Trefranck Farm is a beloved family-owned and operated enterprise with a rich heritage dating back to 1703.

Our Story

Trefranck Farm has been in Pip`s family for over three centuries. It is a testament to the resilience and innovation of generations of farmers who have dedicated their lives to working the land. Today, Trefranck Farm is run by Pip and her husband Matt Smith, who are both deeply committed to building sustainable farming practices for the future.

In 2017 we were lucky enough to be awarded Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year in recognition of our hard work and dedication and were finalists for the Farmers Guardian Sheep Innovator of the Year in 2022. We are also proud to have diversified with our on-farm processing facility that is home to West Country Premium Venison. We sell our venison directly to restaurants and the loyal customers around the UK. We also provide bespoke butchering and packaging services for other sheep, beef and pork farmers. 

Over the centuries, Trefranck Farm has seen many changes and developments in farming practices. Today, Trefranck Farm is home to 900 NZ Romney breeding ewes and 350 red deer hinds, all of which are carefully managed using the latest sustainable farming techniques.

Here at Trefranck Farm, everyone is committed to preserving the natural beauty of the land and minimizing the farm’s impact on the environment. We prioritize the health and welfare of our animals, while still managing them under a high degree of social and environmental pressures to ensure that the stock that leaves Trefranck Farm has the ability to thrive in any system. 

Te Whangai Romneys

We`re thrilled to have partnered with Te Whangai Romneys, a breeding outfit known for its unwavering honesty and integrity when selecting its stock. With over 25 years of monitoring stock performance under high worm challenges, Te Whangai Romneys have been leading the way in breeding resilient sheep.

We feel incredibly fortunate to have their imported rams as our main stud team for our ewes at Trefranck. Using a 5-family system to promote genetic diversity, as a team we are proud to share our top-quality stock with customers around the world. At Trefranck, we believe in being transparent and upfront about our breeding practices, and we’re delighted to work with partners like Te Whangai Romneys who share our values.

Meet the team


Growing up on a sheep and beef farm in New Zealand`s far north, Matt has spent more than two decades travelling the world, shearing and learning from the best in the agricultural industry. His extensive knowledge of farming techniques, both the tried-and-true and the experimental, has influenced his mindset and how Trefranck Farm operates today. Matt collaborates with farmers and organisations across the globe, whether it be shearing or farming to help keep his finger on the pulse of forward-thinking farming. Since settling on Pip`s family farm in Cornwall, Matt has been instrumental in increasing the ewe population and driving greater productivity on the farm. He is proud of how the farm has changed since he and Pip have been running it. 


Pip keeps everything at Trefranck Farm and West Country Premium Venison running like a well-oiled machine. As a mother of three, Pip knows how to juggle multiple responsibilities with ease. Her family have been running Trefranck Farm since 1703, and Pip is deeply committed to preserving its legacy for future generations. She loves the animals and the farm. Whilst Pip loves being outside and getting her hands dirty, more recently Pip spends her time in behind-the-scenes operations management, where she ensures that every aspect of the farm and venison enterprise run seamlessly. 


Pete is the Head Shepherd and all-round Stock Manager at Trefranck Farm. Pete joined the team in 2019, as part of his agricultural degree at the Royal Agricultural University. Pete has since gone on to work on the farm full-time where he has been an integral part of the farm`s success, overseeing the management of both the sheep and deer enterprises. With his growing number of skills, dedication, and commitment to the farm`s mission, Pete has quickly become a valued member of the team. 


Sheep farming is always a challenge and the future steep reduction in farm support is going to force change upon sheep producers. Simple systems with low inputs are likely to be the only option. Farmers will need to source breeding stock that can cope in these outdoor lambing systems. The team at Trefranck test their breeding stock against the rigours of real farming. The cull tags are applied ruthlessly. The results have been impressive to my eyes. Stock that become lame, suffer fly strike, poor mothers, wrong attitude, poor growth rates in the face of a worm challenge all leave the flock.

What is left is tough, capable, high health status stock. The latest injection of Te Whangai genetics has been the next step, lambs that are up and sucking straight away and with the trial work we have undertaken this 2022 lambing and rearing season, we have shown how worm tolerance from New Zealand can help farmers in the UK. Resilient Romneys they certainly are.

Tim Bebbington


The best thing I can say about Matts sheep is that they are great sheep for an old man. You just let them get on with the work themselves. No feed, just grass. They will outweigh my texel mules and grade just as good. The only problem we have is keeping flesh off the ewes post weaning.

Brendan Kelly

Sheep Farmer (Ireland)

We run about 900 Romney ewes on the South Coast of Cornwall and started keeping them 18 years ago. Our ewe flock spend most of their time grazing low input permanent pasture. Prior to buying Matt and Pippa’s rams we had felt that our ewes had lost some of their hardiness and increased in size which is also undesirable in our system. In my opinion this had happened because several ram studs now are operating as part of an arable system which doesn’t put their sheep under heavy pressure.

I was attracted to buying rams from Matt and Pippa as their sheep don’t get much access to clean grazing and they have a very heavy stocking rate, which gave me the confidence that their rams would come here and throw females that will really thrive. It is very clear in the 3 crops of lambs we have had from these rams that their lambs are outperforming our other lambs with the use of a lot less wormer.

The sheep at Trefranck are also very correct on their feet standing very upright. The wool type also stands out as being a lot less attractive to blow flies, something which is extremely important to us in our mild climate.

Edward Venning

Sheep and Beef Farmer (South Coast, Cornwall)

I approached Matt and Pip 3 years ago in regard to finding high health breeding stock, wanting a breed of sheep to run alongside a small contract shepherding business and a family farm consisting of a large intensive MV accredited flock, so having minimum inputs and costs was a very important factor. Having worked with Romneys in the past I knew what they were capable of, so with that, I bought a bunch of draft ewes with a couple of shearling tups with intentions of breeding replacement females to build the flock.

Grazing mostly old pastures and sheep sick ground the resilient genetics have paid dividends, lambs have seemed to thrive and grow whilst carrying a higher-than-average worm burden also meaning I can be confident on keeping ewe lambs as replacements knowing they will hold themselves under pressure. Matt and the teams relentless breeding program into selecting and producing these resilient genetics is really showing its potential and proving that it works.

Daniel Bower

Sheep Farmer and Contract Shepherd

I bought six rams from Resilient Romneys in 2020 to use over my Kent Romneys to improve the performance of my flock, and they have been doing just that. The progeny I’ve had since introducing the new genetics have been a consistently easy-lambing, strong, fast-growing, even-finishing lambs. I’ve hit the top price for Romney lambs at market sales on more than one occasion, producing healthy wether lambs from forage alone. I’ve reduced anthelmintic use to just one worming through the whole season. The female replacements I have retained in the flock have scanned higher than expected, boosting my outdoor lambing, grass-based system. Even when my stock were pushed incredibly hard during in a significant drought of summer 2022 these sheep lost no condition and came through to autumn strong and scanned well. I have bought females with Resilient Romney genetics for the past two years and I know they will suit my system. I look forward to further longer-term benefits of introducing Resilient Romneys genetics to Kent, helping me drive a profitable and sustainable sheep farming business. I will be increasing the area of my holding under a regenerative rotational grazing approach, growing the carrying capacity of the land with a higher stocking rate and utilising available forage more effectively. I’m particularly interested in how the worm tolerance of Resilient Romneys will assist with my objectives. I’m certain these sheep are a great solution to the environmental and financial challenges facing sheep production going forward.

Marie Prebble

Sheep Farmer and Shearer (Dover, Kent)

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