The McKenna family behind Midfield Meat Group has acquired the Wanderribby feedlot and grazing and farming property in South Australia, four years after the vendors initially put the asset to the market with hopes of as much as $10 million.
South Australia’s third-largest feedlot, the 2,311-hectare Wanderribby has been used as a custom feedyard, feeding for three main clients, including at times Coles and Woolworths supermarket contracts, and the yard utilised in the past as a live export depot.
Most cattle are fed on 60 to 70-day domestic grainfed programs, using British genetics, and some EU grainfed programs.
The Gunner family had sought buyers in 2017 and it appeared to be heading towards Chinese/Australian owners a year later, but regulatory hurdles brought down the deal.
The McKenna group takes possession next month and Wanderbibby will continue to trade as-is and service custom-feeding clients, and for Midfield Meat Group also, while feedlot manager Ron Nankivell will remain in the role.
Located just south of The Lakes and Coorong township of Meningie in the state’s Upper Southeast, Wanderribby is only behind TFI’s Iranda Beef yard near Tintinara, and the Rowe family’s Princess Royal yard near Burra in South Australia. Both have capacity of about 18,000.
The Gunner family bought Wanderribby in 1990 and began feedlot construction starting five years later. Current capacity is 8,000 Standard Cattle Units with further expansion potential that looked likely to be taken on the prospective buyer in 2018.
As well as feedlot infrastructure, the property include areas used for lucerne and forage production and backgrounding. About 1,000 hectares is typically established to lucerne, with a similar area of native and improved pasture.
The McKenna family’s Midfield Pastoral properties span more than 7,200 hectares mostly located in Victoria’s south west and in south east South Australia, including dairy, calf rearing and beef and lamb farming operations. Wanderribby is about five hours’ drive from Midfield’s export abattoir in Warrnambool.