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TAS Country : April 7th 2011
14 Friday, Ap Farm Feature Windbourne Lamb Quality lamb . . . just q TASTE SENSATION: Pip Andrewartha and Nigel Brown with jars of their home-mad GREENER PASTURES: Pip and Nigel turn out about 2000 prime lambs each year. QUIET TIME: A lamb moves through the race system devised by Nigel Brown. LOCAL FLAVOUR: The rhubarb relish goes well with lamb sausages. land THIS Karolin MacGregor People are interested in buying local products, so we could see there was a potential market there.' NIGEL Brown and Pip Andrewartha pride themselves on turning off top quality prime lambs week after week. The couple have been producing prime lambs for about two decades but have only started concentrating on value-adding in recent years. Mr Brown said they began dabbling with value-adding about eight years ago when they started selling some products under the Local Lamb brand. However, a couple of years ago they came up with the idea of Brid River Lamb and began selling their products at the Evandale Market. ''People are interested in buying local products, so we could see there was a potential market there,'' Mr Brown said. ''At Evandale it works well because people seem to like talking to the person who's actually produced what they're buying, and it's the whole paddock-to-plate thing.'' The couple turns off about 2000 prime lambs a year. About 1500 their lambs are supplied to the McLennan's Butchery at Scottsdale. The lambs are run on the couple's 73ha property, Windbourne, at Springfield in the state's northeast. Most are bought as stores and run on the property for one to four months, depending on how long it takes to finish them. Mr Brown said he had developed a unique system over the years that quietened the lambs down and reduced their stress level, which has a direct impact on meat and eating quality. After arriving at the property, all lambs are kept inside a shed overnight to settle down. New lambs are often run with quieter ones that have been on the property for a while. Mr Brown then puts the lambs through a simple drafting and race system. In the middle of the system is a yard that has a mineral lick-block and often some hay in it. Once the lambs have been through the drafting race, they go out through an adjustable height ramp and are then allowed into a fresh paddock. The ramp is also used to load the lambs on to transportation before processing. ''It's a pretty simple idea, but it seems to work well,'' Mr Brown said. ''Because they're used to going through the system and it's all kept really calm and quiet, they don't get stressed about it. So when it's time for them to go off to the abattoir, they just go through and instead of going out into the paddock they go on to the truck.'' All the couple's lambs are processed at the local Mt Barrow Abattoir, run by Terry Smith. Mr Brown said how the lambs were handled at the abattoir before processing was also vital.
March 31st 2011
April 14th 2011