Report By Georgia Davies
2015 Generation Angus NZ Trans-Tasman Exchange Recipient
The past few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind of a journey, traveling many kilometers around Australia on the Trans-Tasman exchange. Summing up my trip, I cannot describe it better than an amazing learning experience. I have been to some incredible properties which are run by smart, savvy business people that show an unrivaled passion for their cattle.
I was lucky enough to attend the Angus Youth Roundup, as well as travel from the bottom of Victoria to Armidale, seeing a lot of country and cattle in between. I have had some incredible learning experiences that I would’ve never had the opportunity to get in New Zealand; working with some exceptional cattle, mustering and weaning is amongst some of my memorable experiences. Each and every operation I visited and got to learn about was different and I believe this is what help makes the Angus breed such a standout; the ability for them to adapt and survive in such a variety of climates and conditions while meeting production expectations.
From Roundup in Armidale, NSW, I headed to the bottom of Victoria with the Branson family of Banquet Angus. Based at their home in Mortlake, day trips to Coolana Angus and Gilmour Pastoral co. was on the cards and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about their farming systems. Beef Week Field Days came next; a chance to look at sale bulls and stud females through Southern NSW and Victoria in a short space of time. Two weeks with Corey Ireland at Irelands Angus proved memorable with a couple of days at Rennylea Angus thrown into the mix. From here I headed north to Armidale and had the chance to stay with Eaglehawk, Ben Nevis and Booroomooka Angus to finish my Australian tour.
The range of cattle and farm systems that I have seen varies from New Zealand, however the basic principle is still the same; get a live calf on the ground. With a range of cattle from those carrying performance genetics to those based on phenotype, every herd has its difference, but are all based on the provision of cattle to the market that they are aiming for. Australia has a huge variation in markets from feedlots to live export and these are looking extremely positive for Australian farmers in current times.
The opportunity to come to Australia and experience life on stud properties has been brilliant; I have taken away so much knowledge and made lifelong friends. For anyone who is considering applying for the Trans-Tasman Exchange, it is an amazing journey and well worth the time. I would like to say thank you to Angus New Zealand and Angus Australia for their help and support during my time away and a special thank you to those that have hosted me during my stay.