2016 was another positive year for Angus Australia and its members, with many previous records eclipsed. Some of the key performance indicators and highlights are summarized below.
Angus Australia and its controlled entities returned a modest surplus of $9,846 in 2015. Figure 1 shows that the primary areas of expenditure in 2016 compared to other recent years.
During 2016, the Angus Australia Board had meetings in February, March, April, July, September, November and December. Various Board Committees met numerous times during the year by teleconference.
At the end of 2016 there were 3,756 members (3.5% more than 2015), including 1,062 Full Members, 25 Honorary Life Members, 424 Junior Members and 2,245 Commercial Members. During the year there were 4 members recognized with 50 years membership (Carlisle Park Holdings Pty Ltd, Vic; Lochaber Partnership, Tas; Glendaloch Pastoral Co Pty Ltd, Vic; and J & J Young, WA), and 23 members recognised with 25 years membership.
A total of 105,233 females were retained on the female inventory in 2016 (12% higher than 2015) – see Figure 2.
During 2016 a total of 75,784 calves were registered (4.8% more than 2015) including 45,133 in the Herd Book Register (HBR); 23,949 in the Angus Performance Register (APR); 3,641 in the Angus Commercial Register (ACR); 95 in the Red Angus Register (RAR); and 2,966 in the Multi Breed Register (MBR) – see Figure 3. A total of 18,197 transfers of ownership were recorded.
Based on statistics compiled by the Australian Registered Breeders Association (ARCBA), Angus Australia recorded 44% of all animals recorded in the Primary Registers of British and European breeds and their derivatives in Australia in 2015; and 51% of the total number of seedstock recorded among these breeds (including Secondary Registers such as APR).
Breed Development & Extension
High levels of performance recording continued in 2016 with 64,535 birth weights; 40,959 400-day weights; 31,178 ultrasound carcase measurements; 15,182 scrotal size measurements; 15,006 mature cow weights; and, 18,097 docility scores added to the Angus database – see Figure 4.
The increase in Angus Breeding Index Value among 2015 born calves was +$3.90 (+3.9%) with an average increase of +$2.96 (+3.3%) per annum over the past 5 years – see Figure 5.
A total of 12,435 DNA tests were conducted in 2016 for the recessive genetic conditions Arthrogryposis Multiplex (AM), Neuropathic Hydrocephalus (NH), Contractural Arachnodactyly (CA) and Developmental Duplications (DD).
As shown in Figure 6, the prevalence of carrier animals for each of these conditions has reduced substantially compared to when these conditions were initially recognized.
Data collection has continued to schedule in the Angus Sire Benchmarking Project (ASBP) and results incorporated into monthly Angus Breedplan analyses. A total of 267 sires have been included across the first 7 Cohorts of the ASBP.
A total of 4,957 Zoetis i50k DNA profiles and 1,518 GeneSeek Genomic Profiler (GGP) profiles were added to the Angus Australia database in 2016, and the resulting genomic values integrated into Angus Breedplan EBVs.
During 2016 a number of processes were implemented to improve the governance and management behind Angus BREEDPLAN, including the establishment of a Angus BREEDPLAN Technical Committee and Angus BREEDPLAN Consultative Committee. The responsibility for the processing of all performance information and member support relating to Angus BREEDPLAN was transferred from ABRI to Angus Australia, and fortnightly Angus BREEDPLAN analyses were implemented for much of the year. Considerable work was conducted to prepare animal genotype information stored on the Angus Australia database for incorporation into Angus BREEDPLAN.
A number or workshops and field days were conducted during 2016, including 12 Reginal Forums across all states in June-July on “Genomics in a Modern Angus Beef Business”.
A number of new education and extension resources were developed, including a comprehensive suite of “proof of concept” resources for use in Angus BREEDPLAN education.
Marketing, Communications and Youth
A total of 158 auction sales were reported to Angus Australia in 2016 with 8,405 Angus bulls sold for an average of $6,918.
Angus eNews was distributed to over 3,000 email addresses each week; and, 4 issues of the Angus Bulletin were circulated to members.
The Angus Australia website received an average of 15,454 visits (33,121 page views) per month. Database lookups and searches averaged of 257,506 views per month. Interest in Angus Australia’s social media platforms continued to increase with 4,089 Facebook followers and 1,692 Twitter followers at the end of 2016.
A successful National Conference was conducted in Albury on 19-20 May …
Angus breeders had good success at Royal Shows across Australia, including the Sydney Royal Show where Killain Alaska K18, exhibited by Killain Angus and K5X Lisa H56, exhibited by KL Smith, won the Hordern Trophy; K5X Lisa H56, exhibited by KL Smith also won Urquhart Trophy for Supreme Interbreed Female; and, Pine Creek Angus won the Interbreed Breeders Group. At the Hobart Royal Show, Platinum Angus Tibbie L68, exhibited by Daryl Heazlewood won Champion Interbreed Female and Supreme Interbreed Exhibit; and also this female also won the Supreme Interbreed Exhibit at the Launceston Royal Show. At the Perth Royal Show, Little Meadows Merriment D80, exhibited by Little Meadows Angus won the All Breeds Supreme Champion Beef Female.
A successful Angus Youth Roundup was conducted at Armidale in January, with 220 participants.
International youth scholarships were awarded in 2016 to Mardi O‘Brien (Semex Genetics Kansas State University Scholarship); and Hannah Powe (New Zealand Exchange). A number of other scholarships, awards and bursaries were awarded from the Angus Foundation to assist youth members with study and travel to attend industry events.
The Angus Youth electronic newsletter titled “The Herd” was distributed monthly across the Angus Youth membership network.
During 2016, export certificates were issued for 37,868 animals, mainly Category 2 heifers destined for China, shipped by 5 export companies. This was the second highest year on record for Angus breeding animal export certification, and the highest year on record for the China market.
Angus Australia’s software development project progressed during 2016, including further database construction and testing of a new database enquiry system scheduled for implementation in the first half of 2017.
During 2016, Angus Australia commenced a new Commercial Development program, with the appointment of Liz Pearson as a Commercial Development Manager. Th initial objectives of this program were to improve the communication and engagement between Angus Australia and other key participants of the beef value chain.
During 2016 a secure DNA storage facility was constructed adjacent to the Angus Australia office. In addition, extensions were commenced to provide additional office and meeting room space.
Certified Angus Group Pty Ltd
Angus Australia’s wholly owned subsidiary, Certified Angus Group Pty Ltd (CAG), through its work with member owned certified brands Certified Australian Angus Beef (CAAB), Angus Pure, and with other Verified Angus brands, continued to support the premium paid for quality Angus beef during 2016.
The important contributions of the Angus Australia Board, State Committees, staff and membership, in the achievements accomplished by Angus Australia during 2016 are gratefully acknowledged.