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