A trip to Tasmania to buy cattle for their central Queensland cattle breeding operation 15 years ago has paid off in more ways than one for Marlborough district producers Peter and Rosalie Shannon.
The Blonde d’Aquitaine genetics they bought from the Saward family from North West Tasmania continue to play an important role in their Brahman cross breeding program, and the Shannons have also maintained an enduring friendship with the Sawards ever since.
The relationship led regular Beef Central reader Paul Saward, a Tasmanian cattle industry representative on Cattle Council of Australia, to recommend the website to the Shannons last month.
Mr Shannon said he liked the site and immediately signed up as a subscriber. Doing so automatically entered him into Beef Central’s competition for new subscribers.
When Beef Central contacted him yesterday with the news that his email address had been randomly chosen as the winner, he was elated. “I’ve never won anything in my life!” he said.
“When Paul told me about Beef Central I thought it looked really good and I told my sons about it too,” he said.
“I enjoy it, it is really interesting.
“You don’t hear about news a week later any more, you hear about it straight away.”
He now has the choice of one of six great prizes, as does Mr Saward as the existing Beef Central subscriber who recommended the site to Mr Shannon.
The choice of prizes comprises an Apple iPad, a Toshiba laptop computer, a Delonghi coffee machine, Dectomax product, a set of Shen chef’s knives and a bottle of Penfold’s Grange Hermitage.
Mr Shannon said he was leaning towards the wine: “The reason being that it is something I would never would buy myself,” he said. “We enjoy a glass of red, but we would never spend that much on a bottle of wine.”
Mr Saward was also delighted to hear that his recommendation had earned him a prize as well. For his part the Apple iPad was the preferred option, to take the pressure off demand for the family’s existing and highly popular device.
Mr Shannon and his wife Rosalie run a Brahman-based cross breeding and finishing operation on country they own and lease near Marlborough and Banana in Central Queensland. Their sons Alastair and Johnathan, who both work in the CQ mining industry, are also actively involved in the running of the family operation.
Mr Shannon said the family had tried different cross breeding options with Brahmans but had found that the Blonde d’Aquitaine genetics they purchased from Mr Saward’s father Lyall in the mid 1990s to have proven the most useful cross for their conditions.
“We bought some bulls and females up from down there 15 years ago,” Mr Shannon said.
“It was a long way to bring them, but they did really well here, as did of a couple of the bulls that we sent up to my brother in law up at Middlemount.
“We have been using them ever since. We tried cross breeding with different breeds, but they were all too soft for us.
“With the Blondes we didn’t find that, they were the ones that adapted the best out of of all the Euro breeds for us here.”
The Shannons breed on their Marlborough country and send culled heifers to the Banana property for finishing and consignment to Teys Cargill Australia at Bileola for MSA trade specifications. Most of their steers are turned off as feeder steers, however they also aim to take at least a couple of decks through to EU market specifications where possible.
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