Top Angus breeders recognised
High-achieving Angus cattle production was awarded at the WA Angus Society’s annual general meeting at Claremont last week.
Society chairman Tony Sudlow presented the coveted Strathtay Trophy to Esperance breeders Wes and Fran Graham, who run a 2000-head female herd and supply calves into the Coles Finest program.
“Angus production for me began in the 1970s and today we aim for a 300kg dressed weight into a premium market,” Mr Graham said.
“Our calves are sent to the Kylagh feedlot at Tammin from winter to early spring and feedback is all good.
“We supply 20 per cent of the Coles contract. Esperance is ideal for cattle production, with mild summers and good rainfall.”
Mr Graham said he bought 12 bulls every year on visual cues and estimated breeding values.
“Since supplying the feedlot, my criteria is high-growth, balanced carcase figures, but mostly I have to see calves on the ground,” he said.
Long-time committee member John Young presented three 50-year recognition awards. He said former Wilson Downs stud principals John and Beth McKay were instrumental in bringing some of the best genetics into WA during their active years in the industry.
Mr McKay said he served as chairman and on the federal council over the years. “One of the highlights of my Angus career was breeding Wilson Downs Zenith, a bull with parentage out of New Zealand and sold back to that country for $40,000 in 1981,” he said.
Award recipient Sam Collard recalled how Angus changed his production from 65 per cent calving to 98 per cent.
“We were impressed with Angus cattle at first sight and bought a pen of unregistered Sunnydale females,” he said.
“Now my son Mike is running our Warringah stud herd.”
Accepting an award on behalf of Peter Mackie, Fiona Mackie said her father was continuing his Angus production with value-adding feedlot finishing.
Mr Sudlow said his chairmanship term had many highlights, particularly Lew Smits’ retirement dinner gathering.
Incoming chairman Mark Hattingh said he was keen to work with Angus breeders and assist in improving the genetics in pursuit of more juicy Angus steaks on the table of WA and oversees consumers.
He will be assisted by incoming vice-chairwoman Liz Sudlow.
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