Business Rural Spring 2021

| 27 Stud rams marching out the door Karen Phelps MEAT & WOOL » Burrows Genetics B urrows Genetics has sold 23 stud rams in four years – an outstanding achievement in the industry signalling that the stud is deliver- ing the right genetics that is helping farmers to farm successfully and profitably. Burrows Genetics has doubled its stud numbers in the last year as a response to client demand. Owned by Cust farmers John and Stacey Bur- rows, Burrows Genetics has sound lineage itself. John has contributed locally, nationally and inter- nationally as a judge. His critical eye may be one of the reasons the stud has done well commercially as well as at stud fairs. Burrows Genetics encompasses three sheep studs: a Southdown stud of 120, a dorset downs stud of 120 and a small Suffolk Stud of 25 sheep that was started for 19 month old daughter Holly. While each of the breeds has its own attributes, overall the stud focuses on ease of lambing, good growth rate, early maturing, muscling, foot scoring and survivability. Burrow Genetics’ sheep score highly when pitted against the best. The Southdown ewe 20/18 won Supreme Champion at the Hawarden A&P Show this year and one of the Dorset Downs they sold, Marnoch 891/19 got the Best Meat Breed Sheep. At the Oxford A&P Show they won Champion Dorset Downs ewe with 859/19 and came first in the southdown ram lamb category with 111/19. They also won Supreme Champion Sheep at the Banks Peninsula A&P Show with a six-tooth southdown ram, Maclaka 30/17 and one of their dorset downs 24/20 also won All Breeds Champion Ram Lamb. For the Burrows family, farming isn’t just a job; it’s a passion spanning generations. In 1851 John’s great great great great grandfather – also called John - arrived with his family at the Port of Lyttel- ton, listed on the ship’s register as ‘shepherd’. One hundred and sixty nine years later John and Stacey are carrying on the proud family tradition and that their stud sheep are also helping the wider industry. John has been involved in farming since he was born, starting his dorset down stud Marnoch when he left school. The Marnoch stud has now amalga- mated with Stacey’s southdown stud and Holly’s Suffolk stud as Burrows Genetics. The fact that wee Holly can already say ‘southie’, ‘sussok’ and ‘dor’ is a testament to her family’s passion for sheep. Attending shows is a highlight of the Burrows yearly calendar. “We don’t play golf or anything. For us it’s sheep,” says John. “I was going to shows before I could walk. It’s good to compare our sheep with other people’s sheep. It’s also the camaraderie and chance to catch up with people and see what’s happening in the sheep breeding world.” The family also run SHEEPCO, a sheep conveying and tailing business, which handles over 600,000 sheep annually. Regulatory changes to tailing have seen Stacey become more involved in this side of their business as she works with MPI to clarify what these new regulations mean for their clients, and their own sheep. In the next month they will be tailing their stud sheep with staff from MPI and Beef+Lamb NZ, comparing the regulation ‘distal end of the caudal fold’ with the best practise ‘covering the vulva and equivalent length on rams’. Holly Burrows (19 months) in front her Suffolk stud sheep. Photos: Ram hoggets sold to stud. Some of the Canterbury Dorset Down Club at Stacey and John Burrows’ wedding. R J PRESTON LTD Farm Accountants JAMES GORDON IAN COOKE E-mail: GRANT DAVID McCULLOCH E-mail: TELEPHONE: 03 358 5686 FACSIMILE: 03 358 7958 32B SHEFFIELD CRESCENT PO BOX 39065, CHRISTCHURCH 8545 Taking out a trifecta in the top 5 in the Dorset Down ram hogget class at the Canterbury Show. From Left: Charles Miller Brown, Marcus White and John Burrows. The SHEEPCO, a family run business, putting 2 tooth ewes over the conveyor for their pre tupping vaccinations on Banks Peninsula.