Results promising

Philip Hopkins

BEEF farmers and breeders who took part in Beef Week 2023 were pleased with the results they achieved.

A record crowd attended the Bowman Performance Genetics 2023 Beef Week Open Day at Neerim South. Glenn Bowman, stud principal, was very happy with the outcome, with terrific interest from new and existing clients.

“We had around 80 visitors, with people turning up from as far as the Monaro in New South Wales, Tasmania and all over Victoria,” he said.

“They were most interested in how we prepare the bulls that we have been promoting, as we are one of only a handful of seed-stock producers across Australia that is grass-fed only from birth to sale day.”

Bowman Performance Genetics does its calf breeding in Rosedale, where Glenn grew up, and the bulls are then weaned and sent to his property in Neerim South, where the bulls are grown out and prepared for sale.

The reason for that is Glenn’s philosophy: he wants to produce a very natural bull, just fed on grass and not fed on pellets or grain.

The emphasis is on producing a natural product that just focuses on particular lines of genetics that deliver thick, muscular traits.

Bowman Genetics breeds predominantly Angus cattle, with a select number of Hereford bulls that are sold privately.

The Angus Society has been very robust in its marketing and product placement, creating an awareness of the breed that has made it dominant in the market.

Bowman Genetics is about to sell 83 bulls; it’s a big operation, the largest Angus seed-stock producer in Gippsland with a huge amount of genetic diversity.

The stud also produces a high-performance bull, using extensive data from the Angus Society. “These are not just bulls, but high-performance bulls. Farmers can breed from them and trust they’ll get higher accuracy and consistency, and minimal breakdowns,” said Glenn.

WATTLEWOOD Angus Stud at Lang Lang also reported strong interest at Beef Week. Fiona Glover, who owns and runs the stud with husband John, said the response at Beef Week was “very positive” after people checked out the quality of the bulls.

“We had them arriving before the gates opened, before the heat – we were ready.

“We had a lot of new visitors. It was really good for us. The parting words were, ‘Very positive, we’ll see you at the sale!’,” she said.

The visitors also included people who were setting up their own farm and wanted to see how the husband and wife team organised their property. “They wanted to see what we have done with laneway systems, checking out our property for a few ideas. We did it when starting out so we could set up correctly.”

Fiona said the stud had recently started on-farm bull sales. “Beef Week turns into a preview day for the bulls, an opportunity for the visitors to inspect our female herd, the mothers and grandmothers of the bulls that are available – a genetic picture of what’s going on with the prospective bulls they may purchase,” she said.

“In that respect it’s a good forum depending on how the farmer embraces it, a good forum to display generations of future clients’ prospective sires.”

Fiona said they had a catalogue of 30 bulls for their sales compared with 31 bulls last year. “Before we had on-farm bull sales, Beef Week was a platform where we would sell quite a few bulls; people initially inspect them and come back to us,” she said.

“We have the on-farm bull sale, but we can’t sell them on the day – it’s a preview of what we will have on March 16. We did sell some heifers privately – they were not in the bull sale! – surplus heifers we sold at Beef Week.”

The Glovers have been breeding bulls for 23 years. “It was once a hobby, but is now a big part of our lives; we enjoy handling the cattle,” said Fiona, who is an artificial insemination technician – “no bull!”, she quipped.

“I play with genetics from all over the world. It’s nice to see the fruits of your labour. We can select genetics from all over the world,

We can have babies born without having to import the beast and the problems that come along with that – cost and disease that countries have,” she said

VERA Finger from Riga Angus Stud said people came specifically to see the stud’s operations as distinct from doing a circuit. “That probably

sums it up. We had some young future breeders on show. People were very interested to see the type of female we were breeding and that indicated the future direction of our stud,” she said.

Vera said the stud printed many pamphlets. “I ran out – we were very pleased to see that,” she said.

“The interest was in our breeding operation, the females that breed the bulls.”

Riga Angus Stud is based in Mansfield, just outside Gippsland, but the high number of visitors showed the interest from the region,

“We’ve got 1200 acres – very dry acres at the moment – and we run about 300 breeders, a split autumn and spring calving system,” Vera said.

Gippsland Farmer

The Gippsland Farmer is a monthly agricultural newspaper reporting on rural news and distributed FREE and direct to an area covering from Cann River through to South Gippsland. For more than 40 years Gippsland Farmer has reported on a range of issues and industries including dairy, beef, vegetables, sheep, goats, poultry, organic farming, and viticulture.