Host: Saltriver Horsemanship
Written by Heath Stewart – Owner, Topstock WA Feed Services.
Today I will put on my Topstock cap. It was more by chance than design that I got into Topstock WA Feed Services. Dad encouraged me to take over the business saying “you can’t ride horses all your life” (though it turns out you can)! Over the last 14 years I’ve really grown into the role and learnt heaps and I really enjoy it.
I’ve just returned from quick spin around the west Kimberley catching up with clients and friends for a few days. The vast distances make it hard to get to see everybody especially when we are in mustering season. Seeing the response from cattle when they go onto the lick in terms of vitality, condition, and shine is really exciting. I love seeing stock healthy and this makes a huge difference especially in the long dry season.
This year has been a welcome boost for us, the general public don’t realise just how far reaching the live export ban was for all people in the industry over the last three years which really closed down confidence in investment. Our orders were way down and we barely scraped through by the skin of our teeth and it was pretty stressful. Thanks to the support of our suppliers and clients we hung in there, it was touch and go there for a bit. Having been through that tough time and how we all pulled together makes me all the more grateful to be involved in the pastoral industry.
The main thing we supply are loose mix cattle licks. We manufacture it down at home and truck it up north, most stations buy direct but some go via a reseller. Bulkabags have gotten really popular in the last year or two and have saved huge amounts of time for the people at the other end putting it out.
Today we are mixing lick for Matt at Blina. They have had a slightly below average season and a lot of the breeders are working pretty hard with calves at foot, so the lick really gives them a kick. Basically we custom blend the mixes to suit the individual requirements for each place.
We also do some feedlot mixes, horse licks, and horse feeds. We find a lot of synergy in our range of services and we love being able to service our customers in several ways.