Record Ram Sale at Meadowslea

Posted: 30 November 2021

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Meadowslea Angus and Sheep Genetics held their main annual Ram Sale on-farm near Fairlie on Thursday, and are thrilled with the record-breaking result.

300 rams were sold on the day through the Yourbid online Helmsman Auction platform, for an outstanding average of just under $1500, in what is believed to be NZ’s largest single-vendor ram sale.

Over two thousand bids were placed over the course of the sale, with simultaneous bidding by on-farm and remote buyers processed by the web-based platform, and shown simultaneously both on online buyers’ devices, and on giant TV screens at the on-farm sale in tents in the Meadowslea front paddock. Over 100 registered buyers participated in the sale, with rams transported as far south as Tuatapere and as far north as southern Hawke’s Bay.

Individual videos were made of every single ram in the offering, in their pens of four, with live-recorded commentary by the vendors. These videos were made available on the stud’s website in the days leading up to the sale along with a full catalogue, allowing potential buyers to do detailed research on the rams at home in the leadup to the actual sale day. In addition, online bidding was opened 5 days before the scheduled sale start.

With buoyant sheepmeat prices and good spring moisture there was positive sentiment in the sheep industry, and despite offering more rams this year the stud enjoyed a very strong clearance of rams. The Meadowslea ewe flock have run unshepherded on tussock country since 1990, which has driven major progress in lamb survival and the mothering ability of the sheep. The stud has selected for medium-framed, deep, thick, and sound animals that are suitable for this hill country environment, across 7 different breeds of sheep as well as their Angus cattle.

The Romney rams led the way again this year, with the leading average of $1600 and equal-top price of $3,300 for lots 1 and 2, bought by Tim Cameron of Kurow and Rodney Ruxton of Outram. The ½ Texel x ½ Romney rams sold out completely, as did the 88 black-faced Kelso Terminals, the top of which made $3200. The Romdale, Perendale x Texel x Romney, ¾ Romney x ¼ Texel, Kelso x Romney and Kelso Maternal breeds also sold strongly.

With only space for 324 rams in the tent on the day, it was always going to be difficult to have enough rams in, but studmaster David Giddings says there are plenty of good rams left of all the breeds, particularly the Romney and Kelso Terminal breeds, and with the recent purchase of a neighbouring property and strong tailing percentages in recent years the stud has been steadily building sheep numbers. Enquiries for private purchases of further rams are invited from now.

The family also own the Yourbid auction platform used for the sales, which has been very successful in allowing integration of online and on-farm bidding through a buyer-friendly platform. As well as their own sales of both rams and Angus Cattle, they are running a number of other ram sales over the next few weeks, and have successfully run both sheep and cattle sales in the UK as well. Enquiry is invited from other farmers interested in using this platform as well.