Angus in the family for five decades
THE FRANC family has been in the Angus stud game for almost five decades, and next year will conduct their first on-property bull sale since the 1970s.
Francs Angus stud principal Nick Franc, who currently runs the operation with partner Faye Clark, is the third generation to breed Angus cattle on the family farms in the Beaufort and Skipton area.
Having previously been known as Jinamoc Angus, when it was run by his grandparents, and then Koornang Park Angus, when it was run by his parents, Mr Franc said following the success of taking part in Stock & Land Beef Week, he has been able to think about offering a line of bulls at its first on-property sale in over 40 years.
“We normally sell a selection of bulls privately throughout the year, about 35-40, but we’ll offer a range at our on-property sale on the 1st of March,” Mr Franc said.
“Since we got into Beef Week, we found that we were selling a fair few bulls on the day, and it got a little hard, so it will be more manageable to do it this way.”
This will be the fourth year the stud participates in the event, which Mr Franc said has offered a lot to his business.
“Being able to open up our property for the day has really increased exposure of our stud, and brought in many new clients,” he said.
He said the stud’s breeding objective is to breed good, functional bulls, that suit their client base.
“The majority of our clients are in the Ballarat district, so sell in the Ballarat special sales, and are looking for bulls that stand up well, with good weight,” he said.
“I’m not chasing particular estimated breeding values (EBVs), I’m looking to breed functional bulls that are going to get the job done and suit the environment.”
Having bought genetics from Witherswood Angus, Glenrowan, Mr Franc said he sources bulls from anywhere that suits his own objectives.
“I am after bulls that have got frame, fat cover and marbling,” he said.
“Docility is very important too, you need quiet cattle; when they leave your property you want to know they’re going to be easy to handle.”
They join twice a year.
“We have an autumn and a spring calving, we just find that everyone is looking for bulls all the time now, and because I have been selling privately, people are coming through the gate all the time, so we’ve always got to have bulls ready,” he said.
“It means that at our bull sale we’ll have two age groups of bulls, some will be rising two year-olds, and some will be 18 months-old.”
Mr Franc said the stud doesn’t get caught chasing trends.
“Our breeding objectives haven’t really changed much, you’ll always get paid in cents per kilogram, so that’s what we work for,” he said.
“EBVs are a good tool, but I don’t think you want to become too reliant on them.”
He said Angus cattle have always been the breed of choice on his family’s farm.
“At the time my grandparents got into cattle, Herefords were probably the number one breed, but they chose to get into Angus, and we’ve stuck with them ever since,” he said.
“Angus cattle market really well, the breed has a very good marketing arm, and consumers seem to be chasing them.”
He said his cattle tend to do well at markets.
“Especially in the Ballarat marketplace, our cattle always tend to stand up well, and get good prices,” he said.
“Because we’re not a big stud, we’re able to offer that added personal touch, we know all of our clients and their cattle, and you get to see them at the saleyards, and see what sort of bulls suit their operations.”