“If I was a steer,” says Berrys Creek cattle farmer Fergus O’Connor, “I’d like to be looked after on a place like this.”
The 150 acre property Fergus farms with his wife, Deb, is in the heart of Gippsland, with rolling green hills, rich volcanic red soil, shelter belts of 11,000 newly-planted trees and pure spring water.
This, says Fergus, is all good news for his herd of 110 Angus steers.
“They are looked after very nicely, eating fantastic grass, drinking top grade underground water, seeking shade and shelter in the trees."
“Every morning I have a chat to them and ask them how they’re doing, so they’re like friends to me."
“They all have a brilliant life on this property.”
Fergus, 62, was a racehorse trainer on the Mornington Peninsula for 35 years before moving to Gippsland in 2012, attracted by those green pastures, that reliable rainfall and the rich soil.
He says it was a no-brainer to join Gippsland Natural in 2015, three years after he first began selling his cattle through saleyards to feedlots.
“I felt we had such a good product it was wasted through ordinary saleyards.
They were beautiful grass-fed beef raised in a pristine environment and then they were totally wasted going to the feedlots."
“I’ve always wanted to produce a good product and if you do that people will pay for it. Gippsland Natural is doing a brilliant job promoting grass-fed product into restaurants and advertising this region.”