FORMER Angus Australia board president Mark Gubbins and his wife Anna will draw the curtain on 45 years of Angus stud breeding at their western Victorian family property Coolana, with a herd dispersal planned early next year.
The Gubbins family will continue to breed commercial cattle at Coolana, near Mortlake, but the decision to exit the seedstock industry is designed to ‘remove complexity’ from their business, as part of generational change.
“It’s grown so big – to the point where Anna and I are nearly slaves to our job,” Mr Gubbins told Beef Central yesterday.
When he first came home to Coolana to work full-time in 1985, the stud was selling 18 bulls a year. Last year, it sold 285.
“To simply pass-on the workload we currently have with stud breeding on this scale would be a monumental ask, so we’ve decided to simplify what is currently a very complicated business – going back to run commercial cattle and sheep,” he said.
Mr Gubbins admitted to being a ‘big fan’ of succession planning.
“With succession in mind, we are paving the way for the next generation to use its thoughts and development to do as they wish in agriculture with fewer encumbrances from the past.”
He stressed that neither he nor Anna were unwell, or planning to retire, but were just taking a back seat while working hard with the next generation and creating more time to enjoy life.
While the Coolana stud prefix was established by Mark’s father in 1972, the Gubbins family has been breeding Angus bulls on the property since the 1930s, when black cattle were absolute ‘outliers’ in a region dominated by whiteface and Shorthorn cattle.
“Why my grandfather chose Angus, I have no idea – but it’s something I’m keen to learn more about,” Mr Gubbins said.
A dispersal sale is planned for March 2 and 3 next year, including the herd’s full complement of pedigree females, more than 1500 lots comprising HBR and APR Angus and ASA registered Black Simmentals (mature down to calves), as well as embryo and semen packages.
The sale will be arguably among the largest registered Angus dispersals seen in a decade, rivalled only by the likes of Narrangullan, Forres and Vermont, a decade ago.
The Gubbins’ have not ruled-out selling their herd in a single transaction, but has ruled out ‘cherry-picking’ the best of the cattle, before the auction dispersal, which will also be interfaced online.
The Gubbins family will continue to hold autumn and spring bull sales until September 2018, when the last of the current calf-cycle reaches sale age.
- More details on the dispersal sale early next year.