Boonaroo rewarded for consistent quality with 2018 Heifer Challenge win
FINALISTS in six of the past seven years, Boonaroo Angus stud, Corndale, near Casterton, has been named 2018 RASV Heifer Challenge champions.
The female side of the beef seedstock industry took centre stage on Thursday night, with the naming of the winners bringing this year’s Stock & Land Beef Week to an end.
In a repeat of the stud’s 2016 success, Boonaroo’s Shane and Jodie Foster accepted the award in Bendigo.
Reserve champion in the RASV Heifer Challenge was Mt William Charolais, and principal Rob Abbott, Mt William, Willaura.
Mr Foster said it was a “real honour” to receive the award in what was a tough competition, by what was only a small margin.
He congratulated all the breeders who finished in the top 10, as well as the other studs that took part in the event.
RASV president Matthew Coleman said Stock & Land Beef Week and the RASV Heifer Challenge were about showcasing the industry and assisting in the development of the industry as well as sharing knowledge.
Judge Malcolm Cock said the maternal side of the genetics in a herd was “ultra important”.
He said female background - the cow families - was important.
Mr Cock said he was told that “you need a great cow to produce a great bull to produce great cows”.
“I assess by the Beef Class Structural Assessment System that helps put the assessment in a more objective way,” Mr Cock said.
The competition was “like a benchmark” for the participants because of the calibre of the judges over the years.
Jodie Foster said they had been refining the type of cattle they bred which meant they had more to select from, meaning a more even type that they were trying to achieve.
She said their breeding goal was to produce animals for a grass production system.
“We import a lot of New Zealand genetics to get a really functional animal from grass that is fertile, structurally sound and quiet,” Ms Foster said.
Mr Foster said it had been a good season on farm and that with the breeding had stood them in good stead in the competition.
Mr Foster said it was “terrific” that Stock & Land continued to promote the event for so many years - “it’s a huge thing for the seedstock industry”.
“The challenge is a great opportunity to showcase what we do not only to other studs but to the commercial people out there because they are the people we are trying to breed the best possible animals for,” he said.
Mr Foster said it was great to see the continuing support of agriculture by the RASV.
“There is always that divide between country and city and RASV plays a huge part in breaking down that divide and helping agriculture get to where it is,” he said.
Other finalists were: