ONE of Australia's oldest performance-recorded Angus studs will be dispersed.
The stud will be dispersed to allow the next generation to pursue commercial beef and sheep production.
PertGenetics (formerly Pert Angus) will offer more than 1000 cattle in three separate sales on November 2 and 9 and April 4 next year.
With more than 50 years of performance recording Angus cattle and a black Simmental stud bred from exclusively imported genetics, the sales represent a rare opportunity to buy elite, pedigree-stacked females and 18-month-old bulls, principal Martin Grimwade said.
The decision, Martin says, was made all the more easy by the enthusiasm and determination of sons, Will and George, both 24, to return to the family farm to pursue careers in commercial beef and sheep production.
"I was very fortunate as a young man in that I got an opportunity to have a crack early on," Martin said. "I've had nearly 30 years' farming and the boys are 24 and keen to have a go.
"The boys are much more focused on the commercial aspects of farming. It's been a family decision to disperse the stud and this will allow Jane and I to step aside and let them focus on what they want to do."
Will returns to the family farm with a finance/commerce degree and George with an agricultural science degree and experience in the feedlot industry.
Both have spent time working on large cattle stations in the Top End.
"Between the two of them, they've got good skill sets and, being young guys, they've also got plenty of ideas and big plans," Martin said.
Will and George will retain a commercial beef herd, based on Angus and Sim-Angus females, and plan to rebuild their sheep flock from 3000 to 8000 Poll Merino ewes in the coming years.
From a generation that has seen more dry years than wet ones, Will and George believe this business model will give them enough flexibility .
Since importing the first embryos from the Gateway Simmental stud in Montana in the US in 2003, PertGenetics has built up a female herd on the Lucky Dice, Lucky Charm, Preferred Beef, Lucky One, Dream On and Lucky Man lines.
In the Angus herd, modern sires including TC Franklin 619, BR Future Direction 4268 (a son of Future Direction, but free of genetic defects arthrogryposis multiplex and neuropathic hydrocephalus) and Silveras Total 6103 (a moderate birth weight, high growth and intra-muscular fat son of Tehama Total) have been most recently infused.
"Breeding is always a long process," Martin said.
"But we're very happy with what we've achieved. From a commercial point of view, we like the Sim-Angus cows; they have the best attributes of both breeds and provide a sound foundation for people to put to a terminal sire or an F1 bull. We think we'll see a lot more of this in the years to come."
Martin pointed to the premium - up to $40 - for crossbred weaners as all the proof breeders needed to pursue black Simmental genetics in a commercial setting.
"Some people are naturally more reserved in trying new things and, for Angus people, it's hard to change what isn't broken.
But this is a really good, exciting prospect for some; we're not changing the colour, just playing with the genetic package for higher yields and better carcass traits."
With such genetics at their disposal, it would be fair to assume the Grimwade brothers will start with the best of their PertGenetics females. Not so.
"We'll kick off our commercial herd with whatever doesn't meet Dad's sale benchmark. He's always been a hard judge of his stock, so I suppose it'll still be an enviable starting point," Will said.
"We're lucky we are in a position to really have a stab at expanding the family business. We've both worked for different people and completed our studies; it was a case of whether we wanted to have careers for other people or come back and make our own mark."
Ultimately, the duo hope to balance turning off prime lambs while maintaining a large framed, plain-bodied Poll Merino ewe.
"In a good season, we can run cattle comfortably, but this area is generally suited to sheep," Will said.
"With the proximity to Melbourne, there is opportunity to lease country from older farmers or farming families that don't have kids coming home, which could also provide options for growing the sheep operation."
He said once they had enough sheep, they might look to expand their property portfolio.
"You hear a lot of stories about people who have gone home at the start of a drought or when wool prices crashed ... we are adding flexibility to our operation that we haven't had while running the stud. We'll be able to fluctuate our dry sheep equivalents annually to accommodate for the season."
It's an ambitious vision, but one Martin and Jane can identify with.
"We have been performance recording for a long time; we have elite genetics with a proven track record and our hard working cow herd has been raising under tough conditions," Martin said.
"We're very proud of what we have achieved, but now it's their turn."
The first sale, on November 2, will include 218 Simmental and PertPlus (Simmental-Angus) females.
The following week, on November 9, 340 Angus females will be on offer.
Both sales include spring-calving cows and calves, pregnancy-tested-in-calf autumn calving cows and unjoined heifers.
The final sale on April 4 will include 65 18-month-old Angus, black Simmental and Sim-Angus bulls.
All sales will be on property at Glenaroua in conjunction with AuctionsPlus.