FOR Adelong grazier Ross Smith, Glenellerslie Hereford stud, this year's line up of bulls holds a special place in his heart.
The two main sires of the 39 Hereford and Poll Hereford bulls in the 2015 Glenellerslie catalogue were hand picked by his son Lachie, who passed away on February 7, 2013, at 26 years of age.
Mr Smith couldn't be prouder of this year's offering, that will be on show on January 27 for Stock & Land Beef Week.
The timing is ideal with the Smiths to host their 22nd on property helmsman sale on February 10.
The line up of 31 Hereford bulls and eight Poll Hereford bulls – all rising two-year-old – are by Bingeberry Trailblazer E048 and Mawarra Youngster. They were purchased for $18,000 in 2011 and $24,000 in 2012 respectively, both at the Wodonga Show & Sale.
"The sires we're using are the ones my son Lachie selected; he had expensive taste," Mr Smith said.
"He had an eye for a classic bull and both of these sires had good muscle and Breedplan figures."
The family has a long tradition of breeding Hereford cattle.
After returning to the farm in 1974, Mr Smith and his wife Mandy worked alongside his parents Gordon and June who first started with the breed in 1950. Sadly, Gordon passed away on November 22, 2014.
His daughters Bec and Alicia are still involved with the stud when they return to the farm, and son Blake works alongside him at Glenellerslie.
"From the day Lachie and the other kids were born my father looked forward to the day they came back on the farm; we have some treasured memories here," he said.
Mr Smith said he is proud to offer the bulls to new and existing clients in 2015.
Breeding for traditional Hereford traits had always been a focus at Glenellerslie, he said.
"Every year we gain a few new clients especially now a lot of studs have gone in to breeding Poll Herefords," he said.
"In the last year we've sold six bulls to studs – two Poll Herefords and four Hereford bulls went in to stud herds.
"The bulk of them though go to commercial breeders and as far as I know they're all bred with Herefords."
Mr Smith was happy with the progression of his herd, particularly what this year's line up had to offer and in the coming years.
Temperament was a key quality of the breed and one the Smith's had always focused on, he said.
"I'm really happy with the two young sires coming up – Kaludah Kyle and Purrumbete Hamish," he said.
"Next year Kyle's sons will appear and the following year Hamishs' will.
"Coincidentally they both have Dai Maru blood; Kyle's sire is Dai Maru and Purrumbete is pure Dai Maru."
Both were purchased at the Wodonga Show & Sale in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
"They are good temperament, as always, and we have been trying to improve our Breedplan figures which we have," he said.
"People take more notice of the figures now than what they used to but I'm also just very happy with all of our sires given they have the classic Hereford traits."
Stock & Land's Beef Week is an opportunity for a no obligation look at the bulls and a good prelude to his February sale, he said.
"A lot of our clients are in Victoria now and we also have some in the Riverina, and Beef Week is a great chance for people to come along and take their time looking at what you have to offer," he said.
"We have great support in both new and long term clients, including the Woodgate family from Victoria who started buying bulls off us when we started the sale.
"It's a long trek from where they are but there's about four of them from down that way that come up every year."
Glenellerslie Hereford stud will open on day one of Beef Week on January 27.