Wairere King Farming

Wairere King Ram stud is a partner in New Zealands number 1 ram breeding partnership Wairere. Owners Murray & Fiona Gemmell have been farming in the King Country since 1988, and ram breeding for 13 years, on their 720 hectare property north of Taumarunui. As is typical of any hill country farm found in the heart of the King Country, Murrays’ property is very steep and unforgiving with cold, wet, bleak winters and dry hot summers. This harsh environment is the perfect proving ground for Wairere Kings’ high performance Romney rams. Wairere King rams have the constitution to handle any conditions you can throw at them.

About Murray Gemmell

Murray Gemmell

Hi I’m Murray, when I decided to develop a website for Wairere King , I didnt really know what it should contain. I mean I’m a commercial farmer not a web developer, and this technology is not an area I am familiar with. But with your support and feedback I hope this website will help Wairere King, Fiona and myself to better serve you, our clients, and most importantly improve your bottom line.

My grandfather Ernest Gemmell originally purchased 3500 acres in 1912, he then divided the farm up between his children, including my father Peter Gemmell in 1940. Most of the original farm was eventually acquired by neighbours, however my father retained 400 hectares which I purchased in 1988. Since then I have bought an additional 421 hectares, bordering the original farm. I also have a second property an hour north of New Plymouth in Awakino. This second property was purchased as an equity partnership and consists of 370 hectares of hill country. Of the 720 hectares here in the King Country 650 hectares is effective and 120 hectares is covered in native bush and pine trees. We have approximately 200 hectares of flat land and the rest is typical of the King Country, being of very steep terrain. We get approximately 1800 mils of rain per annum and the prevailing weather system is a westerly. Currently I run 10,000 stock units across both farms.

Although there is a perception that family farms are inherited and as a consequence can be poorly farmed, in my case this couldnt be further from the truth. Farming is in my blood, and it’s fuelled by a passion, which drives me to constantly try to improve every aspect of the farming process. It was this desire which led me to partner up with Wairere, the number 1 ram breeding operation in NZ. I joined Wairere in 1995, and currently Wairere King sells 300-400 rams per year. I’m a big believer in running an intensive farming system, with high stocking levels and minimal artificial inputs. I believe this is the best way to produce strong rams, with great constitution, which transfer well to all conditions. For more on this go to my pages ‘breeding philosophy’ and ‘management practices’. You’ll also be able to read about some of my other practices, some of which are quite controversial.

Buying rams should be the most important farming decision you make this year. Nothing else you do will have greater impact on your flock, than buying the right rams. Over the course of its breeding life one ram can sire 650 lambs as a minimum, yet a ewe will only birth between 6-8 lambs in its life time. So as an investment (which is what it is), in the right ram is not only great value, compared to the price of a ewe flock, the return on that investment is huge. Not to mention the fact that a ram passes its’ genetic traits on to an entire flock as opposed to a ewe only passing its genetic traits on to just its lambs. The rams you buy can lift, maintain, or pull down your flock performance. Again selecting rams is one of the most important decisions you will make this year. Its’ for this reason that I don’t sell Wairere King Romney rams on this website. I believe you need to come down to the King Country and see our operation in person.

To make an appointment for a farm visit, or just to discuss some of our management practices please complete the contact form, or you can call me on 0800 002 249 (I am a commercial farmer so am only available for calls before 7am or after 6:30pm), thank you.