4 August, 2023
Best of both worlds
PASSION, patience, purpose and pride are the secrets to the success of Mo and Charleene Pedersen’s Fassifern Limousin and Droughtmaster studs.
Over the last 20 years they have focused on breeding many traits into their stud cattle including softness, polledness, docility, milk production, fertility and structure.
Their foundation herd of purebred stud Limousin cattle was purchased from Boonah in the Fassifern Valley in 2002 when the stud was being downsized.
Stud co-owner Charleene Pedersen said they were offered the opportunity to take over the remaining cattle, including the stud name. They have stuck with the name ever since and have built it for their family.
“Limousins are the carcass breed and traditionally that has meant that the cattle have a high muscle yield with low fat,” Charleene said.
“However, we have worked hard to select sires with a positive rib and rump fat, as well as intramuscular fat, to help add softness to our cattle.
“This was evident this year when the judge at the Malanda Show commented on how soft our Champion Led Steer was on the rib and rump.”
With Charleene having grown up on a small farm with beef cattle at Yungaburra and Mo having worked on cattle properties at Yeppoon, breeding stud beef cattle proved to be the logical choice.
“We always wanted to breed cattle, so being given the opportunity to purchase a small stud allowed us to begin the journey of breeding, with many learning experiences along the way,” Charleene said.
“The Limousin breed is known as the carcass breed and we really wanted to breed a good crossbreed product using Limousin bulls as terminal sires and indicus infused females.
“Hence, why we began investing in Droughtmasters.
“Our daughter showed an interest in the Droughtmaster breed so we established a small Droughtmaster stud for her as a junior member.
“Having the two breeds allows us to expand our business to meet the demands of a wider range of clients.”
For those wishing to enter the stud beef cattle industry the following advice is offered.
“Acknowledge that all breeds have a purpose and understand what your breed can do for the market,” Charleene said.
“If you understand what you want the final product to be, then your focus becomes refining your enterprise to meet that purpose.
“Also, believe in what you are doing and don’t compare yourself to other breeding operations as each business has different ideas and that is a positive for the industry.”
Notable achievements for Fassifern include winning the Supreme Exhibit and Breeders’ Groups at various local shows.
“It is always good to win the interbreed group classes as it allows us to reflect on our breeding and the various bloodlines within our herd, and to confirm that we are on the right track,” Charleene said.
Going through the bull selection process for the two breeds each year is considered to be especially rewarding.
New technologies to assist with the collection and maintenance of records have been a major advancement in the stud beef cattle industry and these have been adopted by Fassifern.
“We do a lot of research to find new genetics and we look for trait leaders in a variety of estimated breeding valves (EBVs) to help select a sire for each individual cow,” Charleene said.
“It is always exciting to see the new calves being born and deciding whether the selection process has been a success or not.
“We plan to expand the Droughtmaster herd further in the future, adding composite bulls of Limousin Droughtmaster.
“We would also like to increase our commercial herd using the Limousin bulls as terminal sires.”
Participating in the Better Beef Open Days since its inception in 2019, Mo and Charleene love meeting people and being able to listen and learn about what they are doing in their own breeding enterprises.
“There are so many different business structures in the beef industry and each have their own focus to improve breeding capabilities,” Charleene said.
“It’s a great way for people within the region to see the quality cattle being offered by all stud breeders in the local area.
“It’s easier for the cattle as they don’t need to be transported off farm, less stress for them.
“We can also have a range of cattle on display, different age groups, bulls, heifers, breeders and even some of the commercial cattle showing the benefits of crossbreeding.”
Mo and Charleene are looking forward to welcoming visitors to the Tablelands Better Beef Open Days. Fassifern Limousin Stud will be open on Sunday 13 August from 9am.