Highfield is a small-scale farm that combines ethical and sustainable farming practices with conservation.
OUR FARMING ETHOS
Highfield operates as a small-scale farm that combines ethical and sustainable farming practices with the conservation of the critically endangered Box Gum Grassy Woodland. On our 830 acre property, only one-third is dedicated to farming, while the remaining two-thirds remain protected woodland.
The belief at Highfield is that farming can contribute to addressing global warming through conscientious grazing methods and the replication of natural systems. This is achieved by transitioning to regenerative grazing and holistic organics, gradually implementing these practices in each paddock.
Grass-fed sheep and cattle are the core of our livestock, nourished solely on native pasture without the inclusion of grain, growth promotants, or hormones. Our commitment lies in prioritizing their well-being and maintaining their natural diet.
On our farm you will find…
At Highfield, we run Dorper sheep. Bred initially in the 1930s for the arid regions of South Africa, Dorpers originate from the cross-breeding of Blackhead Persian ewes with Dorset Horn rams.
Dorpers are hardy and do well on native pasture. With their blackheads, chunky bodies and horizontal ears, not only are they pleasing to look at, but best of all, they produce fantastic marbled lamb. We selected this breed in part as an acknowledgement of climate change. Highfield Farm is at the upper end of the recommended rainfall for this breed, so this gave us leeway for a drying climate.
Many Dorpers don’t grow any wool at all. They are mostly hair sheep. If there is any remnant wool on them, they shed it. All sheep used to shed their wool annually before humans bred that characteristic out of them to get longer staples that needed to be cut.
Any ‘wool’ shed returns to the paddock as a form of nutrient cycling. But we find that the local bird life loves to add it to their nests – we always find Dorper hair and wool in bird’s nests. Rather fetchingly, the sheep sometimes rub the fence to help them shed their wool resulting in our fences being yarn bombed.
You can be assured that they are grass-fed. We do not feed them grain or send them to feedlots to ‘finish’.
Good food starts with relaxed animals allowed to exhibit their natural behaviours. We move our sheep quietly on foot without dogs, motorbikes or four-wheelers using low-stress stock handling techniques.
We do not remove our sheep’s tails nor wean our lambs – the ewes do that. To ensure the lowest food miles, our lambs are processed at our closest facility in Gundagai and cut expertly by our butcher in Mangoplah.
Dexter cattle are a naturally small breed of cattle, not miniature cattle.
The breed is well known for its dual-purpose meat and milk productivity. They particularly complement small acre farms and suit harsh climates as they are naturally hardy.
Dexter cattle are of Irish origin and have some of the oldest cattle pedigree records in the world.
Despite their earlier popularity, the prevalence of herds worldwide dwindled after World War II, and the Dexter Breed was listed with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust in the 1970s. The declaration of the breed as being at risk of extinction gave rise to a new interest in Dexter cattle, now classified as ‘recovering’. Australia was among those countries where a new generation of breeders emerged on a mission to rescue the Dexter and its unique characteristics.
We love our mini herd of heritage Dexter cattle. Our girls are Geranium, Pansy, Tansy, Truffle, Daisy, Foxglove, Gladioli, Abelia, Flora, Fennel, Fern and Frangipani. We occasionally have beef for sale, which like our lamb, is entirely grass-fed on primarily native pasture.
On Highfield Farm, a mixed flock of Australorps, White Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Araucanas, and Marans produce fabulous pasture-raised eggs with exceptionally orange yolks. ISA Browns or Hi-line Browns are nowhere to be found as they are industrial chickens and have short lives due to their prolific egg-laying qualities.
Our laying chickens have unique accommodation – a caravan moved to a fresh patch of grass each week. During the day, they are free to roam and graze in search of worms and grubs.
We supplement their diet with grain, apple cider vinegar and garlic. This acts as a natural tonic and natural worming treatment.
Our hens lay on straw, not astroturf. We believe in animals showing their full range of behaviours, and fussing over their nest is one of them. Of course, this makes for a happier hen and a better egg.
Once you’ve had one of our chickens you will never want to eat commercial chickens again!
In the cooler months we raise meat chickens. Our meat chickens are pasture-raised and shelter in their own protective tunnel at night. They are grown naturally, without hormones or growth promotants.
There are no antibiotics in their feed. We supplement their diet with apple cider vinegar and garlic. This acts as a natural tonic and natural worming treatment.
Have you ever wondered why the chicken you eat is white? Did you know it’s tumbled in a chlorine bath? Our chickens are not. Processed at a small family-run abattoir in Canowindra.
Our chickens are juicy, tasty and simply taste like chicken!
WHERE TO FIND OUR FARM PRODUCE
As part of our belief in ethical farming practices, we also believe food should have low food miles wherever possible.
As a general rule of thumb, the lower the food miles, the less distance it has travelled, the better the choice is for the environment and for your health.
Our Kestrel Nest EcoHut guests can access our lamb via our Highfield Eat our Farm pack and locals on our Farm Produce Shop page.
Please note if purchasing from our Farm Produce Shop Page – we can deliver to Coolamon, Wagga Wagga, Brucedale, Ladysmith, Alfredtown, Tumblong, Tumut, Gundagai, Adelong, Tumbarumba. Or you can pickup either from our farm or local at Local at Learmonts.
LEARN MORE ABOUT HIGHFIELD FARM & WOODLAND
OUR SUSTAINABILITY PROMISE
Highfield Farm & Woodland is a special place where we combine small-scale, ethical, and sustainable farming with the conservation of one of Australia’s critically endangered habitats.
We believe we can farm and enhance the habitat for native birds, animals and plants.
Farming can’t survive without biodiversity. It’s time to tip the balance back towards the environment.
It’s the right thing to do.
Find Us Here
Highfield Farm & Woodland is situated near Tumut, in the Riverina Highlands Region, an easy one-hour drive from Wagga Wagga.