Donnybrook’s Paradise Feedlot named one of the best in Australia

Headshot of Adam Poulsen
Adam PoulsenCountryman
Paradise Beef Feedlot co-principals Josie Dimasi and Gary Dimasi, of Donnybrook, with their sons Mitchell Dimasi, 7, and Ethan Dimasi, 3, in April this year.
Camera IconParadise Beef Feedlot co-principals Josie Dimasi and Gary Dimasi, of Donnybrook, with their sons Mitchell Dimasi, 7, and Ethan Dimasi, 3, in April this year. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman, Bob Garnant

Donnybrook’s Paradise Beef Feedlot has scooped a win at the Australian Feedlot of the Year Competition, taking out the prize for best feedlot under 3000 head.

Paradise was one of nine finalists in four categories, and was the only WA contender to advance to the final stage of the competition, which is run by the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association.

Paradise operations manager Rickie-Lee Bannister said the award was a huge achievement.

“I think everyone was a little bit overwhelmed when we won and happy to get some recognition for all the hard work,” she said.

Ms Bannister said there were no plans yet to expand the feedlot, which is licensed to run 2000 head of cattle.

“We’re pretty well at capacity throughout the feedlot season over summer and into autumn,” she said.

“At the moment we probably have at least 1500 (head).”

Paradise was established in 2009 by husband and wife Gary and Josie Dimasi and currently employs four full-time and two part-time employees.

Known for its innovative business approach, the company utilises biologically-based, regenerative pasture and grazing programs and services local farmers by custom-feeding their cattle before selling them to the most suitable market.

It also offers a paddock to plate service that produces a highly-nutritious product to the market.

The company’s own brand of beef, Paradise Beef, is sold internationally and domestically. Paradise also sells cattle to the live export trade.

Paradise made headlines in 2017 when it built one of WA’s first cattle shelters, a $280,000 dome-like structure that was imported from Turkey and took three months to erect.

Ms Bannister said there had been a general improvement in feed conversion among cattle that utilised the shelter compared to those that did not.

“It usually is improved, but it depends on which breed, the genetics, where they’ve come from, overall performance,” she said.

“But I think they generally do better under the dome in winter when it’s cold, as it takes the cold air off the cattle.”

The Australian Feedlot of the Year Competition recognises best practice, top-performing feedlots and is open to all National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme-accredited feedlots.

Entrants are judged by an independent panel on criteria including quality assurance culture, product integrity, environmental responsibility, animal welfare responsibility, and business planning.

This year’s winners were announced at the ALFA Industry Awards Ceremony, which was held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions on October 20.

Outgoing ALFA president Bryce Camm said the quality of entrants this year was “outstanding”.

“With record numbers of entries received, there is a real sense that the feedlot industry is bursting with leadership, pride and enthusiasm,” he said.

NSW dominated the rest of the competition, with the other awards going to Gundamain Feedlot (3000-8000 head), Gunnee Feedlot (8000-15,000 head) and Teys Australia Jindalee Feedlot (above 15,000 head).

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