Here at Merlewood Angus we work hard and we play hard. Each and every day we stop and feel the magic as we take the time to slow down and really ‘listen’ to both our cattle and the land. The subtle messages conveyed in the flick of an ear, a weed here, a wombat hole there – our animals and our farm are always conversing with us; all we have to do is decipher the message.
ANNE MARIE BARROW
"If you have a farm and a library, you have everything you need."
A city girl from 0 to 34 yrs old young whose only pet was a goldfish, moving into the farming world in 2007 has been an amazing adventure. After over a decade in the construction industry I traded my hard hat and steel toe cap Blundstones for an akubra and a pair of wellies (gumboots). The project management skills of counting bricks, money budgets and benchmarking have seamlessly transferred to the farm where I now count cattle (way more rewarding), draw up pasture budgets and measure performance. I love our mums and my favourite season is spring when our fields (paddocks) are filled with numerous happy black four legged Angus babies running around and snuggling contentedly beside their proud mums. Prior to the employment of Luke I was responsible for the day to day running of the farm and learned many new skills from tractor driving to low stress animal husbandry as well as being an avid DPI course junkie for four years. I still get to cattle whisper but also spend time in the office doing the behind the scenes work to ensure our business runs smoothly and efficiently so our cattle can enjoy a happy, contented life. I am also responsible for marketing and social media. For fun I enjoy hanging with my hubby, practicing yoga, horse riding, reading and chilling with my girl friends (both two and four legged)
"With hard work and humility, we can achieve all our goals."
Moving to a farm at 10 years old in rural Queensland I knew immediately that I had found my passion – beef cattle. I left home at 15 years young to pursue my dream and attended Ag College at Emmerald. Upon graduating I jackarooed for a while where I learnt invaluable foundational, farming skills. After many nights sleeping under the stars in my swag as we erected kilometers of fence lines by day, I realised that being a Jackeroo was going to take infinitely longer than I had planned to reach that goal of owing and operating my own farm. I realized I had two choices; either marry a rich farmer’s daughter or make my own fortune off-farm so that I could purchase a farm before I was 40! Fortunately (according to my now wife whom I met in Europe in 1995) I chose the latter and realized my farming dreams and more. We purchased our first farm in 2007 and 2012 saw us doubling in size as with the purchase one of our neighbouring farms – all in accordance with my wife’s amazing Five Year Plans that always come to fruition. I still work off-farm to supplement our farm income and enable us to establish and grow Merlewood Angus into the vision that we both have in our heart. I am passionate about breeding Gippsland’s best Aberdeen Angus. I work closely with my wife and when not strategizing over operations, you will find me down the farm scrutinizing our beautiful black Angus – only the best get to breed here at Merlewood Angus. I love talking all things bull and according to my wife I could talk bull all day long. When not farming I enjoy relaxing with my wife and my fur family. For me farming is a hobby!
"The one who falls and gets up, is so much stronger than the one that never fell."
Growing up in the rolling green hills of Gippsland, I am blessed to have been on farms all my life. Ever since I was a little tucker I have loved animals; in fact I can’t remember a time in my life without beef cattle and that passion has continued to blossom and grow. In 2000 I left school to work on our family farm (beef cattle and potatoes) – although work seems like a weird word for something you love doing. After a year on the family farm I decided it was time to spread my wings and travel to larger properties in NSW to expand my farming experience and knowledge. From broad acre cropping to pen riding on horse back I honed both my mechanical skills, land skills and cattle skills before returning to the call of the Gippsland in 2009. After dipping my toe into the diary industry this confirmed that my passion is indeed beef cattle and so I returned to my roots. I commenced work with Merlewood Angus in 2015 where I take care of the beautiful black Angus cattle and take charge of the day to day running of the stud. When I am not farming or whispering to the cattle you can find me spending time with my family, fishing, shooting (both hunting and targets) and riding (both my horses and motorbikes – which I love in equal measures). At heart, I am a farmer and a conservationist.
"If you don't know the way, ask someone who has been down that road before."
Born in Scotland, I moved to Australia in 1964 to follow my passion of breeding the best cattle and realise my dream of working for Australia’s top studs. Over the last 50 years I have had the privilege of working for both established studs and using my knowledge of cattle and farming to establish new leading studs on the industry. I have worked with many breeds but my main interest and passion has been showing and breeding the black Angus cattle. A few years ago I transitioned into Consulting when most people are retiring as I am passionate about sharing my love of the black Angus cattle and innate, in-depth breeding knowledge with the next generation of passionate black Angus breeders. In Scotland we call the breed Aberdeen Angus and it is my pleasure to promote and share my insights into this wonderful maternal breed.
When I am not doing ‘all things farming’, I enjoy spending time with my family, pottering in the garden and following the footy – I’m an avid Collingwood fan.