Business Rural Spring 2021

| 63 MEAT & WOOL » Steve and Tony Ellis Ram buyers stay loyal to Upton stud Upton Dorset Down Stud summer ram sale continues to attract buyers looking to improve their flocks. Buyers can select from 70-80 two-tooth rams and 20-30 ram lambs. Richard Loader F ounded almost fifty years ago by Tony and Lois Ellis, the Upton Dorset Down Stud continues to be a favourite for ram buyers throughout the South Island and even into the North, looking to improve their own commercial flocks. Every summer, from December through to Janu- ary/February the Ellis’s open their farm gate just a few kilometres north of Amberley to repeat buyers and stock agents, selecting from 70 – 80 two tooth rams and 20 – 30 ram lambs which are perfect for hogget mating. Regulars include a couple of second-generation Amberley buyers and a farmer from Papakura, South Auckland who is into his fifth season. After fifty years of stud breeding, Tony and Lois are starting to hand the reins of the stud to their son Steve who farms just a short distance away in Waipara, nestled between the vineyards and the foot of Mt Cass. Steve says that as a young fella he used to follow his parents along to the A&P Shows, showing their stud sheep, so reckons farming and the stud is in his blood. “My parents have always loved watching clients come back to the farm year on year to buy the com- mercial rams and then hearing through the lamb drafter how they are progressing with the purchase of our rams and the growth rates they are getting. “ You get quite a buzz out of that and I’ve grown into that passion as well. In the last 10 – 15 years I have got more involved with the stud and taking over a bit more of looking after it.” Proud to be associated with Steve & Tony Ellis Personal & Professional Service, Farm, Commerical & Business Accountancy Taxation Advice, Financial Returns While Steve will be taking ownership of the stud, the summer sales will continue on his parents’ property at this stage. The Ellis’s breeding objective is to improve the rams that they put in front year on year so that the buyers are getting better results for their lambs going off to the freezing works. “Buyers can expect a structurally sound ram and rams that have a good temperament. We do all the data recording for fat and eye muscle scanning, weaning rates, good growth rates during summer and good autumn growth rates. Many buyers also feel that putting a twin black face ram helps them get more lambs on the ground.” But Steve says regardless of what the genetics are like and what the data says, you have to like the look of the ram first. “That’s about good old-fashioned stockmanship selecting the right rams with a good constitution that can withstand steep hill country.” Steve’s own block encompasses 160 hectares of flat to easy rolling country of which 55 hectares are spray irrigated. The farm is home to 1500 Corriedale ewes that go to a Dorset Down ram. Being a dual-purpose animal the focus is on prime lamb and wool Steve usually buys in a dozen purebred Angus or Angus Hereford Cross heifers at the autumn calf sales, takes them through one winter before selling them prime the following summer. In recent times Steve has been the President of the Central Canterbury Dorset Down Club and is the current Chairperson of the New Zealand Dorset Downs Society. The Upton Dorset Down stud will continue to be in safe hands for many years to come and will continue to welcome breeders from far and near. Daniel Wheeler Scanning Breeders of Texel, FinnTexel, Finnish Landrace & Meatmaster Sheep , , 0274 365 167 Daniel Wheeler Livestock . . FOR ALL YOUR SHEARING NEEDS IN CANTERBURY contact Mark : 027 395 0512 • Tracmap proof of placement • Spreadmark Certi ed Contact us today! Your local certified spreading specialists! Mob: 021 134 8514 A/Hrs: 03 314 8157 Email: