Australian Grazing Company Overview
Australian Grazing Company Pty Ltd is a pastoral enterprise owned the Young Family. Our ethos is to profitably run Merino sheep at scale; underpinning this is the expansion of our business into different environments to minimise risk…namely drought. Dougal & Ashe own and manage Thornton Park, located in Wandering, Western Australia. This is primarily a sheep based enterprise running fine wool Merinos. In 2012 they extended their business into Northern NSW, with Strathleigh which runs a mix of fine wool Merinos and cattle.
From the Scottish hillsides, followed by a short stint in New Zealand’s south island, and then a brave move in the early 1900’s across the ‘ditch & desert’ to the Avon Valley in Western Australia, farming is stamped in the Young Family bloodline and heritage. Dougal is a 4th generation farmer in Western Australia and his great-grandfather, was a farming pioneer, taking up a selection of land North of Beverley. Dougal’s grandfather, Donald Young, was born in a tent on the roadside at Gwambygine, whilst his father toiled and cleared the land to establish a burgeoning family enterprise. Dougal has carried on his father, Colin’s involvement in breeding performance bred sheep - a pioneer in objective measurement – initially through his involvement with the Australian Merino Society (AMS). Thornton Park was a ram breeding cooperative with the society since it’s formation in the early 1970’s until 2003. Since then we have incorporated objective measurement using the National Merinoselect Program. Although the business has evolved from a ram selling enterprise to concentrating on breeding top-shelf genetics to purely supply our own operations, intrinsic to the success of our breeding program is an unwavering focus on interpreting what the market is seeking and adhering to our long-term breeding objective to meet the market.
Australian Grazing Company currently has two properties that are located 3946km apart (exactly!)…We have done the trip countless times whilst establishing Strathleigh. However prudent and judicious travel expenses are our mantra and we can travel from gate to gate in about 14 hours courtesy of Qantas.
WA – Thornton Park, Wandering
Thornton Park is the headquarters for the business and holds the main breeding unit for our Merinos. Situated just over the darling scarp and surrounded by state forest, yet only 140km from Perth CBD. Our closest town is Wandering (27km away), a charming little town but with limited services and no bus run, we use Brookton as our service town (38km away) – which is a fair hike if you need milk! Thornton Park has an average rainfall of 525mm (winter dominant), on heavy granite loams where the pastures are subclover dominant. The summers are typified by harsh, dry conditions where supplementary feeding is standard.
NSW – Strathleigh, Woolbrook
Strathleigh is situated in the New England Tablelands in Northern NSW, 20kms from Walcha. Strathleigh has a rainfall in excess of 800mm per annum (summer dominant) with mild temperatures but humid conditions. Winters are harsh, cold and drier with regular snow. The pasture system is based around native pastures. We have quickly realised that Strathleigh is perfectly positioned for Dougal’s parents, Colin & Lyn, to setup as a caravanning base from WA…along with their entourage of grey nomads. The toe-tapping call of the country music festival at Tamworth is a big drawcard!