On The Land

23 August, 2023

‘Beefed up’ event attracts buyers

Attendees of the recent Tablelands Better Beef Open Days welcomed this year’s new two day format which doubled their opportunities to inspect high calibre genetics from all across the Tablelands.

By Brigitte Daley

Joseph and Kelly Muller of Millaa Millaa inspect Riverland Droughtmaster cattle on the property of Jillian and Gary Little which is located at Millaa Millaa.
Joseph and Kelly Muller of Millaa Millaa inspect Riverland Droughtmaster cattle on the property of Jillian and Gary Little which is located at Millaa Millaa.

Open Days president Nick Trompf said the ever-popular event was again a success, with visitors coming from a wide area across Far North Queensland and as far away as Argentina. 

“The frenzy of last year’s record prices was replaced with more conservatism in light of lower beef prices,” Nick said.

“Nevertheless, the Atherton Tablelands is now firmly on the map as the seedstock capital of Far North Queensland with the Better Beef Open Days playing a pivotal role in this.

“We will continue to innovate with the event in 2024 to ensure it meets the needs of our participants, sponsors and importantly, visitors.

“Given the challenging beef cattle market at present, it was terrific to welcome two new studs and two new sponsors to the 2023 Open Days - resulting in a record number of both.

 “Like many of the participating studs, the support of repeat customers was the highlight for Tallangalook with bulls sold to the Tablelands, Mount Surprise, Daintree and Dimbulah.”

Telpara Hills team member Brittany Pearce said the Open Day was a wonderful event where local beef breeders came together to offer the public a relaxed way to view the Telpara Hills cattle operations at their own pace.  

“For us, we use it as a preview to our annual on-property sale on 16 September. 

“We love the casual nature of the Open Day and think it's a great event for serious buyers that want to do a bit of extra research and people who can't make it on Sale Day, but still want to inspect the cattle because they might buy online or over the phone.

“Also, people visit out of pure curiosity, there’s absolutely zero pressure to buy.

“We see visitors who are young people or people new to the industry and are here to learn. 

“It is also great to see friends and local businesses who come to just catch up and say hello.

“I am always impressed and appreciative of the people who take the time to travel to the Open Days. 

“It seems like there is always a strong showing from the Mackay area, as well as the coast, and of course, local Tablelanders. 

“A young Brangus Breeder, Lorenzo Groppo from La Sultana in Argentina visited us plus a group of agricultural students from Japan.  

“Telpara Hills had several of our repeat customers come to inspect the cattle on the Open Day, because they can't make it to our auction on 16 Septemeber 2023.

“It gives them extra confidence when buying online, over the phone, or placing an order with a livestock agent for the sale.

“We truly appreciate the people who take the time to come and visit, the other studs for making us feel welcome, and the sponsors of the event for helping us to promote our local beef industry.

“The Tablelands is developing into a prime beef producing area, and this event helps drive genetic progress.”

Beki Speckle Park owners Bill and Anne Cover said they had a highly successful attendance in terms of serious cattle people compared to last year when large numbers visited out of curiosity to inspect the breed which is relatively new on the Tablelands

“The purpose of the day, being to showcase the Atherton Tablelands as a source of seedstock regardless of breed preference, was successful despite the current dip in cattle prices and the weather challenges in the lead up,” Anne said.

Figtree Grey Poll Brahman owners Ron and Jan Collier said they found their visitors to be extremely knowledgeable and very interesting to have conversations with.

“Almost all had done some research, especially on the poll genetics,” Ron said.

 “As short a time as a couple of years ago, I would have needed to explain the PcPc and HP classification and relationship to phenotype.

 “Now, almost all are up to speed on this.

“I think all studs were interested to see if visitor throughput might be down due to the very low current commercial cattle prices and climate talk of an El Nino dry.

“From what feedback I have heard and our experience, visitation was down a little but not at all substantial.

“One of the day’s highlights was a visit from a large operator from the Northern Territory looking to move his cow herd to polls.

“He was very interested in our bulls as a high percentage of them will DNA Test PcPc - almost all calves will be polled even if mated to a horned cow.

“We sold almost all of our surplus heifers which is very good for us as in difficult times heifers become the hardest to find a home for.

“We also sold a couple of bulls, but really, the day was about much more than immediate sales.”

Maple Downs Murray Greys and Greymans stud principal Russell Kidd said he felt the weekend went considerably well considering the weather that has been experienced for the past 60 days.

“Our highlight was the number of people who were interested in Greyman cattle and who wanted to purchase Greyman bulls and females from us,” Russell said. 

“We had a couple that traveled from northern Victoria to visit us and look at our bulls. 

 “We sold one bull on the day to Geoff and Vicky Finlayson of Ingham who are going to use him to breed Greyman bulls.” 

Pinnacle Pocket Cattle - Senepols and Composites owner Peter Spies and son Tom said their highlight of the weekend was the interest in the breed as well as being able to showcase Senepol genetics to the public. 

“Visitors came from as far away as Charters Towers and Cooktown,” Peter said.

“This year the weather was an issue.

“Even on Saturday, we had rain and some significant falls at home which put a bit of a ‘dampener’ on the day.

“Attendance was back by about one third on the previous year - but those who visited were generally very interested in what the Senepol breed has to offer the northern beef industry in terms of fertility, meat quality, carcass yield, sleek-coat and polledness.

“Fertility is still the biggest driver of profitability in the northern beef industry and has been highlighted in the Cash Cow project.

“My specific goal was not to sell cattle on the day, as I am wanting to provide some finish on the bulls following a couple of months of solid, rainy, drizzly, cold weather.

 “It is a credit to the breed that they were able to look as good as they did on the day.

 Yantee Creek stud principal Debbie Coleman said her event’s highlight was the appearance of the sun which came out and made it a beautiful day.

“I would like to thank all my hard working helpers before and on the day,” Debbie said.

“I had a lovely gentleman from Katherine in the Northern Territory call in.

“It was also nice to see a lot of Saturday’s studs visit me as well.

“I sold one bull to a very nice couple outside of Dimbulah so that was also a highlight.

“Considering the lead-up to the event of non-stop rain and mud, the day went well.

“I had lots of comments on how lovely my Brahmans are and how quiet they are.”


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