We have just got back from an exciting trip to the USA. Although the weather was a little unfriendly we had a great time visiting Angus ranches & also touring some of the leading beef research centres in the country (don’t worry – we also managed to do a few tourist stops!)
A highlight was visiting the University of Illinois & meeting with Dr Shike again. This university has one of the best & most modern beef research facilities in the USA. At the university they are doing some new & exciting research on topics such as foetal programming, feed efficiency & methane production.
The foetal programming research they are doing aims to provide the beef industry with more details on how maternal nutrition impacts the long-term health & productivity of offspring. It has been known for some time that a cows nutrition during her pregnancy can impact the performance of her progeny, including how well that progeny grows & its carcase attributes. However, it is hoped that with more research the exact nutrients & critical time points can be pin-pointed. This could have significant economic benefits for the beef industry in the future so it was exciting to learn more about the process!
For the last nine months we have been busy helping plan the 2013 Angus Youth National Roundup. The Roundup is an educational event for 8 to 25 year olds & this year it was held in Dubbo. Matt was the coordinator for the Roundup & Shell helped him in this role through her work with Angus Australia. A committee of young volunteers also helped run the event. it was a great success with a record number of 210 kids attending from right across Australia & NZ. Over three days it incorporated sessions from leaders in the industry on topics such as animal nutrition, feedloting, MSA, agromony & careers. There was also a cattle show & a Paraders, Junior Judging & Herdsperson Competition. A special dinner was held in conjunction with the Roundup with over 400 people attending. A fundraising auction was held during this dinner which raised $14,000 to put toward the event. Whilst it was a great deal of work to coordinate the Roundup we are very pleased to have been able to organise such a successful event. If you know someone that would be interested in attending a Roundup in the future you can contact us for more info.
Harvest for 2012 is almost finished, I think its the only time of the year that we don't complain about the the lack of rain. Here at 'Ingleburn' Cassilis we have finished picking up all of our canola & have also harvested our oats. It has been alot busier at Sam & Megs at Caroona though, they have harvested 500T of canola along with barley & wheat. The photo on the left is of Matt in one of our canola paddocks here at Cassilis, with the contractor hard at work in the background. The other photo is of Gavin in the header & Sam in the tractor & chaser bin at Caroona. The chaser bin was a new addition this harvest & has made all the difference. Beth has had the duty of driving the tractor & bin most of the harvest as Sam has been busy in the truck. With the last paddock in sight plans are already underway for our harvest cut-out party - a tradition at the end of every harvest!
We have been keeping very busy over the last month with preparations for the sale. The bulls have been vet checked, semen tested, weighed, washed & now paint branded. Unfortunately they haven't stayed very clean but boys will be boys! Matt has also been busy fnishing off our new bull pens, they look great & should work well on sale day. We have also been showing people through the bulls & heifers, all those that have visited so far have been impressed with how great the cattle are looking.
With Tuesday fast approaching it looks like it will be a busy weekend. Despite this we still can't wait until sale day! You can find more details on the sale day schedule here >>
On the weekend Trio Angus participated in FarmDay. This is an initiative where farmers can sign up to host a city family for a day & teach them about what they do on their farm. With 64% of the Australian population having never stepped foot on a farm before we felt it was important that we got involved with this great opportunity.
Our FarmDay started by us explaining where we fit into the beef supply chain. We then headed out to check and feed the cows. Our city family asked plenty of questions, which provided us with a great opportunity to explain what we do and why we do it. They were very curious about the weaning process and were impressed by the effort farmers make to ensure the process is a stress-free as possible. We also gave our city family a look at our sale bulls and explained the basic purpose of breeding stud stock. They were amazed by the concept of genetic improvement as they never realised how much science went into breeding cattle & producing beef.
By the end of the day, although exhausted, we think our city family left with a better understanding of farming and beef production. Most importantly we have made friends that we hope will approach us if they have questions about agriculture in the future.
Thanks to Sal & Grahame Edwards & Cam Armstrong for helping make our FarmDay a success! Visit the FarmDay website for more info >>
We had a great time judging the stud cattle at the Moree Show on the weekend! Shell did the cattle classes and Junior Paraders while Matt did the Junior Judging. Although there were no Angus it was still great to see some top quality cattle on display and some very capable young handlers parading them. A big congratulations to Toni Jericho for organising this section at the show, she did a great job!
After the cattle judging we went in the Farmers Challenge with our friends from Bellata. After drenching sheep, naming meat cuts, identifying grains, changing a tyre and numerous other activities we were lucky to be announced as the winners!
(photo taken during a judging exercise elsewhere)
It's calving time again at Trio Angus! Our Autumn cows have been calving for about 6 weeks now and we are hoping the last one will have calf before the first frost!
Calving is always a busy time on the farm. All of our stud calves are tagged and weighed within 24 hours of being born. This ensures we have parentage information and data to submit for the calculation of their EBVs. Once the cows have calved we also push them in to paddock with better quality feed. Although time consuming we consider this a vital part of our production system to help ensure the cows are in good enough condition to get back in calf on time.
Checking the cows each day is quite enjoyable at this time of year but with a cold change on the way this could quickly change!
‘The final and proper purpose of all beef cattle breeding is to produce good beef; its highest purpose is the production of the most beef of the best quality in the least time, with a given amount of feed and care.’