ORANGE’S Angullong Pastoral Co was the overall winner at a recent awards night recognising top performing cattle suppliers to Elders’ Killara feedlot near Quirindi for 2016.
With a focus on producing the highest quality Australian beef, Killara’s annual awards recognise key suppliers across five different categories including marbling, health, feed conversion efficiency, and average daily gain performance.
Performance was measured for mid-fed Angus steers in the feedlot pens as well as in the chillers over a three month period, with results proving why some cattle perform better than others depending on locations, bloodlines, and management techniques.
Earning the overall winners title was the Crossing family’s Angullong Pastoral Co based near Orange.
The average daily gain performance award went to Wilmot Pastoral Co from Ebor, while Princess Pastoral Co from Goulburn topped the feed efficiency category. Top place for the health award went to Paraway Pastoral Co’s Burindi Station out of Barraba, while the best marbling award was presented to SN Nivision out of Walcha.
James Crossing, co-director of Angullong Pastoral Co, said the business was honoured to receive the overall winners’ award amongst so many high-performing suppliers.
“It was fantastic to receive recognition for our Angus cattle herd that our late father Bill made his life-long passion. We are very proud of the legacy he has left behind,” Mr Crossing said.
“It was valuable to be able to share information that will improve the performance of our cattle and the efficiency of the industry as a whole,” he said.
Maximising potential of cattle in the yards, and in the chillers
Killara feedlot trading manager Andrew Talbot praised his suppliers who invest in developing practices that maximise the potential of their cattle in the yard and in the chillers.
“We work hard to ensure we have some of the best suppliers in the industry. Their performance reflects an ongoing commitment to improving the quality of their product,” Mr Talbot said.
As well as recognising high performance, he said that the most valuable part of the awards was that they facilitated discussion around changes and challenges in the industry and their potential effects on the market.
“The real motivation behind gaining this information wasn’t necessarily for use by the feedlot, but to share with stakeholders across the entire supply chain,” Mr Talbot said.
“Sharing the information we gathered gives suppliers the ability to reflect on what practices are working for them, and perhaps what they need to change to produce a product more in line with their goals or the demands of the market.”
Mr Talbot said that communicating this information also created greater transparency and understanding for all parties involved in the production process.
“Suppliers are all keen to understand the process beyond the farm gate and the information we generated allowed that. It’s about working together to improve the end product,” he said.
“Suppliers went away with a better understanding of other players in the supply chain and how we can improve and maintain a sustainable industry.”
As well as education, the awards forum was a powerful tool for building stronger relationships with suppliers.
“Cattle prices are at an all-time high, so it goes to show that supply is not just to do with price – it’s just as much about investing in solid, long-term relationships,” Mr Talbot said.
“It’s really important to us to have relationships built on trust and transparency, because good relationships are critical to ensuring we have good supply. We want to move relationships away from one-dimensional discussions based on price and allow a flow of information up and down the chain.”
“This is the best way to produce a superior product in an industry of high integrity that is sustainable for the future.”
Next step for the Killara feedlot is developing a custom designed IT system that provides automated feedback to suppliers and allows them to be regularly updated on their performance.