A SPECIAL section at the upcoming 2017 Wagyu industry conference will explain how dairy farmers with Holstein cows can access significant premiums by joining the bottom half of their herds to Wagyu to produce F1 feeder steers and heifers.
This year’s conference, being held in Albury in southern NSW from May 1 to 3, follows a successful 2016 event which attracted 400 delegates in the Hunter Valley. This year’s conference program will be followed by a tour of Wagyu operations in north-east Victoria on May 4 and 5.
The conference segment covering Wagyu X Holstein issues will be on Wednesday May 3 and a special one-day registration is available for those interested in this segment only.
Themed ‘Wagyu Expansion – transforming the Australian beef industry’, the 2017 conference will serve as an introduction to the Wagyu industry for those just starting or those considering using Wagyu, as well as critical information for established Wagyu breeders.
The Albury region was chosen because it is the centre of the important beef cattle producing areas in the Riverina and north-east Victoria where many herds are now using Wagyu genetics to increase returns.
It is also close to the Goulburn Valley where some dairy farmers are producing F1 Wagyu X Holstein calves for eager buyers according to Australian Wagyu Association CEO Graham Truscott, who grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Victoria’s Gippsland.
“Almost half a day will be devoted to explaining the most efficient way of getting into the Wagyu industry by using Wagyu bulls and Wagyu semen in both beef and dairy herds,” he said.
Presenters include a producer already using Wagyu genetics in his Holstein herd, buyers who will contract to buy the F1 Holstein steer and heifer calves as bobby or reared calves and lotfeeders who buy thousands of F1 Wagyu each year. They will explain the benefits and the pitfalls of F1 Wagyu breeding.
Presenters include dairy farmer Lachie Sutherland who with his wife Rebecca operate a 400 cow Holstein dairy at Larpent near Colac in south-west Victoria. The business has a focus on producing high-quality milk at the best margin from dry land pastures. Wagyu bulls have been used for 10 years to produce F1 offspring sold on at various live weights.
“The current climate in dairying has provided plenty of challenges for our business but also some opportunities,” Lachie said.
Veteran feedlot buyer Richard Eldershaw who was with Rangers Valley feedlot in the NSW New England for 28 years, will discuss the bloodlines that perform best in operations which feeds thousands of Wagyu sired F1 Angus and F1 Holstein.
Nick Sher of BeefCorp and Sher Wagyu, one of Australia’s largest Wagyu producers, will talk on how Sher Wagyu has developed export markets in dozens of overseas countries, the type of cattle they buy, including F1 Holsteins, and how best to go about building a Wagyu breeding enterprise. He will explain how to develop relationships with buyers and how to protect investments in the F1 programs.
“There are buyers out there looking for Wagyu X Holstein calves with males and females bringing the same healthy premiums. In fact one lotfeeder told me recently that the Wagyu X Holstein will match or even out-perform the Wagyu X Angus in growth and meat quality,” Mr Truscott said.
In Japan, Wagyu x Holstein F1s make up a large proportion of the country’s beef production.
In other parts of the program, MLA’s marketing manager Lisa Sharp will reveal what the future holds for beef of the highest eating quality, especially in the lucrative export markets.
The live export trade of F1 Wagyu to Japan provides an additional outlet and Matt Edwards of Edwards Livestock will explain Japan’s requirements and how to become involved.
Jack’s Creek Wagyu in the Hunter Valley, NSW, has for two successive years produced the ‘World’s Best Steak‘ in an international competition in London. Co-principal Patrick Warmoll will reveal what is involved in producing a steak assessed the ‘best in the world’ in a field on entries for dozens of countries.
- Registrations for the conference and tour can be made here.
- For registration inquiries contact Bradley Hayden on 0412 461 392.