THE Archer family might be celebrated for their Angus cattle at East Tamar, Tasmania, but their Landfall operation is fast gaining a reputation for raising prize-winning lambs.
Ed Archer’s composite lamb placed first in the export section of the Campbell Town Show’s Paddock-to-Plate champion prime lamb competition and went onto to be named supreme carcase.
Mr Archer, who runs 1800 cattle alongside 5000 ewes, says the competition has been great for recognition of the family’s products.
“We run a retail butcher shop in Launceston, which has grown three-fold since we opened 18 months ago,” he said.
The family supply their own Angus steers and composite lambs to the Northern Tasmanian outlet, Landfall Farm Fresh, while other products such as pork and chicken are all sourced locally.
“It’s always been a goal to take our product to the consumer and we thought it was one area we could expand into,” he said.
It was their meat brand ‘Landfall Fresh’ that kicked off their dream and the Archers are now seeing the many benefits of running a paddock to plate enterprise.
“You have control of the product right down the supply chain, so you get the chance to improve it all the time,” he said.
Despite the Landfall stud Angus bulls claiming much of the applause so far, it’s the Archers lambs that have been gaining a steady following.
“We’ve been getting some great feedback in the shop,” he said.
“And the paddock-to-plate competition has helped improve our operation too.”
The Archers breed a base of Coopworth ewes, which are joined to Texel-White Suffolk rams to produce their composite lambs.
“We’ve been breeding prime lambs for the past 20 years, but it’s only in the last five that we’ve started to get serious,” he said.
Traditionally, the family ran a Merino wool enterprise on their 4000 hectare property.
But the fifth generation of Archers, which includes siblings Ed, Will, Frank, Ellie and Mimi, see a solid future in prime lambs - especially given the record prices of the past 12 months.
Mr Archer says a third of the lambs are now sold and processed at the shop, while the balance is cleared at store or on-farm sales.
“The Texel-White Suffolk-Coopworth lamb is a really quick-finishing animal, with a good maturity pattern,” he said.
“They are suitable to finish at 20 kilograms up to 28kg.”
The Texel bloodlines have also added an extra dimension to the lambs.
“Texels are one of the few sheep that carry that double-muscling gene, so you get a really high-yielding carcase,” he said.