The name means contentment. The property was called Noojee when I bought it 20 years ago.
David Shuter, and partner Annette Gray
The challenges, the sense of achieving our aims to breed top quality high marbling, high weight gain Angus/Wagyu cross steers and heifers. It is very satisfying when it all comes together with a good season.
Because I think the principle of processing beef on-farm with none of the usual stresses on the cattle associated with trucking, sale yards and abattoirs is a very good idea. The outcome should be far less stress on the cattle, less stress on the farmer, and much better eating quality in the meat.
As a team effort with producers breeding good quality high marbling cattle and Provenir processing on-farm we can provide high-quality beef at reasonable prices – this is what consumers want. They want to know where their food comes from and that the animals that provide their food are treated humanely and with minimal stress.
“As a team effort with producers breeding good quality high marbling cattle and Provenir processing on farm we can provide high quality beef at reasonable prices – this is what consumers want. They want to know where their food comes from and that the animals that provide their food are treated humanely and with minimal stress.”David Shuter
Farm fast facts
|Farm Size||2,000 Acres (810 Ha)|
|How many cattle?||300 cows plus calves, weaners and followers. Usually a total of around 1,000 head.|
|Who works on the farm?||David Shuter – owner operator|
|Favourite beef meal?||Rear sirloin steak with at least 4 seasonal vegetables, most of which we grow in our large vegetable garden.|
|Why Provenir?||Because I believe in what Provenir are trying to achieve. I believe that beef consumers deserve to have opportunity to buy the best quality beef possible. That is not possible with the usual cartage, sale yards, abattoir system due to the enormous amount of stress that the animals go through.|
I believe that Provenir can provide high quality, marbled beef that is free from all the stresses associated with the conventional trucking/sale yards/abattoir system.
Why we farm
A sense of purpose, family and calm cattle.
Three generations of mixed livestock farming in southern NSW. From a very young age I wanted to be a beef cattle farmer and spent 40 years working towards that goal in other professional capacities, and finally, put enough land together to be full-time farming.
The challenges, the sense of achieving our aims to breed top quality high marbling, high weight gain Angus/Wagyu cross steers and heifers. It is a very satisfying when it all comes together with a good season.
Construction of a large worm farm to produce my own worm tea, the use of soil microbial activators to enable the soil biology to produce abundant feed to feed the cattle.
Not a big role other than machinery with GPS guidance.
Friends, acquaintances and consultants who can think outside the square of conventional farming methods, are not afraid to try something or suggest something very different and can solve or overcome problems and issues.
“Our vision is to bring together people, plants and animals for a better future”Tom & Sarah Whinney
Four generations and over 70 years of stud cattle
Noojee was split up as a soldier settlement block after the Second World War, then subdivided again in the 1980’s.
I bought it 20 years ago, after buying, renovating and upgrading several other properties to increase land holdings each time to a stage where I had enough land to be full time farming.
The desire to be a full time beef cattle farmer from a very young age. What kept me in farming was a fierce desire to be a full time farmer despite many setbacks and huddles along the way.
Farming operations have evolved over time by thinking right outside the square, and listening to what consumers want. Some things work, others don’t. What consumer want is paramount and if producers can listen to consumers and try to produce what consumers are demanding then all stakeholders are happy. If producers continue to produce what they feel they should (which may not be what consumers are demanding), then there will always be the divide between producers and consumers.
“ We have spoken about branding our meat for some time,
unable to find a simple solution to make it possible.
Provenir has provided us with that opportunity.”– Ian Locke
Angus breeders from herds with high marbling traits, joined to high marbling (high Tajima) Wagyu bulls.
What bloodlines do you run / what is the history of the breed?
Ardrossan, Te Mania and Reny Lea Cows, Yalandra bulls.
Why do you farm that particular breed?
Due to the premium price for the progeny that go to a feedlot.
How many cattle, (commercial, stud, weaners, yearlings, heifers, cows, steers, bull calves, breeders etc.) do you typically run?
300 cows, progeny are sold at 14 to 18 months so we run a total of around 1,000 head.
What Production type describes your operation (please note all types that apply to you):
Breeding for specialised feedlots that long feed cattle and export the product or sell into restaurants.
Tell us about your breeding / restocking program?
I buy replacement heifers from Angus herds that have been breeding for high marbling traits for many years.
What attributes do you select for when breeding or buying cattle?
Marbling, medium frame, high weight gain and easy calving.
What herd sizes do you typically run, and do you mix age groups/classes in the same herd?
Mobs of 50 cows each, each mob is kept in age groups.
At what times of the year on your farm are cattle typically finished and ready for processing?
November to January.
Do you farm livestock other than cattle? If so, give a brief description of types and numbers.
No other livestock – just beef cattle.
“Wirruna rate as the highest marbling Hereford herd in Australasia.”Ian Locke
What animal handling techniques do you employ with your cattle?
Low stress cattle handling techniques.
What type of pasture do the cattle graze on?
Oats and clover pastures for the weaners, phalaris, rye grass, sub clover, fescue and white clover improved pastures for breeders.
Do you grow fodder crops, or crops for hay/silage/haylage production?
Yes, grazing oats and clover based fodder crops as part of the ongoing pasture improvement program. Fodder crops are grazed then locked up for hay and silage.
The cattle are handled using Low Stress Stock (LSS) handling techniques to ensure that the animals are as healthy and relaxed as possible. The cattle graze on a mix of phalaris and sub-clover based multi-species perennial pastures and multi-species fodder crops. This is a wonderful diet for the livestock as it includes all the necessary vitamins and minerals, and the cattle love it.
The family also run 15,000 composite ewes, breeding prime lambs for the domestic market.
“Low stress stock handling of cattle is utilised at all times, both in the yards and the paddock. Dogs are never used in the yards with cattle, only at times out in the paddock.” – Jack Hanna
Managing the land for future generations.
What jobs are you currently working on, on the farm?
Spraying, pasture renovation, fencing, and installation of improved stock watering systems after nearly running out of stock water in the recent drought.
What are the seasonal considerations particular to your property?
Conservation of sufficient fodder to see us through the tight feed times during summer.
What land management practices / techniques do you employ?
Cell grazing with small paddocks, rotational grazing of larger paddocks, high inputs of worm juice and soil microbial stimulants and ongoing pasture improvement programs.
Do you have access to irrigation water?
What soil improvement measures do you undertake on your farm?
No till fodder cropping, application fo worm juice and microbial stimulators. Weed control and ongoing pasture improvements.
Are there particular areas on the farm you have restored or changed?
The whole area I operate has been changed from a rundown weed-infested conventionally farmed operation to a highly productive enterprise operated on some unconventional farming practices.
Have your farming practices needed adjustment to meet the challenges of a changing climate? Describe briefly the strategies you’ve put in place, when they commenced, and what results you’ve seen to date.
Most farming practices need to change if one is to remain ahead of the pack. Our farming operation has morphed into a cell and rotational grazing operation to adjust to climate change and increase carrying capacity. The metamorphosis started in the early 1990’s and the outcome has been the doubling of the carrying capacity of the farm and ease of management once all the infrastructure is completed eg fencing into small paddocks and provision of fresh clean stock water in each paddock.
Provenir offers the consumer access to vital informationIan Locke
to make more informed choices when purchasing beef.