Kurrle Family – Lockhart


Our family have been purchasing Trigger Vale rams for over 40 years now which started right back with my dad and grandpa. We have watched Andrew and Mandi work tirelessly to improve their genetics and traits, the amount of work they put into their business shows how passionate they are
not only about their sheep but the entire industry. We purchase their rams with the utmost confidence that we are selecting from data that has been accurately and confidently obtained so that we can make an informed decision on which rams will best suit our program and breeding values.


We like to use Trigger Vale Poll Merino rams because of their fat, muscle and growth genetics, we have seen such improvements to the quality of our lambs that we produce through from scanning, marking, shearing and to the sale yards. When using the Trigger Vale rams over our Trigger Vale ewes we are finding through the drier years that the ewes are maintaining a healthy condition score of around 3.5-3.7 on minimal feeding out. They are great feed convertors which saves us time and money.

Andrew and Mandi have bred such a plain bodied merino that we have been able to cease mulesing 2 years ago. 
This as well adds extra profit to our business due to the premiums been paid on unmulesed wool. We shear twice a year and cut on average 3.8kg fleece weight at each shearing. We have been making changes and improvements to our joining programs to get the most out of our flock.


One of the biggest changes we’ve made is in the joining of our ewe lambs, they are now joined on 20th January to Trigger Vale white Suffolk rams at a weight of 40kg plus at 10 months of age. They returned a 47% scanned in lamb result (wet and dry – not twin and single) and marked a 109% survival rate. This is so we can wean the lambs earlier to re-join the ewes with our main joining program on the 1st November.


This program provides our business with a profitable mid year income from the sale of these lambs. Last year we sold our 10 month old merino wether lambs for $300 per head, add to this a lamb shearing wool cut with a return of around $25 per head and you have a very profitable quick growing sheep. We are proud of how much our flock has improved and we look forward to continuing our business with Andrew and Mandi.



Tom Briggs Testimonial

(Rutherglen, Victoria)


My Father, Colin and I farm West of Rutherglen in the North East of Victoria.

Traditionally my father and Grandfather were running first cross ewes crossed to Poll Dorset rams for prime lambs.

When I moved back to the farm, we made changes to our farming system and thought that we needed to start retaining our own ewes to keep genetics that performed under our conditions. Initially we purchased rams without data or ASBV’s, they were very good structurally. Our growth was far from desirable with the data-less genetics and the breeds that made up our composite had become very seasonal. This led to lots of questions and the need to re-adjust our strategy.


When we decided to hit reset, we were initially thinking of developing a composite that was ¾ Poll Merino, ¼ White Suffolk. We looked at the Merino, to try get rid us of as much seasonality as possible and the White Suffolk for carcass attributes. The first place I looked was on Sheep Genetics. Studs with growth were a dime a dozen in the Merino database. However, once I put in parameters around BWT, Fat, EMD, WEC, EBWR, EBCOV, LDAG, LS, ERA Trigger Vale’s Polls floated to the top and the large volume of rams at the top of the list meant we were confident that we would be able to select from a large number of rams rather than trying to find a few outliers.

Fortunately Trigger Vale also provided a one stop shop with their White Suffolks.

What I liked about the Trigger Vale White Suffolks was their relationship between birth weight and growth.


To get ahead in our breeding system we managed to source some Trigger Vale Poll Merino ewes with Trigger Vale White Suffolk lambs at foot from a Trigger Vale client. The ewes had lambed down as ewe lambs, then reconceived as hoggets. They had come from an area that suffered low rainfall and were at the bottom of their body reserves. As soon as we put feed in front of them their genetic background shone through and they regained their body condition rapidly even with lambs at foot.


After witnessing this and the plain body of these ewes, that looked identical to our old first cross and composite ewes we realised we could run a Merino ewe flock that will emulate the first cross but with a profitable fleece on her back. We have now settled on a 100% Poll Merino ewe flock with as many going to the White Suffolk for first cross fat lambs and the necessary number going to Poll Merino for ewe replacements.


For us the wool is the free lunch. We don’t have a large focus on fleece weight coming from our background, but we have slowly put more emphasis on style of wools, particularly with long staple and good fibre/crimp alignment. This style of wool has been steered toward after observing the ewes handle 463mm of rain from start of November 2021 until the end of March 2022.


The Trigger Vale Ewes suffered no fly strike or colour in the wool yet our composites, first cross and another run of non-Trigger Vale Poll Merino ewes with poor fibre alignment were relentlessly struck by flies and horrible colour in their wools by the end of summer. This may not be new news to some but staggering to watch on our end.

Along with the wool pressures of such a wet summer the worm pressure was high. We purchased some Trigger Vale clients Poll Merino wethers to capitalise on our summer forage cover crop program. Barber’s Poll were in large numbers. Running the lambs over the scales to drench it was amazing to see Trigger Vale lambs ADG from 0 grams to +120 grams, where our old blood lines were ADG 0 grams to -150 grams.


We also commonly observe the Trigger Vale Poll Merino progeny match the White Suffolks for their ADG, the only difference being the actual weight with the White Suffolks usually being a larger animal.

