The beef production bug runs strong through the bloodlines of the Frizell family with Greg and Jenny and their daughters Lucy and Claire marking the sixth and seventh generations of the family to run cattle on Wakefield, Wollomombi, since 1860.
The property is situated 50 kilometres east of Armidale on the Waterfall Way in the Northern Tablelands.
Wakefield Charolais stud principals Greg and Jenny Frizell have adopted a "steady as she goes" mantra which has led to their long-term success.
"Our aim is to breed fertile cattle with good growth, finishing ability and calving ease with ideal muscling and maturity patterns," Greg said.
For more information, visit wakefieldcharolais.com.au
SARA PARK ANGUS
Situated on the Northern Tablelands, 22 kilometres northwest of Glen Innes, Sara Park Angus was established in 1995 by Herb Duddy and sons Robert and Jeff.
Their aim is to breed quality, performance and versatility into their bulls.
Sara Park Angus produces bulls for commercial and stud sires.
Stud cattle run under the same conditions as their commercial herd. The bulls run on pasture grasses until just before the sale, when their feed is supplemented with a light bull ration from CRT.
This year, Sara Park sale bulls are sired by Booroomooka Evident H594 (AI); Evident produces cattle with great skin, hair along, good bone and confirmation.
Raff Fever Pitch J46 sires powerfully built cattle and Sav Renown 3439 producing structurally sound, strong cattle.
"We will also be presenting our last crop by successful sire Waitara Pio Federal F73 (AI); the Federal bloodline has been greatly sort after, with his progeny topping the averages on many occasions," Herb says.
"The longevity of the drought is more than evident on our home property, Rutherglen, making preparation of the sale bulls more difficult.
"But we at Sara Park are thrilled with the quality and durability of the bulls that will be presented for sale at Rutherglen on July 26."
While Ben Nevis has been selling yearling bulls for more than 20 of their 72 years in the bull business, there are still people who aren't sure of the concept.
But according to co-principle and veterinarian Stu Halliday, "as long as they are well grown, bulls were meant to work as yearlings, and to learn the art of serving cows while they are fit, light and agile".
This theory is backed by DPI Research, where yearling bulls were proven to have significantly less rates of injury and longer working lives than bulls used initially as two-year-olds.
According to Erica Halliday, "it makes sense as sending over-fed, two-year-olds out to work for the first time is like sending a sumo wrestler out to run a marathon". This helps explains Ben Nevis's success in providing yearling bulls from temperate into extensive pastoral situations where the yearling bulls have been proven to be more adaptable to the changing conditions".
So are there downsides to using a yearling bull? According to Erica none, apart from the fact they can look ugly at 18 months to two years, however, she hastens to add this won't affect the quality of their calves, and they will eventually grow out.
Stu says there are basic rules which are common sense. These include don't put a yearling out with two-year-olds.
Instead, have a yearling bull sire group or single sire mate in more intensive areas. Also mating loads in year one should be one to 35 cows, although they move to one to 50 cows in year two.
"Bulls must be well grown (at least 550kgs at 12- 14 mths) to use, otherwise you run the risk of them not being sexually mature or of never growing out," Stu says.
Research tells us yearling bulls have on average an 18 month longer working life than bulls used first as two-year-olds, so theoretically you will get 55 more calves in his lifetime which lowers the cost per calf.
Ben Nevis is known as the premier supplier of yearling Angus bulls in Australia.
This year's sale of 85 bulls includes a draft of the first Baldridge Beast Mode bulls in the country, a breed leader for growth, marbling and doing ability off grass.
CLUNIE RANGE ANGUS STUD
The Guest family, who operate a large commercial herd as well as the Clunie Range Angus Stud, are passionate believers in the Angus breed.
Stud co-principal Hugh Guest started breeding Angus in 1957 between Killarney and Woodenbong.
In the early 1990s, the feedlot industry evolved, leading industry players engaged in research around feeding regimes, management practices as well as genetic analysis.
It resulted in industry driven demand for Angus cattle that were able to achieve outstanding feedlot performance, high boning room and carcase quality.
There are big differences now not only in the type of Angus being bred but the management programs impacting on their performance.
Clunie Range cattle are referred to as being "made of tough stuff", which is a reflection of the Guest family's breeding philosophy.
Co-principal Brett Guest said many stud breeders never placed any pressure on their cow herd and when they had work in real-world environments, they found the going very hard.
"Our cow herd has always worked for us rather than the other way around," Brett said.
"With fertility being the biggest contributor to profitability, for generations we have semen tested and semen morphology tested all our bulls.
"This, combined with ensuring that the cow herd falls pregnant under high stocking rates, means you can now reap the rewards for the focus on fertility over so many years."
As well as being tough and highly fertile, the Clunie Range herd has a reputation for carcase quality.
"With a history steeped in branded-beef programs, retained ownership and heavy involvement in all areas of the beef-production-chain has seen impressive feedlot performance and carcase data directly related to our sire-lines," Brett said.
