Angus Australia’s Commercial Supply Chain Manager Liz Pearson and the Supply Chain Officer Olivia Twaddle spent the day at the RAS Beef Challenge Open Day on the 13th of August, held at Wilga Feedlot via Bellata NSW.
The event, hosted by feedlot owners the MacCue Family brought commercial producers, both local and out of the area to compete in Domestic and Export pen categories.
Liz Pearson said that attending the event gives Angus Australia the opportunity to meet and converse with commercial Angus producers.
“The RAS Beef Challenge Open Day is a great day for us to meet with Angus commercial producers and have the opportunity to see how Angus cattle are performing amongst a field of other breeds,” Ms Pearson said.
The Domestic pen category, which saw cattle on feed for 70 Days, had several Angus entrants, with Angus cattle taking first and second place and an overall result of straight and cross bred Angus holding 46% of the placings. In the standings of the Domestic Individuals competition Angus cattle took out 26% of the placings.
In the Export pens, which were on feed for 102 days saw Angus cattle take 60% of the pen placings and 20% of the individual’s placings.
Trevor and Linda Rissman of Rosedale Pastoral Company, Yelarbon Queensland, took home the winning ribbon in the Domestic pens with their Angus cattle (Lot 2093).
It was the first time the Rissman Family had entered such a competition and while they weren’t expecting much from their trip down, they were pleasantly surprised by the result and as they are having a heavily drought affected season said the win was definitely something to smile about.
“We are typically sheep country, so the cattle are mostly secondary, however they work well together,” Mr Rissman explained.
“We started using Angus as a commercial decision because all the feedlots were chasing Angus and ever since I can remember there has been a premium for Angus cattle.”
The Rissman’s original operation was a Hereford base, however over the years they have transitioned into the Angus breed, in which they found were a better suit for their operation.
“We started with a Hereford cross, but as we have gotten into more pure Angus they are actually weighing heavier and doing better than the crosses.”
Angus cattle also took home second in the same category with Wendy and Ben Mayne of Texas Angus, Warialda NSW, with their pen of Angus heifers (Lot 2887). A heifer from the same pen also won the Domestic Individual category (Tag Number Q233).
When asked of their aim from the days event, Wendy and Ben explained that events such as the RAS Beef Challenge allows them to benchmark themselves across all breeds of cattle.
“(The aim of the beef challenge is) To be able to benchmark ourselves within the beef industry as a whole rather than just within the Angus breed to see where we actually are,” Mr Mayne said.
“You’re against some pretty high-profile commercial producers, that are not only just straight breeds but cross breeds,” Mrs Mayne added.
Mr Mayne continues, “We want to compare on all facets too, not only performance and weight gain but actually carcase quality, yield and profitability per carcase”.
“The more cross action we can get, with other Angus breeders as well, allows us to see where the industry does lie in both Domestic and Export categories, as they obviously can perform in both areas.”
Mike MacCue of MacCue Cattle and Wilga Feedlot owner, whose pen of Angus steers placed third in the Export category (Lot 2849), said that the RAS Beef Challenge is a great opportunity for exhibitors to benchmark their stock against some of the best in the state.
“As the feeder of the cattle, it provides an opportunity to benchmark some of our regular suppliers as well as identify potential new suppliers that we can target as long-term suppliers. We feel that the competition allows suppliers to identify where their stock excel, need improvement etcetera,” said Mr MacCue.
“Using the competition as a long-term benchmarking tool, producers can also see where management decisions make impacts, both in management terms and in breeding programs.”
“The open day is a great opportunity for producers to view their stock after the grain feeding portion of the supply chain.”
“In many cases, producers don’t get the opportunity to view their stock at the end of the feeding period. It’s an opportunity to try and picture animals as a carcase rather than a live animal and see how it might fit a grid.”
Mr MacCue says that while the Challenge Day is a competition, it more so brings opportunities for commercial producers to expose their operations to other like-minded producers.
“While everyone likes to win, see their breed on top, the competition is really aiming at the beef industry. Everyone is there for the same purpose, and the Awards Dinner in Tamworth is a great opportunity to catch up over a meal in a relaxed environment.”
Top Image: Angus place getters from the RAS Beef Challenge Open Day