Our 2022 drop lambs have been sired by an entire ram team of Trigger Vale Poll Merino and White Suffolks. All ewes joined to the Merino scanned 160% ewes to the ram with a survival rate of 91%. Whilst ewes to the White Suffolks scanned 142% ewes to the ram with a survival rate of 89%, with a total flock survival of 85%.

With the abundance of summer feed available from our summer cover crop program our ewes have never gone into lambing in fatter condition. Despite their condition, all rams used this year were purchased with a range for birth, it was staggering to not lay a hand on a single ewe for dystocia and only one visible lamb death due to dystocia, where the ewe still managed to birth unassisted.


Since first contacting Andrew and Mandi and discussing the direction, we wanted to head, the type of sheep we wanted to develop, their willingness to answer any of my questions and discuss results and observations has allowed for a simple transition. All of our observations may be old news for Andrew and Mandi and long-term Trigger Vale clients but for us to watch the sheep perform on our farm has been nothing short of exciting.


Russel & Nicole Smith, Milbrulong NSW

We are long term Trigger Vale Clients. Andrew and Mandi are a pleasure to deal with, and their obvious passion for their stock, and attention to detail, is second to none. We greatly appreciate the versatility offered by the one stop option of both their Maternal Merino and White Suffolks.


It is fantastic to be able to go to their sale and pick up a ute full of quality rams, confident that we have everything we need to breed our own self- replacing dual- purpose Merino ewes, and put their rams over our surplus ewes in a terminal program. The excellent health status of the Trigger Vale program is highly attractive, as their Brucellosis and Johnes accreditation offers great peace of mind.


The ewe flock is the profit driver for any sheep breeding program. Year after year, Trigger Vale rams have shown continuous gains in the genetic traits that we are after like growth, fat and muscle, ensuring that each successive generation of our ewes will be more profitable than the last.


The proof of the pudding is always in the eating, and we were wrapped to average $213.50 for our first cross Merino White Suffolk sucker lambs last spring. Our sucker lambs are regularly at the top end of the market in Wagga, and due to the carcass dual purpose attributes of their mums, there is no discount from buyers compared to the more traditional 2nd X suckers.


The remaining 1st X lambs and Poll wether lambs are grown out to export weights and sold Jan- March. This year the 1st X averaged $300.25 and the Poll Merino’s averaged $274.00. When you add the $27 wool from the lamb shearing, they are a very profitable unit. We regularly top the Wagga market for Merino lambs, and it’s not unusual to get a $40- $60 premium over non- Trigger Vale blood Merino lambs at the same sale.


An added bonus this year was that due to the big plain frame nature of our ewes, we averaged $214 for our CFA surplus ewes.

The Schirmer Family, Brookdale NSW


The flexibility of our self-replacing Polls has been a real asset as they have given us the ability to sell any cull ewe lambs as prime lambs, removing the need to hold them to hoggets. We also love the fact that by having a self-replacing flock and purchasing ram from a stud which we know is making rapid genetic progress we are obtaining the cumulative benefits over the generations.

Lambing percentages are a genuine strong point with our Triggervale stock averaging over 100% lambs to ewes joined consistently for the last 10 years.

Our Triggervale Poll rams have proven themselves over time by allowing us to produce not only a self-replacing flock of ewes with excellent maternal qualities, but also a pleasing wool cut and desirable prime lambs.


Our decision to also utilise Triggervale White Suffolk rams has been an extremely successful one as it has enabled us to consistently produce high yielding and high quality prime lambs, greatly increasing our profit margins and enabling us to sell our lambs much earlier than in the past.

“I couldn’t be happier with the flexibility provided by the genuine dual purpose characteristics of the Trigger Vale genetics” according to John.” We take a lot of pride in our wool clip and always select the lower micron rams but are still achieving meaty fast growing lambs.


The piece of mind in knowing I have a paddock full off my own disease free, purpose breed young ewes each year is really important to our program. Any surplus young ewes generate further cash flow and are keenly sort from a crossbred breeder in Victoria. Basically we get multiple income streams for minimum risk” he said.

The Moncrieff Family, West Wyalong NSW


We believe the transformation in all aspects of our flock is quiet dramatic since we shifted to Trigger Vale Polls. Wool quality, fertility and the growth rates of our lambs have all improved.

When a wool buyer rings your agent checking on when your clip is coming in you know you are on the right track. The same buyer has purchased our wool at auction 5 of the last 6 years. It’s the same for our surplus young ewes with them going to the same purchaser for years . He really appreciates the quality and health status.


Peter and Joy Thompson, Ungarie NSW


“We favour the Trigger Vale White Suffolk Sires for their ease of lambing, their long bodies and their clean faces and legs as it suits the location of our property being between Kikoira and Ungarie in the Northern Riverina.”
You couldn’t be happier than these results.

A draft of 97 sucker lambs sold in October (6 months old), for $124.00.
A draft of 98 lambs sold in April (11months old) the top sold to $194.00 and seconds to $186.00 to average $189.51.
Both lots were sold in the Griffith Saleyards.