16 first-timers in record-breaking Gympie cattle contest
ENTRIES for the 2019 Sullivan Livestock sponsored Gympie Carcass Classic, run by the Gympie and District Beef Liaison Group, have created a new record with 179 cattle arriving at Woolooga Saleyards for induction.
Fifty one exhibitors, including 16 first timers, entered with the most being from the Cook family at Poston who entered 20 Santa Gertrudis cross.
Organising committee treasurer Neville Zerner said the number of entries was a vindication of the way graziers regarded the Gympie Classic.
"Volunteers start putting things together well before the end of the year,” he said. "Finalising the feedlot and sending emails with competition rules and details.”
This year's feedlot is the 14,000 head capacity Waterfall, run by the Maudsley family outside Tansey.
Mr Zerner said cattle would be fed twice a day, using silage grown on the property to make sure all animals had a good go at fresh feed.
Entries were accepted at Woolooga Saleyards, and necessary paper work carried out and checked before the cattle would be moved to Waterfall and a feed of hay before being weighed the following day.
Tiaro grazier Don Black, who has been exhibiting for a number of years, was talked into it when a committee member saw a quality calf he had at the saleyards.
"I think that the Classic is a real benefit for graziers to learn about their methods and cattle,” he said. "The bone-out percentages and straight economics will govern results in the future.”
Mr Black said growing cattle was all about the amount of usable meat on the carcass.
"A small increase in dressing per cent makes a big difference to returns,” he said. "The assessment classes as part of the Classic help, plus the opportunity to see how your cattle perform against others.”
Mr Black said in the time he has been exhibiting, the quality and fleshing had noticeably improved.
Long term exhibitor and experienced cattle producer Leon Franz and family members from Main Creek Pastoral at Manumbar, entered various Simmental, Santa Gertrudis, Charolais and Angus crosses.
Leon Franz said they used the Classic as a measure, but also to improve animal quality to meet specific market requirements.
The Franz family has been well to the fore in most categories, with a 2018 entry being classed out due to over weight but nevertheless returning the most profit while at the feedlot.
Breeds entered comprised either straight or crosses, incorporating just about every beef breed.
There were even a few white faces in the crowd from stalwart Hereford breeders, the Orphant family at Gunalda.
Entries came from many areas inside (roughly) a circle from Gayndah, Monto down to the Lockyer and Brisbane Valleys, with a preponderance from local regions.
Mr Zerner said there would be no feedlot visits this year, with starting weights available on line and the end of competition at Gympie Saleyards on July 26, that will include graziers commenting on their animals and speakers and trade stalls.