"We regularly obtain high marble scores at slaughter ... as high as nine.
"We have built our reputation on performance, integrity and consistency. We're proud of the quality of this year's line-up."
Clunie Range annual bull sale will be held on August 2.
LOTUS HEREFORD STUD
Two new exciting sires represent at this year's annual Lotus Hereford stud bull sale, principal Tony Holliss says.
They are Warringa Kakadu and Talbalba Advance K134.
"Progeny of these two bulls have growth, thickness and good skin and hair, all in one package," Tony said.
The sale will be held on Thursday, July 25.
"We are extremely pleased with our offering this year," Tony said.
"The bulls have demonstrated great constitution through another difficult season and exhibit natural muscle and ability to lay down fat.
"In our area we've had a few brief and small starts to our season but no follow up rain.
"The sale bulls have made good use of the very little that was available.
"We also used some very old semen from Tummel Jubilant 10 and Lowanna Nuffield in a AI program and both are represented in the 2019 catalogue."
PROCEEDS from Lot 1 of Swanbrook bull sale will be donated to Ronald McDonald House.
Lot 1 is a calving ease bull with above average growth, Swanbrook Judd N123 by Paringa Judd out of a first calf heifer.
The annual bull sale will be held on Saturday, August 3.
Swanbrook Angus owners by Brian and Glynis Turner made the decision to donate proceeds of Judd's sale, knowing how hard it is to have a child in hospital away from your home town.
"Often rural families have to go hundreds of kilometres to get vital specialist medical assistance," Glynis said.
"This is a time of great emotional and financial strain, particularly during extended periods of treatment.
"Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation close to Westmead hospital and some support that parents desperately need.
"This year started for us with a reminder of this.
"Our nephew's daughter, Emily, was hospitalised just after Christmas with a rare brain cancer. My nephew and his partner live west of Sydney, in the Highlands.
"Now it is June and four-year-old Emily is only mid-way through aggressive treatment in Westmead Children's Hospital. One parent stays close to Emily while the other deals with home, children and work.
"Ronald McDonald House is a haven near to the hospital for her parents, her brother and sister and herself (when allowed out of the ward but needing to be close at hand to the hospital).
"We are reminded of 1986, when our own daughter was born premature in Sydney and three-and-a-half months later we could take her home.
"In 2007, our 12-year-old niece was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which resulted in eight months at Westmead, then two years of follow-up visits.
"Her family live near Gunnedah and were so very glad of the aid of Ronald McDonald House.
"Both girls are healthy and happy and have gone on to university and life.
"Now poor Emily is in Westmead and Jono and Deb have already done four months of a long journey.
"We are so grateful they have Ronald McDonald House available to them."
So although the past year has been tough for the Turners, they are happy with their decision to donate all proceeds from Judd's sale to Ronald McDonald House.
Brian said 28 bulls had been selected for this year's sale; most are calving ease bulls with above average growth (the way to rebuild herds from retained heifers).
"As usual, Swanbrook bulls are docile with balanced performance, good carcase traits, their dam's fertility has been tested in commercial conditions and the bull's semen is vet tested both crush side and in the laboratory," Brian said.
AMOS VALE HEREFORD STUD
TWENTY six rising two-year-old, paddock reared, non pampered Hereford Sires will be offered at Amos-Vale Hereford Stud's 35th annual sale.
The sale will take place from 1.30pm on July 25 at Brooklington Pinkett.
"Over our 52 years of seedstock production we have built a reputation for producing functional non pampered easy care sires with a great temperament and this year's draft certainly typifies the reputation we have built," stud principal Mark Campion said.
"I feel this draft is among the best we have offered.
"They display consistency of type and evenness of quality and correctness through the entire draft, they are long deep bodied bulls with loads of natural thickness and plenty of meat and muscle.
"These young sires are rich coloured, well balanced bulls with a great head and eye.
"Despite enduring drought conditions for most of their lives we are happy with the bulls we will present for sale, they are sound and in great working condition, having only had a failed rye grass paddock and a light grain supplement since June.
"These bulls are ready to go straight to work and will survive even the harshest of conditions presented to them and I feel the versatility of the Amos-Vale sires to produce progeny capable of fitting into many market outlets gives our clients many options come sale time."
The bulls are produced from a maternally strong and genetically diverse cow herd, with tremendous milking ability and backed by sound EBV figures.
"I believe there's a bull in this offering to suit every cattle producer's needs," Mark said. "These bulls are sired by Cootharaba, Devon Court and Talbalba sires.
"We exhibited at Sydney Royal again this year and were very proud to have come away with Junior Champion Hereford Bull.
"Amos-Vale Falkland was first in class and Junior Champion with Amos-Vale Fairfield third in his class.
"Both theses bulls are sired by Devon Court Eclipse and are truly exceptional stud sire prospects, they sell at lots 3 and 4."
Bulls will be semen tested and raw data including scan measurements along with weights will be available.