MORE than 400 Wagyu industry stakeholders from across Australia and overseas dug deep for two worthy causes during a charity auction held as part of the 2016 AWA conference dinner in the Hunter Valley last week.
A record total of $63,000 was raised from 15 donated items this year, with funds shared equally between the Royal Flying Doctor Service and a new Wagyu industry fellowship designed to fund and encourage youth in the pursuit of a career in the Wagyu industry.
With more than $30,000 in the bank for the new fellowship, it’s likely that the first recipient will be announced at next year’s national Wagyu conference.
Returning to act as celebrity auctioneers again this year were Colby Ede, stud stock coordinator for Landmark’s Southern Queensland division and popular Esperance, WA veterinarian, Dr Enoch Bergman. Both were expert at cajoling every last bid out of the enthusiastic audience.
All items attracted frenetic bidding – often well above their actual monetary value.
Highest price paid on the night was $8500 for a Robbins Island Bass Strait Muster experience, offered by Tasmania’s Hammond family. The Hammond’s annual seasonal transfer of cattle to the mainland off Robbins Island was made famous in this recent ABC Landline segment. Buyer of the package was Stuart McDougal.
A full 6.5kg striploin from a marbling score 9+ Wagyu from AA Co’s Master Kobe brand program was another popular auction item on the night. Making a final successful bid of $7500 were Jane and Peter Hughes from Hughes Pastoral, Tierawoomba, Nebo.
A nifty calf-catcher device designed for mounting on a farm four-wheeler was offered by Peter Gilmour’s Irongate Wagyu, attracting an auction of price of $7000 when bought by Roger Dawkins.
Specialist Wagyu feeder, Geoff Willett from Maydan feedlot near Warwick offered spaces for two Wagyu feeders for 450 days, attracting a final bid of $6500 from the Australian Agricultural Co.
A Tru-Test XR5000 Management System offered by Tru-Test was bought for $5600 by Springsure Wagyu cattle producers Ross and Julie Wilson, Mt Helmut, while Jack’s Creek Wagyu paid $5000 for a transport package put up by breed supporter George Johnston, from Johnston’s Livestock Transport.
Paying $4000 for an advertising/marketing package donated by Beef Central was Dyan Hughes/Mort & Co Lotfeeders, while a set of 100 pestivirus ear-notch tests offered by Swans Veterinary Services made $3000.
Also making $3000 was a Wagyu Dinner experience offered by Scott de Bruin’s Mayura Wagyu in SA, bought by Matt George from nutrition and feedlot consultants, Bovine Dynamics, while three large consignments of McGuigan’s premium wines made $3000 and $2500 to Nathan Roberts and Dyan Hughes, respectively.
Taking home a finely-crafted model of an RFDS aircraft donated by RFDS was JBS Australia, represented by Jason Carswell, while a dinner voucher for Melbourne’s much respected Steer Bar & Grill, donated by Sher Wagyu and Steer Bar, made $2000, when bought by John Doyle from nutrition and feedlot consultants, Integrated Animal Production.
Two 250ml bottles of Zoetis’s Pestigard product made $1000 when bought by Macquarie Downs Wagyu at Leyburn.