Angus bull breeding a new focus for retired processing executive, Warren Stiff

Jon Condon, 04/07/2022

Broadwater’s first crop of sale bulls under preparation near Warwick


FORMER export meat processing executive Warren Stiff, who retired as chief executive of John Dee near Warwick last week after 30 years, is embracing his latest industry passion: breeding Angus herd bulls.

In addition to hanging out his shingle as a red meat and livestock consultant this week, Mr Stiff and wife Lana will adopt the title of ‘bull breeders’, hosting their first on-property Angus sale under his Broadwater Angus prefix on 2 September, offering 40 bulls.

Former John Dee chief executive Warren Stiff

“I’m coming up 55, so it’s far from retirement for me,” he told Beef Central. “I love the land and cattle production, and bull breeding has always been an interest,” he said.

While employed at John Dee over the past three decades, in his spare time Mr Stiff has been building up some land near Warwick on the Condamine River, and just across the NSW border, building sheds and accumulating equipment, and growing a small herd of registered Angus breeders.

“I’m also going to pursue red meat consultancy opportunities and stay involved in the meat industry, but also breed a few bulls,” he said.

In a low-key way, Mr Stiff has bought high quality foundation females including lines from the Wattletop dispersal, plus others from Ascot and Dulverton overt the past few years. His breeding herd now numbers 100 stud cows.

“I’ve been placing a few bulls privately with buyers for the past few years, but now that I have finished at John Dee, we’re launching our inaugural auction sale,” he said.

The emphasis is on the best of US and Australian Angus genetics, aiming to produce cattle with an emphasis on meat quality and growth, underpinned by calving ease.

“We’re looking to select for both meat quality and growth. I, of all people, know what you need to pay the bills,” he said.

Mr Stiff said the new Broadwater prefix had to compete with established Angus studs which had in some cases been selling herd bulls for 70-100 years or more.

“But we all have to start somewhere. Everybody has to be the new one on the block, some-time.”

Having spent a decade or more closely associated with John Dee’s 18,000 head Yarranbrook feedlot, he brings a strong feedlot performance and carcase performance perspective to his new bull breeding endeavour.

After completing a bachelors degree in Rural Science, Mr Stiff started in the beef industry at Rangers Valley, later shifting to JBS (then Australian Meat Holdings), before spending the past 30 years with John Dee in processing operations near Warwick. Along the way, he gained a Masters in business administration, majoring in international business.

Although he gave notice of his departure from John Dee to the Hart family last year, Mr Stiff’s final contract ran through to the end of the financial year last week. He continues to maintain a connection with the company as a director of John Dee.







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  1. zane oconnor, 04/07/2022

    Nice one cuz

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