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Stud History

Located 45kms Southwest of Naracoorte in South Australia’s tranquil Limestone Coast is Yerwal Estate Simmental and Angus Stud, a 600 hectare property (including 80 hectares of flood irrigation).

Founded by Merv Lawrey is 1973 on land purchased in 1963, the stud was established with the first Simmental semen available in Australia. Its name, “Yerwal”, is interestingly Lawrey spelt backwards. Yerwal Estate’s humble beginnings have seen the fall of the cattle market in the late 70’s, drought, fire, blue gum plantations appear on both sides and family expansions over three generations so far.

Selling bulls through the Millicent Simmental Bull Sale and privately on farm, Yerwal Estate forged a name for itself. Years on, the stud has maintained its original focus of breeding quality, functional cattle.

Merv passed the reigns of the stud over to his Grandson, Regan, in 1997 when he was aged just 21. This was considered a huge honour and the responsibility was not lost on him. He passionately put his own stamp on the business, off loading all of the sheep at the first opportunity and later introducing Angus and Red Angus studs to the property (recognising their compatibility to the Simmental breed for producing composites).

Merv and Marj Lawrey retired from Yerwal Estate in 2000 and relocated to 76 acres on the Southern side of Naracoorte spending their time with family and friends.

In 2003 Regan joined forces with Ferndale Park and held his first on farm bull sale offering 30 Simmental bulls, 30 Black Angus, 12 Red Angus and 4 Composites. The sale was a positive start to this new venture with support and encouragement coming from the community and across the industry.

2004 saw the Performance Breeders Group established, a group of like-minded Angus breeder from the region selling in a multi-vendor sale at Lucindale.

Annual sales became part of the seasonal cycle of farm life for a couple of years until Regan met and married Karen in 2005. She added a woman’s touch to proceedings, working behind the scenes in catering, marketing and developing a Yerwal Estate brand while Regan focused on growing the business in preparation for the next generation.

Currently the Yerwal Estate herd consists of 350 purebred Simmental females, 120 Black Angus and 30 Red Angus females.

Traditionally we select our cattle on maturity patterns, temperament, structure, doing ability and ease of calving. This has resulted in lines of bulls that are thick, well-muscled and sound on feet and legs. Extensive AI and ET programs combined with our quality cow herd enable us to produce quality cattle year on year. Our vision is to further develop our commercially focused breeding operation, continue to introduce quality outcross genetics and offer an affordable product that performs under any conditions.

In keeping with the evolution at Yerwal Estate, our 2009 on farm bull sale will mark the beginning of a new chapter (and see history complete a full circle) with both our Simmental and Angus bulls again being sold in one grand sale at 4pm Wednesday 11th February.

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