A NEW 20,000-head capacity sheep feedlot will be built in in western Queensland with the help of a $250,000 State Government grant announced today.
The feedlot will be built by western Queensland cattle and sheep producer Schmidt Grazing Industries at Allora near Toowoomba to complement the company’s Charleville station holdings.
The feedlot in the state’s Southern Downs region is expected to support almost 150 regional jobs in construction and operation with the funding boost from the Palaszczuk Government.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Schmidt Grazing Industries was one of 14 businesses in Queensland to receive a Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant of up to $250,000 to fund the expansion of their business.
“Schmidt Grazing Industries is a family owned and operated business that has identified an opportunity to capitalise on an emerging opportunity for sheep producers,” Mr Furner said.
“The funding will be used to construct a new lamb feedlot over three phases.
“By the third phase the feedlot will be able to hold 16,200 head, he said.
“This project will create jobs that directly and indirectly support the development of the sheep industry in Queensland.
“We know the COVID-19 pandemic has made it tough for a lot of businesses and communities, so these additional jobs will be most welcome.”
Victoria Hill Lamb Feedlot will be constructed at Schmidt Grazing Enterprise’s Victoria Hill operation, supporting close to 150 full time jobs across the region once all phases are completed.
Sheep feedlot will diversity Schmidt family’s business portfolio
Grazier and project owner Stephen Schmidt said the feedlot would help diversify Schmidt Grazing Industries’ business portfolio, predominantly finishing lambs from his Charleville stations, but also wethers when the opportunity arises.
“The feedlot will allow Schmidt Grazing Industries to value add their own livestock as well as buying in from other sheep producers,” Mr Schmidt said.
“We have extensively researched modern and innovative feedlot designs, based on years of advisors’ experience, data analysis and the latest technology to maximise profitability.
“The primary production value chain will be impacted at all stages: sheep producers, contract mustering, livestock agents, livestock transport companies, vets, grain, hay and silage farmers, freight companies, livestock supplement suppliers, saleyards and abattoirs, meat packagers, butchers and meat wholesalers.”
Mr Schmidt said the family also owns the Cairns and Burrandilla stations at Charleville – about 140,000 acres – which has been enclosed in exclusion fencing for wild dog control. The stations are running some Dorpers, but numbers will be increased when wild dog control is completed.
“We’ve just got cattle out there at the moment, and we stopped running Merinos in 2010 just because of the dog pressure.”
The Rural Economic Development (RED) Grants program offers emerging projects up to $250,000 in co-contributions to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector. The $10 million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending 2021.
A total of 14 businesses have received $3.34 million under the second round of funding for the RED Grants program. Overall these 14 projects are expected to create more than 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.
Funding for Round 3 of the RED Grants will be announced later this year.
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administer the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
For more information about the RED Grant scheme visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au