditionally been considered excellent grazing country having developed a reputation in the early years of settlement for turning off high quality livestock. The average rainfall of 500mm can fall at any time of the year and can vary from 150mm recorded in 2006 to over 800mm underlying the importance of producing a fibre able to withstand the extremes of climatic conditions

THE PEOPLE
the people

left to right Reuben, Monty, Sarah, Clementine and Trevor Ryan

Richmond is a 100% family business owned and operated by principles Trevor and Sarah Ryan who are the fourth generation to breed merinos on the property. The Ryan family are passionate merino breeders and are committed to continually improving the flock in a sustainable eco-friendly environment.

PROPERTY HISTORY

The first mention of “Richmond” occurs in 1836 when it is noted in pastuary licence lists as belonging to R Martin. Trevor’s great grandfather Henry Conn purchased the property in 1899. The original homestead was destroyed by fire and not long after this and a second home was built in its place which is still used as the main residence today. Over time parcels of land have been added and sold however the original homestead block has always remained in the family. The property has always been managed primarily as a grazing enterprise running merino sheep and this tradition continues under the present management.

STUD HISTORY

The Richmond prefix was first registered in 1949 by Trevor’s grandparents who based their flock on Bungaree bloodlines breeding a large framed South Australian type that was at the time quite unique within the district. Over time however the stud was eventually dispersed and after a period of hiatus during the 80’s and 90’s the merino breeding enterprise recommenced in 1994 when Trevor returned home and purchased a line of pure Severn Park blood ewes. In 2001 on the advice of our sheep classer Charlie Massy a nucleus ewe flock was created and we began implementing an annual laproscopic insemination program to breed replacement rams. In 2004 the flock was registered with the NSW stud merino breeders association and at about the same time we were accepted by Dr Jim Watts as a registered stud within the SRS breeding group. The flock was originally run as a Severn Park daughter stud while in recent years judicious introduction of outside genetics from a number of bloodlines have been infused to help create the current Richmond phenotype. In June 2008 we increased our genetic depth by purchasing 122 in-lamb stud ewes as well as the top priced poll sire at the Severn Park dispersal sale. It is our intention to eventually run a pure poll flock however we are hesitant to discard ewes with good horn genetics and for this reason the process will not happen overnight. Our current policy is to only use sires with poll or half poll genes and we are happy with the direction this is taking us, gradually converting our flock without compromising quality.

MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES
management principles 2_resized

Richmond has always been managed primarily as a grazing enterprise with sustainability very much at the forefront of both day to day and long term management decisions. A small area of barley and oats are sown annually to provide supplementary feed when needed throughout the year. These crops are grown using ‘pasture cropping’ techniques which involve both minimal chemical use and soil disturbance helping to improve soil structure, increase organic matter levels and maintain perennial grass species. No pesticsides, fungicides or herbicides other than very limited and strategic applications of glyphosate are used within the cropping program and we are committed to building a naturally resilient and regenerative ecosystem that produces healthy soils and healthy livestock. Apart from lambing and joining the sheep are run in large mobs and moved regularly giving paddocks long rest periods and promoting ground cover, diversity of species and regeneration of perennials.