Angus NSW gives a helping hand to flood affected cattle breeder

A flood affected Angus seedstock producing family will receive a gift of $1000 plus cattle drench valued at $1500 thanks to the innovative Angus NSW Business Recognition Reward.

North coast NSW producers John, Ellen and Rodney Gibson, Medlyn Angus, South Gundurimba, are the recipients of the Business Recognition Award donated by the Angus NSW state committee of Angus Australia, and various businesses.

Angus NSW, Business Recognition Reward chairman Mark Lucas said the Reward was aimed at cattle businesses affected by hardship including natural disasters such as drought, fire and flood.

Mr Lucas paid tribute to the sponsors of the Reward: Angus NSW, Virbac Australia, Michael Glasser, Patrice Vale, Vic; Nutrien Ag Solutions, Wagga Wagga, the Probert family, Spring Hill Angus, Woodlands; Ray White Wodonga; and Reiland Angus, Gundagai and Tumut.

“From the committee’s perspective, this initiative is the most significant way of supporting fellow members from NSW we have undertaken,” he said.

“The Business Recognition Reward is part of the state committee’s toolbox when members are in a situation where their businesses are being strongly challenged.”

Angus NSW, Business Recognition Reward secretary Richard Buck made the presentation to the Gibson family on behalf of Angus NSW.

The Gibsons run 230 registered Angus females and have low lying country on the floodplain of the Wilsons River, which has experienced three floods this year, peaking at 14.4 metres resulting in huge regional losses in livestock, fencing, fodder, sheds, homes and infrastructure.

While their annual rainfall is around 1200-1500mm, the property has already received 3000mm so far this year.

Mr Gibson said the rainfall was a record in his 50 years of farming on the property, forcing the family to agist cattle elsewhere and purchase fodder for the remaining stock at home.

“The massive destruction around the region is unbelievable – our low-lying country had 12 to 15 feet of water over it. We normally grow ryegrass on these flats for our winter feed and we haven’t been able to plant a single seed so we have to buy in hay to feed the cattle,” he said.

“There was a minor flood a week before the major flood and we had moved the cattle to higher ground so we didn’t lose any cattle fortunately but there were a lot of cattle lost in the area.

“There was another flood after that major flood and it was almost as big as the 1974 record – our country is so wet we can’t get on it to do any fencing repairs.

“It’s impossible to get contractors to repair the roads – we are unable to access paddocks with our tractors so are feeding bulls from the roadside.

“There won’t be a lot of grass growth until late spring or early summer.”

Mr Gibson said BlazeAid volunteers were fencing in the area following the bushfires and had now moved onto repairing flood damaged fences.

In the middle of the flood crisis, Medlyn held its annual bull sale in June at Casino with all 39 bulls cleared to a top of $18,000 and average of $9950.

Raised in commercial conditions under high humidity and stocking rates, the bulls are sold principally into F1 Bos indicus herds, injecting carcase quality and solid coat colour.

Mr Gibson said calving ease and low birthweight was a focus for Angus bulls going into coastal F1 herds.

“It was very nice to be considered for the Business Recognition Award and with a year like this, the drench will be important as cattle are grazing low pasture and it will be critical to keep the drenching regime up,” he said.

Caption: From left Craig Gates, Triple M Angus, Rukenvale, Richard Buck, John Gibson, Ellen and Rodney Gibson at the presentation of the Angus NSW Business Recognition Reward