The accolades kept coming for Central Queensland cattle producers Ken and Kerry McKenzie whose Yaralla Droughtmasters dominated the championship wards at the prestigious Beef Australia 2012 commercial beef cattle championships.
With a yarding of 1650 head of prime cattle judged on May 7 at the CQLX Gracemere selling complex, it was the McKenzie's pen of 10 milk tooth grainfed steers averaging 631kg that took the blue ribbon in the 560-650kg liveweight class for milk tooth steers.
They went on to be judged the Champion Grainfed Pen before taking the overall Grand Champion pen title for 2012.
Co-judge of the export classes Craig Price, livestock manager of Kilcoy Pastoral Company, told the big audience that the grand championship pen ticked all the boxes. Mr Price said the extremely even pen would dress in the 350kg to 360kg range and based on their conditon and weight they would certainly yield well.
To view the list of all commercial cattle competition winners, click here
Ken McKenzie is no stranger to the winning circle with his Droughtmaster cattle and also took home the Champion pen of Grassfed steers and collected the Most Successful Exhibitor Award.
The grain fed grand champion pen of Yaralla steers were topped off with 130 days in at the Duaringa Station feedlot so it was fitting that feedlot principal Simon Donovan was awarded the title of best lotfeeder based on point scores.
Ken McKenzie and his wife Kerry run 1600 Droughtmaster breeders on Pearl Creek, a 9720 hectare Duaringa district holding supporting a mix of native blue grasses together with buffel, uracloa and stylo legumes on blue gum, box flats and ironbark country.
"We wean our steers at nine months averaging 280kg and background them on brigalow country buffel grass pasture at our Blackwater district home block, Yaralla, before they are on-sold direct from the paddock at 400kg liveweight," Mr McKenzie said.
"All our steers are HGP-treated as we have not targeted the EU market at this stage.
"The only steers we hold for finishing are those that we enter in the prime cattle competitions and we find this is an excellent promotion for our annual turnoff of Droughtmaster sale bulls."
The Pearl Creek steers are progeny of a mix of Medway bloodline Droughtmaster and home-bred Yaralla sires.
The award for the champion pen of pasture or cropfed heifers went to previous Beef Australia championship exhibitors Mark and Belinda Wilson, Banana Station, Banana. This Central Queensland-bred pen of 10 milk tooth Charolias/Brahman crossbred heifers were finished on a mix of buffel grass and leucaena pasture.
Theodore district lotfeeders Ian and Kay Hutchinson who operate the Warnoah feedlot, bred and fed the class winning pen of 10 milk tooth grainfed heifers. These Droughtmaster/Charolais crossbred heifers went on to take the champion pen of grainfed heifers.