Aire River Cattle Stud is owned by Piet Ellnor and his wife Helen. The 54 hectare property is located in the Horden Vale/GlenAire area on the world renowned eco-tourist southern coast of Victoria. Their Lowline cattle were bought in 2005.
Having experienced farming in Tabulum, NSW, as a high school lad, and having worked in the oil and gas construction industry for more than thirty years, Piet is what you might call a ‘farm-change’ farmer. Helen is a nurse with no prior cattle experience.
The backdrop to the property is the Otway National Forest that is a unique temperate rainforest that also forms a wonderful eco-environment throughout the valleys of the property. The pristine waters of the Aire River bound a portion of the farm. Good rainfall per annum means the natural grass growth provides a good source of nourishment to the herd.
In choosing the type of herd Piet took into consideration the hilly geography of the farm, the relatively small size of the farm, and particularly the characteristics of various cattle breeds.
One of Piet’s interests was to find the breed where Helen could fearlessly participate in managing the herd, on her own. The Lowline breed met all of their desires: bulls, cows and calves are calm in nature, require minimal to no intervention in calving; high live birth rate; easy to handle; tender meat; smaller stature but good beef production; stocking rate equivalent is 10 Lowline to 6 conventional cattle, (we typically carry 1 beast to two acres with feed supplement); and high feed conversion efficiency.
Piet and Helen’s herd now comprises 50 – 55 having had over 30 calves since their initial purchase of a stud herd of seven heifers and one bull.