A lamb feedlot in the St George region is one step closer to reality after receiving a $250,000 state government grant.
John and Michelle Brodie plan to build a lamb feedlot and spelling yard on their 6576 hectare property, Deepwater.
The Brodies currently send 8000 to 10,000 lambs a year down to Tamworth for processing at Thomas Foods International.
Mr Brodie said their new business idea was born to address their own need for a feedlot, as well as catering to other sheep producers in the region.
The project, subject to development approval from the Balonne Shire Council, would see them create a 10,000 head feedlot.
"We would start with 6000 head in three lots of 2000," Mr Brodie said.
"We aim to bring it 6000 head as soon as we can and expand to 10,000 depending on demand."
Mr Brodie said a lamb feedlot would allow producers to custom feed their sheep and take advantage of market and weather conditions to supply a consistent high-quality product to processors.
"This feedlot is important to local sheep producers because it provides them with a facility to store and custom feed livestock, especially during dry seasons," he said.
"It will enable producers to shelter their livestock and control what they eat resulting in a consistent and high-quality product heading to the market."
Located at the half way point between NSW and the central and western regions of Queensland, St George is well-placed for a spelling yard to improve animal welfare during transit.
"St George is at the end of the triple road train route so it's an ideal place for a spelling yard," Mr Brodie said.
"Drivers can unload their trailers, have a rest and a feed before continuing their journey to the south.
"Livestock need regular intervals to rest, be fed and watered, and this spelling yard provides a convenient and ideal location."
"This will also push money back into the local community as drivers who stay in town overnight will need a bed to sleep in and something to eat."
Agriculture minister Mark Furner said the Rural Economic Development grant would contribute to the first three stages of the project.
"Animal welfare is extremely important in the livestock industry which is why this is a great initiative that John and Michelle Brodie have put forward," Mr Furner said.
"It is expected that three jobs will be created through the construction phase with another 10 direct and indirect jobs created upon completion to carry out the operations of the business."