Established in 1980, Willera Merinos is now into the fifth generation of merino breeders. Innovation is what has kept our farming family on the land.
Simple breeding objectives are designing the merino we view as the profitable and ethical animal in today’s demanding markets.
It all began in 1842 when George Coutts (our great great Grandfather) and his family emigrated from Scotland to Northern Victoria. They first settled on the granite hill, similar to their home land of Scotland, and then moved on to the fertile flood plains of the Loddon River.
Peppin Blood Merinos was the foundation of the flock with which the Coutts Brothers prospered.
Karl and Will are the fifth generation to have a love and passion to breed and produce productive merino sheep.
Environment: Loddon River & Serpentine Creek
Willera Merinos is located on the banks of Victoria's second longest river, the Loddon River, at the junction of the Serpentine Creek, the traditional homeland of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.
The township of Serpentine takes it's name from a glowing description of the area following Major Mitchell's visit in 1836. Mitchell is recorded as the first European to visit the area where he viewed the Loddon River plains during his Australia Felix expedition. He wrote of 'open grassy plains, beautifully variegated with serpentine lines of wood'.
Productivity is driven by the rich soils formed on the alluvial sediments of the floodplain. The Loddon River is the lifeblood of our farm, supplying the irrigation water to meet the region's growing agricultural sector. The lower Loddon region is very successful in producing premium quality sheep, cattle, grain, vegetables, olives, wine, nuts and other specialty produce.
Our farm is committed to protecting and enhancing the unique biodiversity of the Loddon River floodplain. Over the past decade, we have undertaken activities and partnership projects to:
- protect remnant Box-Gum grassy woodlands that sustain threatened ground nesting birds such as the Bush Stone Culew.
- enhance ancient stands of River Red Gums along our river frontage through riparian fencing and establishing native vegetation along the banks to reduce erosion, increase ecosystem function and improve water quality.
- improve the health of our soils through sustainable cropping practices and grazing regimes and;
- support local Landcare projects and initiatives and use the best available science and natural resource management practices throughout our farming enterprise.