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Meedo Station is known for droughts but is now famous for its goat pies

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When Chris Higham’s husband, Tim, requested her to deliver the pie-maker all the way down to the stockyards, she didn’t realise she was about to embark on her life’s most profitable enterprise.

For 16 years, the Higham household has run Meedo Station within the Gascoyne area of WA, working sheep, cattle and goats on their pastoral lease.

The latter species grew to become the centre of consideration following just a few constant years of unprecedented costs for goat in Australia.

Mrs Higham mentioned the worth of their rangeland goats had elevated six-fold.

“Goat costs have been phenomenal, up as excessive as $10.20 per kilo carcase weight,” Mrs Higham mentioned.

“Once we took over, we had been a mean value, per head, of about $25.

A report launched this yr by Meat and Livestock Australia discovered rangeland goat enterprises has been as or extra worthwhile than the extra mainstream livestock enterprises, together with lamb, beef or wool.

With robust confidence available in the market, the Higham household determined to diversify … and make goat pies.

A woman wearing a hat and mask across her mouth stands in a dusty yard filled with goats of various colours
Chris Higham from WA’s Gascoyne area — alongside along with her husband, Tim — runs sheep, cattle and goats at Meedo Station.(Equipped: Kaufmann Productions PL)

Plain iconic Aussie staple

Though Australia stays the world’s high goat-meat exporter, with an ever-increasing market, Mrs Higham’s pie-baking skills quickly stole the highlight.

Nonetheless, Mrs Higham mentioned the event was unintended.

“I’m no chef. I simply occur to nail a superb pie,” Mrs Higham mentioned.

“Initially, I used to be sending meal packs subsequent door for gray nomads passing by Wooramel Station.”

However, after gaining traction amongst clients, the Highams made their technique to the Gascoyne’s Could Meals Competition to showcase their meal packs.

Boxes of packaged meat in a chill room with Mundillya Meats labels visible
Packaged goat meat from Mundillya Meats, which is produced from the rangeland goats on Meedo Station.(ABC Pilbara: James Liveris)

Earlier than departing, Tim requested if they might deliver the well-known pie-maker that was synonymous with smoko on the station.

Mrs Higham mentioned she agreed to the request, however completely underestimated what would occur subsequent.

“I had by no means even made a pie till about six years in the past,” she mentioned.

“Subsequent minute I do know, I used to be making pies to order … the remainder is historical past actually.

From there, Mundillya Homestead Hampers was born, not solely incomes legendary standing within the area, however patrons in Perth had been quickly making orders by the field full.

A woman holding a tray of freshly baked goat pies in a kitchen.
One in every of Meedo Station’s trusty pie-making assistants pulls out a recent batch of goat pies.(ABC Pilbara: James Liveris)

Goats hardy in powerful circumstances

Aggregated information suggests the monetary impacts of drought on goat enterprises had been decrease than on beef enterprises, giving them a aggressive benefit in marginal land.

Meedo Station is not any exception, spanning throughout 147,000 hectares and no stranger to gruelling dry intervals.

Mrs Higham mentioned it made financial sense to utilise the once-considered-feral animal.

“We had been simply harvesting them yearly and sending them off to market.

 “I quickly realised that it was a useful resource that was under-utilised.

“So, I began taking part in round with just a few bits and items actually.”

A goat eating food out of a trough on a farm.
Goats having fun with a feed at Meedo Station’s feedlot.(ABC Pilbara: James Liveris)

The enterprise has grown a lot {that a} feedlot and processing yards have been constructed on the property, with the household sustaining a throughput of about 20 to 25 a kill, as soon as a fortnight.

Meedo Station additionally integrates Kalahari crimson billie goats into the system to get a meatier, faster-growing animal.

Nonetheless, Mrs Higham mentioned they might by no means lose their roots.

“The rangeland goat is fairly hardy and nice to have within the system,” Mrs Higham mentioned.

“We do not wish to do away with these rangeland attributes altogether, as a result of they’ve advanced over time and are very suited to this atmosphere.”