New genetics were at the forefront at the New Zealand AGM held over Anzac weekend in Northland. A busy programme included visits to the Mangatara and Snake Gully Studs at Maungatapere where both displayed progeny from recently imported sires.
Erik & Lyn van der Velden embarked on an intensive ET programme about three years importing mainly North American and Australian genetics. On show were some of the progeny from embryos imported last year and also from flushes carried out on-farm. It was a rare opportunity for New Zealand breeders to see such a wide range of genetics from at least twelve different sires. Without doubt this nucleus of new genetics will advance Limousin in this country.
Erik & Lyn have recently purchased a stud property in Hawkes Bay and are planning to expand their breeding cow numbers including a push into Angus to develop a Limflex line. Australian breeders will remember that they purchased three heifers at the 2012 National Sale in Wodonga. One of these was on show (Mandayen Special Cookie G1835) and she had two ET calves to Wulfs Xtractor in the paddock on recipients as well as her own cracking bull calf-at-foot by Wulfs Spring Loaded.
The second stud visit was to Snake Gully Limousin which now operates over two properties. Dannie and Bethley O’Shea run the 18 month heifers on their property and of particular interest were the progeny from three newly imported sires from the UK. These include Bolide, Millbrook Alistair and Ampertaine Commander. Again it was a privilege to see how a new generation of full French genetics was performing. A line-up of nine Bolide heifers in one paddock caught the eye of many. Dannie and Bethley put on a wonderful lunch on their deck in wonderful sunshine.
Their daughter, Natalie Roberts, is now the stud manager for Snake Gully and runs the remaining stock on her and David’s home block. Despite drought conditions and lack of feed over the last few months, the cows with calves-at-foot looked in magnificent condition and their superb temperament was evident. The group also saw the 18 month bulls to be offered for sale at their June sale. Amongst this group were progeny from the UK sires mentioned above as well as RUNL Stetson, Kensal Back in Black and Snake Gully Expensive, a bull out of Premier Temptress Z16 which was imported from Australia as a weaned calf in 2010. Apparently he was appropriately named given the cost of live importation! Natalie and David hosted a magnificent evening meal at their home which was enjoyed by all.
The tour also included a visit to Murray Child’s sheep and beef farm where he uses Limousin bulls over predominantly Angus cows. The resultant progeny were showing excellent muscling. Murray is also a New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Champion and he put on a wonderful display using two of his trial dogs.
Special thanks to Glenn and Susie Trout who came across from Australia for the weekend. Their contribution to the discussion over the weekend, as well as Glenn’s more formal report on ALBS matters, was well received. This is the third ALBS President to attend the NZ AGM in recent years and this support is gratefully appreciated.
Finally, a motion of thanks was passed at the AGM meeting to acknowledge and thank retiring General Manager Alex McDonald for his support and encouragement over the last seven years. Frank Rientjes (past ALBS NZ elected board member) spoke of Alex’ significant contribution particularly over the transitional time as LBBNZ moved to become a region with ALBS. All New Zealand members wish him well in his retirement.
Mangatara calves on recipient cows
Mary McKenzie pats one of the Snake Gully heifers (s: Tow Truck)
Stephen Clearwater looks over some of the Snake Gully heifers
Glenn and Susie Trout enjoy lunch
Murray Child uses Limousin over Angus cows
Snake Gully cows and calves enjoy some late afternoon sun