Angus stud breeder Brad Cavanagh wins $15,000 ARCBA scholarship

July 12, 2017 11:57 am

He may be a first generation stud beef breeder but Brad Cavanagh, Harden, New South Wales, isn’t letting that stop him from making his mark in the cattle industry.

The 33-year-old was just 16 when he bought his first three Angus cows with the help of his parents, who operate a building company, and established the Hardhat Angus stud.

Now Mr Cavanagh, who has worked as a stock and station agent, expects to calve down to 180 this year and sells stud bulls from his 404 hectare property at Dubbo and agistment on his wife Jess’ family property at Harden.

Adding to the success, Mr Cavanagh was named the winner of the inaugural Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association (ARCBA) Youth Scholarship valued at up to $15,000, which will see him travel to America and attend the Beef Improvement Federation Conference in May next year.

The three and a half day conference includes a Young Breeders Symposium, receiving papers on the latest research developments and a field tour.

Other scholarship finalists included Lawrence Sehmish-Lahey, Goondiwindi, Annika Whale, Hunter Valley and Kate Reid, Millmerrin.
Genomics and genetics is something Mr Cavanagh is passionate about and with the use of embryo transfer he expects to have doubled his calving numbers to 300 by 2020.

“We don’t have the land to run the (embryo transplant) cow on so we do a wean calf contract and we buy the weaners back,” he said.

“They come into the herd at about eight months old.”

Mr Cavanagh said he was most looking forward to being exposed to leading research data during the conference and learn more about their genetics and expected progency differences (EPD) data.

“An EPD gives you a genetic value for a cows ability to stay in the herd and breed a calf year in year out and meet all the production benchmarks,” he said.

“If we can develop some genetic analysis for that (it would be valuable).”

The scholarship isn’t the only youth support ARCBA is planning to offer in the future.

ARCBA president Dr Arthur Rickards announced at the Young Breed Leaders Workshop the association had made an application to Barnaby Joyce’s Leadership Initiative to the value of $470,000 which would provide industry training and development for five young people over three years.

“Once we start something we are not going to give up,” he said.

Mr Cavanagh is involved in the Southern Beef Week event and will hold open days at Harden on July 25 and in Dubbo on July 26.

The Land – Written by Lucy Kinbacher, 10 July 2017

Top Image: Brad Cavanagh, Harden, NSW was the winner of the ARCBA scholarship.