top of page

Our Story

Founded in 1946 in Moa Flat, West Otago, Lloyd and Angela Brenssell, are third generation custodians of Fernvale Genetics. Discover the Fernvale story below.

The Brenssell Way

The Fernvale stud was founded by John Nelson Brenssell in 1946 with a clear vision for Romneys to become productive in, at that time, the very under-developed Moa Flat country. 

John Brenssell

John Brenssell, founder of Fernvale

About - Harry Brenssell.jpg

After two decades, the registered stud had grown to a ewe base of near 750 head, and John's third son Harry took over management of the stud. 

Harry, a born Stud Master, was also business savvy and knew how to form a commercial operation that would be financially viable. Under his guidance, the stud achieved remarkable feats in the show ring and the sale yard.

Harry Brenssell

Walls of supreme champion ribbons achieved by the Fernvale stock indicate the technical soundness of the sheep being presented.

Sires in full wool - 2003.jpg

Fernvale sires made the greatest impact on the industry in the sale ring. Especially at the Stud fairs in Gore where, in 1988, seven rams averaged $18,714 and topped the sale with a price of $35,000. In 1999, nine rams averaged $13,500 and topped the sale with $27,000.

Sires in full wool

Harry took Fernvale rams to the World Sheep and Wool Congress in Edmonton, Canada, where he topped the sale and achieved the Supreme Champion award.

Lloyd Brenssell.jpg

In 2008, Fernvale under management of Lloyd Brenssell,had a base breeding flock of 1,480 registered ewes integrated into a large commercial operation of 24,000su. 

Lloyd Brenssell

By 2016, Fernvale had a base breeding flock 1750 Romney and 650 Suffolk ewes run in conjunction with a commercial operation of 32,000 stock units. The type of sheep being breed were medium, heavy-boned, open faced, commercial Romney - well suited to either hill country or intensive pastoral operations.

2ths after a Summer in the High Country.jpg
Ewes heading home for shearing..jpg

In 2021, the commercial operation has grown to include an Angus cattle stud breeding program and overall stock units are at 52,000. We combine the latest technology available to farming and years of experience to continue developing the finest genetics possible.

Computers integrated with advanced software for data collection, SIL for trait analysis and sire referencing, eye muscle and CT scanning to trace meat yields are few of the tools used in conjunction with a number of key stud policies, to produce productive commercial sires that have the ability to enhance genetic gains within commercial flocks.

Fernvale Genetics Today

Today, Lloyd Brenssell is Managing Director and Owner of Fernvale Genetics with his wife, Angela.

He is focused on the studs and has implemented the genetic programme as it is today. Lloyd has been responsible from taking a traditional Romney stud to a no-nonsense, reliable form of genetics that is required on the farms of today. The stud is operated and farmed alongside the commercial flock with the philosophy that if you don't perform, you're out.

Technology is an integral part of the operation ensuring we can deliver genetic gains to clients. The stud is recorded using Macrostud, and DNA technology has been implemented to capture pedigree information. At Fernvale, stud mating is a combination of Lloyd’s eye appraisal and computer generated data.

We also use technology to enhance farming practices, which led Fernvale to becoming one of the development properties for Farm IQ. Our staff all carry smartphones linking to the Farm IQ program. Tractors use tablet and GPS systems that are also linked to Farm IQ. The financial side of the business is recorded and monitored using Cash Manager.

With a property of this size, there are always things needing fixed. From shepherds running their side by sides into troughs while shifting stock, to machinery breakdowns. Due to our geographical isolation and requirement for machinery to be running smoothly, Lloyd has become a self-taught fix it man with an extensive workshop on location.

Lloyd, Sean, Harry R, Scottie, Angus & Liam.jpg
bottom of page