Massive new regional sheep feedlot to support 150 jobs
A NEW sheep feedlot in the Southern Downs will support close to 150 jobs during construction, after the producer received a funding boost from the State Government.
Victoria Hill Lamb Feedlot will be constructed at Schmidt Grazing Enterprise's Victoria Hill operation, about an hour south of Toowoomba.
Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said Schmidt Grazing Industries was one of 14 businesses in Queensland to receive a Rural Economic Development grant of up to $250,000 to fund the expansion of their businesses.
"Schmidt Grazing Industries is a family owned and operated business that has identified an opportunity to capitalise on an emerging opportunity for sheep producers," he said.
"The funding will be used to construct a new lamb feedlot over three phases - by the third phase the feedlot will be able to hold 16,200 head.
"This project will create jobs that directly and indirectly support the development of the sheep industry in Queensland.
"We know the COVID-19 pandemic has made it tough for a lot of businesses and communities, so these additional jobs will be most welcome."
Grazier and project owner Stephen Schmidt said the feedlot would help diversify the company's business portfolio.
"The feedlot will allow Schmidt Grazing Industries to value-add their own livestock as well as buying in from other sheep producers," he said.
"We have extensively researched modern and innovative feedlot designs, based on years of advisors' experience, data analysis and the latest technology to maximise profitability.
"The primary production value chain will be impacted at all stages: sheep producers, contract mustering, livestock agents, livestock transport companies, vets, grain, hay and silage farmers, freight companies, livestock supplement suppliers, saleyards and abattoirs, meat packagers, butchers and meat wholesalers."
The Rural Economic Development grants program offers emerging projects up to $250,000 in co-contributions to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector.
The $10 million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending 2021.
14 businesses have received $3.34 million under the second round of funding for the RED Grants program, creating more than 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.
Funding for the third round of the grants will be announced later this year.
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority administers the scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
For more information about the RED Grant scheme visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au.